A Southern California bid to grab more than two-thirds of $3 billion in statewide trade funds appears to have failed as officials this week recommended the region get just $1.65 billion, the Daily Breeze rerpots.

The decision by the staff of the California Transportation Commission comes after months of intensive lobbying and falls far short of the $2.2 billion that had been sought for Southern California ports and trade routes.

"It doesn't exactly reflect the fair share in terms of the burden that Southern California has," said Gil Duran, a spokesman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who along with officials in five Southern California counties had lobbied for as much as 85 percent of the funds.

"It's always good to get some money in these tough times, but the fact is that 85 percent of the goods that come into the state come in through Southern California - and there's a lot of traffic congestion and pollution."

The commission late last year tentatively chose the formula that would give Southern California $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion - but the five counties have continued to press their cause and submitted requests for up to $2.2 billion in funding.

The fight over the trade funds has become a classic battle between Northern and Southern California even as transportation funds traditionally have been allocated statewide on a 60/40 basis favoring Southern California.

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