SAN GABRIEL VALLEY — A bill that would allow South Pasadena to veto construction of the Long Beach Freeway extension won approval Monday from the state Assembly Transportation Committee.
Senate Bill 1497, introduced by State Sen. Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena), passed 13-1. It would require Caltrans to get the approval of South Pasadena, a longtime opponent of the plan, before extending the freeway from the Foothill to San Bernardino freeways.
State lawmakers repealed South Pasadena's right to veto a freeway extension in 1982, a right established for all cities in 1939.
A judge in 1994 decided that the 1982 legislation had expired and barred construction of the roadway without South Pasadena approval. But lawmakers approved a new bill denying the city the ability to veto the roadway that would fill the gap between the Foothill and San Bernardino freeways.
"South Pasadena must be restored the same right given every other city and county in California," Schiff said on Monday.
Freeway proponents, including officials from Monterey Park, Alhambra and San Gabriel, called on lawmakers to oppose the bill.
The measure, which already has passed the Senate, now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and, if approved there, to the full Assembly.