Senate votes to cut California transit funding |

Senate votes to cut California transit funding

Tribune staff and wire reports

It’s too early to tell whether action taken Thursday by Congress will have a significant impact on Lake Tahoe’s transit funding, said a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation.

“The long and the short of it is much too early to know exactly what would happen,” said Robin Witt, spokesman for the state Caltrans office.

Pitting two of the biggest states against the rest of the country, a Senate committee voted Thursday to cut federal mass transit aid to California and New York and distribute the money among the 48 other states instead.

The provision was included in a $49 billion transportation bill for the coming fiscal year that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, 27-1. The sole dissenting vote was cast by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., because of the transit provision. New York has no senators on the committee.

The House Appropriations transportation subcommittee approved its own $50.7 billion bill Thursday without any similar limits on how mass transit money is distributed to states. That means there is a good chance the Senate language will not make it into a compromise House-Senate bill later this year.

”The bill contains a transit equity provision which, in my view, is anything but,” Feinstein said.

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