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thedrifter
02-25-08, 08:53 PM
State May Pull Berkeley Funding Over Marines Furor


SACRAMENTO (BCN) ― California Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-San Ramon, said Monday that he has introduced legislation to suspend $3.3 million in transportation funding to the city of Berkeley in response to what he said were its "anti-U.S. Marine Corps actions."

The Berkeley City Council voted on Jan. 29 to send a letter to the Marines, who have a recruiting office at 64 Shattuck Ave. in downtown Berkley, telling them that they are "uninvited and unwelcome."

At a subsequent meeting on Feb. 12, the city council clarified its action, saying that, "we deeply respect the men and women in our armed forces" and deciding not to send the letter, which the Marines had likely already heard about because it received nationwide publicity.

However, the city council kept intact a provision granting the anti-war group Code Pink a designated parking spot in front of the Marines recruiting office from 12 noon to 4 p.m. every Wednesday for six months as well as a free sound permit during those hours so it's easier for the group to disrupt the recruiting center's activities.

Houston said Assembly Bill 2615 "is a response to the actions taken by the Berkeley City Council."

In a statement, Houston said, "Berkeley's City Council has granted anti-military activists a public resource to assist in barricading the Marine recruitment office. The public right-of-way has been violated and our state must not stand idly by."

Houston said the city of Berkeley is scheduled to receive approximately $3.3 million in transportation funding over the next two years from Proposition 1B.

He said his legislation will call for that funding to be suspended until Berkeley rescinds its January 29, 2008 resolutions.

Houston said, "Under my proposal, until the Berkeley City Council rescinds its action to grant Marine protesters a public parking spot to serve a private agenda, the city of Berkeley will go without these state transportation dollars."

Houston represents the 15th Assembly District, which includes portions of Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, and San Joaquin counties.

Ellie