The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) is very pleased to announce that the California State Legislature has passed two bills that, if signed into law by Governor Brown, are expected to allow federal funding to be restored to transit agencies throughout California, including MTD.
Assembly Bill (AB) 1222, as passed by the Legislature, would temporarily exempt local agencies’ transit workers from California’s Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2012 (PEPRA), while preserving the state’s ability to fight for the pension reform law in court. As stated by Governor Brown, “Federal transit money creates jobs and this legislation keeps those funds flowing while allowing the state to defend in court our landmark pension reforms.” The exemption will last until the court battle is settled or until December 31, 2014, whichever is first.
Senate Bill (SB) 13, as passed, would make several technical corrections to PEPRA, including a permanent exemption for transit workers at agencies such as MTD whose pension plans are covered by the federal Taft-Hartley Act and regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
If federal funding is restored as expected, MTD will be able to continue to operate public transit service at the current level, and MTD will not have to implement the Emergency Transit Service Reduction Plan that has been under development with the community.