The California Assembly approved a bill on Monday aimed at expediting Los Angeles County transportation projects.

AB 1446, by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, authorizes the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to seek voter approval to extend its existing Measure R sales tax to speed up projects in its 30-year plan.

If approved by the Senate and ultimately voters, the measure would fund Los Angeles County rail, highway, bus, and local transportation improvement projects more quickly, jumpstarting those projects and getting Angelenos back to work, according to a release issued by Feuer.

The bill would authorize Metro to ask county voters to extend the term of the Measure R sales tax authorization indefinitely. The extension would enable Metro to bond against future Measure R revenues and build transportation projects much sooner than originally contemplated, relying only on local funds.

“We need to get these transportation projects underway as soon as possible,” Feuer said in the release. “By passing AB 1447, we are empowering L.A. County voters to jumpstart 160,000 jobs and break through traffic congestion that chokes our region.”

In his first term as an Assembly member, Feuer authored legislation that allowed Metro, L.A. County’s transportation planning agency, to put Measure R on the 2008 county ballot.

Measure R asked voters to approve a 30-year, half-cent sales and use tax dedicated to construction and operation of a specified list of transportation projects. 

More than 67% of voters approved the measure, which commits around $40 billion to traffic relief and transportation upgrades throughout the county over the next 30 years.

The upgrades will include westward extension of the subway and adding north-south routing to the San Fernando Valley’s Orange Line bus way.

AB 1446 would provide an ongoing local source of funding to build projects in Measure R and in Metro’s long-range transportation plan.

The measure will next be considered in a Senate policy committee.

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