California could lose federal transportation funds due to new pension laws

California receives the bad news
California receives the bad news

The federal government may stop funding California transportation projects because new pension laws reduce employee bargaining rights which must be guaranteed under federal rules. California of course is gobsmacked by this predicament, which no one could have seen coming. Reaction from Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is the usual clown show mixture of self-righteous huffing and puffing and desperate attempts to find a solution, no matter how sleazy it is.

California transit unions filed objections with the federal government in January after a new, more stringent, pension law passed. The feds froze transportation funding in California while considering the union’s objections.

One plan would pass a law to exempt temporarily employees working for transit authorities so that the federal money spigot would again open while lawyers debated the question in court,

Another idea would be to pass legislation temporarily excluding only those agencies that rely more heavily on federal funds.

Both of those would be discriminatory against other unions and transparently greedy and sleazy attempts to create a caste system of workers based upon whether a project might get federal funding. These are not solutions at all and probably won’t stand up in court either.