State bill moves forward opposing MTC headquarters move 

A bill aimed at slowing down, or potentially halting, the relocation of the region’s lead transit planning agency has received early backing from the state Legislature.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which oversees long-term planning in the region, approved a measure last year to move its headquarters from Oakland to San Francisco. The MTC has proposed using $179 million in bridge toll funds to purchase a building on Main Street.

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, opposed the move, saying toll funds shouldn’t be used. He requested an audit of the move, and on Tuesday a state Senate committee unanimously supported his measure to halt funding until that audit is completed. The bill still faces other legislative hurdles before it’s enacted.

MTC spokesman Randy Rentschler said the bill could slow down the MTC’s plans to move forward with the relocation effort, in turn driving up the cost of the project. The audit is scheduled to be finished this summer. The MTC has already spent more than $90 million on the relocation.

“In our view, it’s time to move on with this,” said Rentschler. “It was a contentious issue, but we made our decision.”

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