We scored a remarkable victory Monday when our student transit pass bill passed out of the Assembly Transportation Committee with a unanimous vote. The bill, authored by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), would provide $50/year out of the GHG Reduction Fund (GGRF) for discounted transit passes for students K-12 and at all public colleges and universities statewide.
The vote was remarkable because not all lawmakers approve of the Cap & Trade program that funds the GGRF, and many conservatives believe the money should be spent repairing roads. Committee Chair Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) joked that he envied Holden’s popularity when more than 40 speakers lined up at the microphone to give their support to the bill.
This bill is part of a package of 4 “transportation and equity” bills that also included AB 2332, which prioritizes disadvantaged communities for road repair investments; AB 1982, which would add two environmental justice advocates to the California Transportation Commission; and AB 2796, that would ensure ongoing funding for planning active transportation in disadvantaged communities and educating residents about the benefits. AB 2796 also won a unanimous vote in the Transportation Committee. The other 2 bills will be heard next Monday in Assembly Transportation.
AB 2222 now goes to the Appropriations Committee, chaired by Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego). All 4 bills are supported by a statewide coalition including AB 2222 sponsors Move LA and TransForm, and ClimatePlan, the California Bicycle Coalition, Gamaliel, PolicyLink, CPEHN (California Pan-Ethnic Health Network), Public Advocates, Safe Routes to School, and the Leadership Council for Justice & Accountability.
Move LA is staging a student transit pass summit in partnership with LA Trade Tech College—to talk about the importance of discounted passes and how you can get discounted student passes at your school—in early May. (Date not yet decided.)