Legislators Approve Tax Increase to Fund Relief Efforts
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The Red Cross scaled back its emergency shelters as quake victims found new homes, and two state legislative committees approved a temporary sales tax increase to help finance relief.
Lawmakers at a special session of the state Legislature in Sacramento on Friday debated dozens of different bills, including the 13-month, .25 percent tax hike; emergency compensation for quake victims; strengthening of bridges and other structures, and tax breaks for quake-ravaged property owners.
The tax measure won passage on separate 7-1 votes in the Senate and Assembly revenue and taxation committee.
Shaky ground continued to rattle local residents. Officials said an earthquake that registered 3.6 on the Richter scale struck the Hayward fault at 11:16 p.m.
The epicenter was near San Leandro, southwest of Oakland, said Pat Jorgenson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Geological Survey. It was the first significant tremor on the Hayward fault since a 4.7-magnitude quake in 1984, she said.
Police in San Francisco and Oakland said there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The devastating Oct. 17 quake, which registered 7.1 on the Richter scale, and killed at least 64 people, struck along the San Andreas fault, which runs west of and roughly parallel to the shorter Hayward fault.
An emergency shelter at the Marina Middle School in San Francisco’s devastated Marina district closed Friday after 94 people living there were moved out.
Many of the city’s homeless have found new homes, moved to other cities to take new jobs or been relocated to shelters on Polk Street and the nearby Army base at the Presidio, said Red Cross spokesman Kevin Irion.
There were 384 people in Red Cross shelters in San Francisco on Friday, said spokesman Bob Page, and a total of 1,514 in the San Francisco Bay area. At one point after the quake, 6,000 people were living in emergency shelters.
A declining population of quake-caused homeless in the East Bay led authorities to consolidate their shelters in Oakland.
″The American Red Cross will continue to provide food and shelter to those affected by this disaster as long as these services are needed,″ said relief director Allen Whear.
Vice President Dan Quayle’s wife, Marilyn, toured homeless shelters in the San Jose area and met briefly with San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos on the second day of her visit to the area.