Monday, November 17, 2008

California's Wish List For Obama

From the LA Times:

If you've been elected to something somewhere in California, you're probably writing a wish list for President-elect Barack Obama.

With the inauguration about nine weeks away, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster is seeking $111 million to replace 28 miles of storm drains. State Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) is talking up $321 million for sewage-treatment plants and clean-water facilities.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl wants a light-rail line to Los Angeles International Airport. And money for homeless veterans. And did he mention universal healthcare?

"The sooner he focuses on healthcare, the better," said Rosendahl, who represents coastal neighborhoods such as Venice and Playa del Rey. "It's as important a priority as getting out of Iraq."

Jubilant over the arrival of a Democrat in the White House, government agencies across this heavily Democratic state are hoping not just for a piece of an upcoming stimulus package but also for four years of a California-friendly administration........

Other prominent items involve policies, not cash.

The state's environmental advocates, for example, are tired of seeing pioneering clean-air programs blocked by federal officials.

The most notable conflict occurred last year, when the Bush administration refused to grant a waiver allowing the state to enact emissions standards designed to combat global warming. Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, is confident that an Obama administration will grant the state the right to establish vehicle emission standards that are more stringent that federal guidelines.

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