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January 27
1970 - Gov. Ronald Reagan appoints Adrian Adams as Newhall's first "second" judge [story]
Adrian Adams


The Department of Labor had been trying to block $12 billion in federal money earmarked for local transit agencies.
| Thursday, Dec 29, 2022
LA Metro
The B Line, an underground subway in Los Angeles (Port of Authority/Wikipedia via Courthouse News)


By Hillel Aron

(CN) – A federal judge handed California another win Wednesday in the state’s long-running dispute with the U.S. Department of Labor over federal transit money.

In 2021, President Joe Biden — famously a longtime lover of trains — signed into law a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill which included what he called a “historic” investment into public transit, mostly via grants given to local transit agencies. What followed got less attention: a decision by the Department of Labor to block $12 billion — about $2.5 billion from an emergency Covid relief package, the rest from the infrastructure bill — in federal money earmarked for California’s transit agencies.

“Withholding billions of dollars in crucial funding on the basis of a nine- year-old state law, while California wrestles with the Covid-19 pandemic, does great harm and injustice to the people of California,” Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote in a stern letter to the U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Why block federal money to a heavily democratic, heavily car-dependent state struggling to lower its carbon footprint? It was all part of an on-again, off-again feud between unions and California that began in 2012, when then-Governor Jerry Brown signed a sweeping, bipartisan public employee pension reform bill. The law, which applied to state and local government employees, raised retirement ages, capped benefits, and forced workers to contribute more to their retirement plans.

Transit unions argued the controversial reform ran afoul of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1970, which states that transit agencies applying for federal money must prove to the Department of Labor that they have “fair and equitable” labor agreements with their employees.

Shortly after California passed its pension reform law, a pair of local agencies applied for federal funding. The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), which represents transit workers, objected to the applications. The Department of Labor agreed and moved to block the grants, arguing the new pension reform bill barred employees from bargaining “over the full panoply of pension rights.”

The two transit agencies sued in federal court and won, though the case went on for nearly six years, with the department denying applications using slightly different reasoning and the transit agencies suing, until a 2018 ruling permanently enjoined the Department of Labor from using the pension reform as justification for blocking transit funding.

But the ruling was narrowly tailored, and it applied only to the two transit agencies which sued — although in the months following the ruling, the Department of Labor approved numerous public transit grants over the ATU’s objections.

In 2019, the Department of Labor under President Donald Trump decided not to challenge any funding request. But two years later, the department, now under Biden, reversed course yet again.

As U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller, a Barack Obama appointee, wrote in her 67-page decision, the Department of Labor “expressly embraced the reasoning behind its 2013 and 2015 decisions, the same reasoning this court had rejected twice.”

The department, she wrote, “had no authority to issue the broad, prospective decision it did in 2021.” She called the department’s reasoning “unconvincing and arbitrary.”

“Its positions have changed abruptly, for a second time and without regard for this court’s prior orders,” she wrote. “It has rejected directly relevant evidence, overlooked important nuances and made assumptions that lack support in the record.”

Her decision made permanent a temporary injunction she had put in place in 2021.

“The court rightly recognized the enormous harm to California from the U.S. Department of Labor’s deeply flawed determination,” said a spokesman for Newsom. “The court’s decision ensures that billions of dollars of federal transit and infrastructure funds will continue to flow to California, just as Congress intended.”

Neither representatives from the ATU nor the Department of Labor office responded to requests for comment by press time.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Jan 27, 2023
Friday COVID Roundup: L.A. County Remains in Low Community Level
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 19 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 1,123 new cases countywide and 29 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday, Jan 27, 2023
L.A. County Fire Wins Magic Mountain Sky Tower Challenge
Teams from the city of Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, Los Angeles County Fire Department and loanDepot competed on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in the Magic Mountain Sky Tower Challenge.
Friday, Jan 27, 2023
Barger Tapped by Friends of the Children L.A. for ‘Power of One’ Award
Friends of the Children – Los Angeles presented Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger with the "Power of One" award at their inaugural Women's Leadership Breakfast held Friday, Jan. 27 at The California Club. Barger was selected to receive the award for her work and dedication to supporting and safeguarding children in Los Angeles County, especially those within the foster care system.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 19 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 1,123 new cases countywide and 29 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID Roundup: L.A. County Remains in Low Community Level
Teams from the city of Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, Los Angeles County Fire Department and loanDepot competed on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in the Magic Mountain Sky Tower Challenge.
L.A. County Fire Wins Magic Mountain Sky Tower Challenge
Friends of the Children – Los Angeles presented Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger with the "Power of One" award at their inaugural Women's Leadership Breakfast held Friday, Jan. 27 at The California Club. Barger was selected to receive the award for her work and dedication to supporting and safeguarding children in Los Angeles County, especially those within the foster care system.
Barger Tapped by Friends of the Children L.A. for ‘Power of One’ Award
The Santa Clarita Artists Association has announced its new Board of Directors for 2023.
Santa Clarita Artists Association Announces 2023 Board
The North County I-5 Enhancements Project has announced that Santa Clarita Valley residents should prepare for a variety of lane reductions and road closures for the week of Jan. 27-Feb. 3.
Jan. 27-Feb. 3: Portions of The Old Road Closed for I-5 Enhancements Project
Everything old is new again and that’s what’s happening at Hart Park in Newhall. Heritage Junction, where eight historic buildings and a steam engine and caboose are on display to the public, has officially been renamed “Santa Clarita History Center” and a new logo designed and adopted.
Heritage Junction Renamed Santa Clarita History Center
TreePeople in partnership with the Old Town Newhall Farmers Market and the Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians will be giving away full size fruit trees including lemon, lime, orange, guava, pomegranate and peach on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Jan. 28: Free Fruit Tree Giveaway at Old Town Newhall Farmers Market
Ready to lose your thirsty turf lawn? The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency will show you where to start! Learn how to remove your lawn and transform it into a beautiful, sustainable landscape. Join our free virtual landscape and gardening workshop, Strategies for Replacing your Lawn, on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 9 a.m.
Feb. 4: Free Workshop ‘Strategies for Replacing Your Lawn’
The Southern California Veterans Study is seeking the input from Veterans living in Los Angeles, Orange or San Diego counties.
Southern California Veterans Study Seeks SoCal Veteran Input
Two California Institute of the Arts alums, Antoine Hunter aka Purple Fire Crow (Dance 2002) and Kite (Music BFA 2014), were among the 45 United States Artists Fellows announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24 who will receive $50,000 unrestricted cash awards.
CalArts Alums Named 2023 United States Artists Fellows
Anyone who has lived in another city will tell you that the events we put on in Santa Clarita are second to none. As we look ahead to the warm weather and sunshine afforded by the arrival of spring, now is a wonderful time to add some of the marquee city of Santa Clarita events to your 2023 calendar.
Ken Striplin | Fun, Family Events Just Around the Corner
1970 - Gov. Ronald Reagan appoints Adrian Adams as Newhall's first "second" judge [story]
Adrian Adams
NEW ORLEANS – The California State University, Northridge Men's and Women's Cross Country programs earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Teams for the 2022 NCAA Division I Cross Country season as announced by the USTFCCCA Thursday.
Matadors Cross Country Programs Named to All-Academic Teams
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency Board of Directors will now be meeting in-person for all Committee meetings.
Feb. 2: SCV Water Engineering, Operations Committee Regular Meeting
Friends of Placerita Canyon Natural Area invite the public to share in the grand opening of the new "Know Your Nature Center" on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m.
Jan. 28: ‘Know Your Nature Center’ Grand Opening
Join Landmark Opera at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church as it presents Gilbert and Sullivan's famous operetta, "The Pirates of Penzance," Sunday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m.
Feb. 5: Landmark Opera Presenting ‘Pirates of Penzance’
In Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation's latest episode, you’ll learn about DrinkPAK, a premier contract manufacturer of premium alcoholic and non-alcohol beverages based in Santa Clarita.
SCVEDC’s Latest Podcast Features DrinkPAK CEO Nate Patena
The College of the Canyons Sports Medicine Program and Valencia High School Medical Science Academy will host the 2023 Sports Medicine Professions Fair on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 10 a.m. - noon, at the college's Valencia campus.
Feb. 4: COC, Valencia High Partner to Host Sports Med Fair
The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons will present "Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience" on Sunday, May 21. Two shows will be offered at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
May 21: Santa Clarita PAC Presents ‘Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience’
On Jan. 19, the Board of Directors for the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation approved long-time board member John Shaffery, managing partner of Poole Shaffery, to step into the role of Board co-chair as successor to Roger Seaver.
John Shaffery Named New SCVEDC Co-Chair
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station reminds Santa Clarita Valley residents that the past rain event may have created great riding trails, but riding off highway vehicles unauthorized on private property is considered trespassing.
Unauthorized Off Highway Vehicle Owners Reminded to Remain Off Private Property
SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced a new partnership at a press event today between the California Department of Education and California Volunteers, Office of the Governor, to promote new pathways for California Volunteers service corps members — a group that includes 10,000 per year across all corps, including the California Climate Action Corps, AmeriCorps, #CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs and #CaliforniansForAll College Corps — to become teachers in California classrooms.
State Schools Chief Unveils Plans to Recruit More Teachers
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday no additional deaths and 62 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, with 23 additional deaths and 1,095 new cases countywide.
Thursday COVID Roundup: 62 New SCV Cases
1990 - "Duplicates" premieres at L.A. Phil; concerto by CalArts Music School dean Mel Powell wins Pulitzer Prize [story]
Mel Powell
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