Aug. 02--Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have allowed regional governments to require employers to help subsidize workers' commutes if they traveled by public transit, bicycle or carpool.
Senate Bill 582 was aimed at reducing greenhouse gases by giving workers an incentive not to drive alone to work.
"While I support the goal of reducing vehicle trips, this bill would impose a new mandate on small business at a time of economic uncertainty," the governor said in his veto message Monday.
Under the bill, regional agencies in the Bay Area and 17 other California areas could adopt ordinances requiring employers with as few as 20 workers to offer a commuter benefit.
Companies could choose to let workers pay some commute costs through pretax dollars, or companies could offer free company bus service to work, or a $75 a month subsidy for transit or vanpool expenses.
The governor said city and county governments already can adopt commute benefit ordinances.
Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff. Read the Capricious Commuter at www.ibabuzz.com/transportation/.
Copyright 2011 - Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.