The seemingly harmless Senate Bill 264, which would give VTA an option to raise the sales tax by 1/8 cent, is heading to the full Assembly. In the Senate and in the Assembly committees, the bill was passed largely by party line votes, with almost all the Democratic majority voted yes and all the Republican minority voted no.
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, who once sat on the VTA Board and disappointed with its San Jose centric power-politics, chose not to exercise her power to reform VTA and voted to support the bill. She did so likely in an attempt to get support from labor as she plans to run for the County Supervisor seat against Liz Kniss. Labor has been a key for Supervisorial candidates because of the large population size of the district. Before the establishment of VTA when the transit system was govern by the County Board of Supervisors, the influence from labor earned the transit system the name "Santa Claus transit." VTA currently is the highest paid transit system, even though work pressure is less than those in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.
The bill that would prolong the unsustainable tax-and-waste culture at VTA did not escape the editors at Gilroy Dispatch, which wrote an editorial highlighting the deficiencies at VTA.
If the Assembly passes the bill and the governor signs it, be prepared for a fight next year.