U.S. Markets open in 4 hrs 15 mins

Bill would restore US transit funds for California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Legislation heading to Gov. Jerry Brown would help California transit agencies retain $1.6 billion in federal grants this year that are in jeopardy because of the state's public pension reform law.

The bill responds to a finding by the U.S. Department of Labor that the pension law violates union members' collective bargaining rights by forcing them to contribute more to their retirement funds.

AB1222 by Democratic Assemblymen Roger Dickinson of Sacramento and Richard Bloom of Santa Monica temporarily exempts public transit workers from contributing more to their retirement funds. That buys time while the state and a local transit agency sue over the federal agency's ruling.

Dickinson says the measure would preserves transit jobs while state and federal officials resolve the dispute.

The bill cleared the Assembly Wednesday, 71-1.