LA County Supervisors lobby to get Green Line to LAX

L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe in D.C.
L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe in D.C.
Kitty Felde/KPCC

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Three of LA’s five County Supervisors — and Sheriff Lee Baca — are in Washington this week for their annual lobbying trip on Capitol Hill. This visit is not all about the money. This time, it’s more about rules and regulations.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision on the Affordable Care Act in the coming weeks. But L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe says the county has more immediate concerns: the rules and regulations in the law that govern how the county spends its health care dollars. He says the county is not stopping its preparation.

"We’re preparing for 2014. We want to be in that mode. What we’re trying to do at this point, is just say, 'OK, here’s what we’re doing, based on what we know what you’ve told us. Have the rules changed?' And that’s always an issue with the feds." Knabe says the county needs clarification on AIDS and home health care funding, as well as moving patients out of the emergency room and into clinics.

Knabe says he’s also talking to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood about a question Angelenos keep asking: “Why don’t you guys get the rail into the airport?” Knabe would prefer a route that runs above ground, which is cheaper to build. But he says the Federal Aviation Administration is concerned that could interfere with the radar at LAX. Even if that issue is resolved, Knabe says there would be a political battle over shifting transit money —and then it would be nearly a decade before Southern Californians could finally take light rail to the airport.