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Senate Committee Passes Sales Tax for Transit Funds

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Photo by Salaam Allah West Coast Transitphotography KING! via Flickr

A huge hurdle has been cleared so that a half-cent sales tax increase proposal can be on November's ballot. Yesterday afternoon, a state Senate committee approved the bill that allows LA County to ask for the tax hike. If it makes it there and is approved by voters, it could raise $30 to $40 billion a year over the next 30 years for public transit and other transportation projects. But first, a few more hurdles to get through until major transportation funding.

Next Up, It Must be Passed By...

  • State Senate (August)
  • State Assembly (August)
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (August)
  • The People of Los Angeles County (November)
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If passed through all the above groups, then Los Angeles can get serious about a "Subway to the Sea," the Green Line going to LAX and more. If you want the hairy details of what happened today, Steve Hymon at the Bottleneck blog has combed through them.Mayor Villaraigosa, who was probably ecstatic about this, had this to say in a statement: "Today’s unanimous vote by the committee builds consensus and momentum toward a future of freer-flowing traffic and reduced dependence on foreign oil. Los Angeles County voters have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a once-in-a-generation investment in a transit system that works for the entire region."