LA City Council backs ‘Local Hire Act’

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Rep. Karen Bass of California addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Karen Bass of California addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles City Council voted today to support a congressional bill that would enable state and local transportation agencies to require contractors to hire locals.

The council voted unanimously to back Democratic Rep. Karen Bass’ “Local Hire Act,” which would enable agencies, such as Metro, to mandate that a portion of workers are locals.

As it is, state and local transportation agencies are barred from imposing local hiring requirements on federally funded projects.

“There is tremendous potential to create jobs as we build a transportation system that will finally allow people to easily get around the city without their cars,” said Councilman Mike Bonin, who introduced a resolution supporting bill.

Bass’s bill “will allow transit projects to provide much-needed economic stimulus to our region and help put Angelenos back to work,” he said.

The resolution directs city lobbyists in the nation’s capital to help the bill passed. It was introduced in November, according to Bonin’s office.

No local hiring requirements are in place for the construction of Metro’s $2 billion Crenshaw light-rail line, but 40 percent of workers must qualify as economically disadvantaged.

About $130 million in federal funds for the Metro project was secured last week, with more expected to come, for the downtown Los Angeles Regional Connector and the “Subway to the Sea.”

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