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President Obama releases budget, earmarks money for California transportation

There has been $330 million set aside to proceed toward extending the Purple Line from the Mid-City area to Century City in Los Angeles. (Thinkstock)
There has been $330 million set aside to proceed toward extending the Purple Line from the Mid-City area to Century City in Los Angeles. (Thinkstock)

President Barack Obama’s newly released budget proposal earmarks more than $1 billion for California transportation and construction projects, including $330 million that Los Angeles officials call crucial to extending the Purple Line from the Mid-City area to Century City, it was reported today.

Overall, Obama would spend more than $800 million on transit throughout the state — including $165 million to expand the Bay Area Rapid Transit system to San Jose and $150 million toward a light-rail project in San Diego as he tries to make the case that infrastructure spending will propel a faster economic recovery.

The plan released Monday also would seed California with money for weapons systems, allot more than $600 million to build and renovate Veterans Affairs facilities and set aside more than $200 million to help the Jet Propulsion Laboratory send another rover to Mars, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city’s slate of transportation projects, including the Metro extension along Wilshire Boulevard, are now the nation’s largest public works program and a top priority of his administration.

“I am going to make sure we spend these dollars efficiently through tough oversight and sound management,” he said in remarks reported by The Times.

But the money is still far from committed. Republicans who control Congress have criticized Obama’s spending plan as excessive and too dependent on additional taxes.

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