Photo: BART/Eric Fischer
CONTRA COSTA, Calif. — California transit agencies say the U.S. Department of Labor is blocking as much as $1 billion in vital grants unless the agencies agree to violate a state public employee pension reform law, reported the Contra Costa Times.
The agencies thought they had won a federal court victory late last year, when a judge ruled that the state law did not violate a federal prohibition against interfering with public employees' collective bargaining rights, but the Labor Department is still enforcing the rule, according to the report.
But instead of ordering the Labor Department to sign off on transit agency grants, the judge told the agency to reconsider how it determines the grant issues. Big money is at stake: $91 million for BART, $206 million for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, $700 million for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and millions more for agencies across the state, the Contra Costa Times reported. For the full story, click here.