Move LA is involved in 2 parallel processes in the California Legislature to win funding for discounted student transit pass programs, and now is the time to generate letters of support for both:
- We are working a bill by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena)—AB 2222—to provide $50 million/year out of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) for student transit pass programs statewide. The bill won a unanimous vote in Assembly Transportation on April 11 and has been put on suspense in Appropriations—like all bills with an annual cost of more than $150,000.
- We are also working with Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), chair of Assembly Budget Subcommittee #3 on Natural Resources and Transportation, on the continuous appropriation of $50 million/year out of the GGRF.
We need 2 letters of support, one of them immediately.
- The first should be sent ASAP, faxed to Governor Brown, and cc’d to the chairs of the Senate and Assembly budget committees and to the leadership of both the Assembly and Senate, and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can keep track of the letters. A sample letter can be downloaded HERE.
- The second should be sent to Appropriations Committee Chair Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and emailed to email@example.com. The sample letter can be downloaded HERE.
- There are talking points that you can use to write your own letter HERE.
Each letter has a slightly different “ask.”
- The letter to the Assembly Appropriations Committee should say that we "support the appropriation of $50M/year for student transit passes as outlined in AB 2222."
- The letter to Governor Brown and the leadership should say that we "support the continuous allocation of $50M/year for student transit passes out of the budget as outlined in AB 2222."
AB 2222 has done well so far! But all measures funded with the GGRF are caught up in a larger discussion about how this money should be appropriated: 60% of the fund has been “continuously appropriated” to programs on an annual basis, whereas the remaining 40% has not. The Legislature has been discussing how to spend this 40%, but has not yet agreed upon how to do this.
The final state budget proposal will come out on May 13 and will be taken up by the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees, which will decide on their priorities for funding. The deadline for passage of the budget is June 15. Letters to the Governor should be written as soon as possible as budget negotiations with his office have already begun.
The best case scenario is that AB 2222 will stay intact with the funding in place, and that the funding will also be reflected in the proposed budget, at which point the bill will go to the Assembly floor. Then we’ll start all over again in the Senate, where the bill will be referred to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and then to Senate Appropriations, etc. The worst case scenario is that it will die in Appropriations. But this is very unlikely.
We urge you to send letters! Our chances are good! The unanimous vote in the Assembly Transportation Committee was against all odds!!