The state Assembly voted to give final approval Monday to nearly $1 billion for transportation projects in the districts of five lawmakers who voted two weeks ago in favor of a gas-tax increase after previously being undecided.Assemblyman Matthew Harper of Huntington Beach led Republicans in opposing the legislation, which he dubbed &ldquo;earmarks based on political influence and backroom deals.&rdquo;GOP lawmakers said the normal process calls for individual transportation projects to go through the California Transportation Commission, but Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) said the Assembly should make the decision, rather than leave it to &ldquo;unelected bureaucrats.&rdquo;Senate Bill&nbsp;132 provides $500 million for projects helping the districts of state Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) and Gray, both of whom held out support for the bill until the day before the vote. The measure includes $400 million in transportation funds for the extension of the Altamont Corridor Express, a commuter rail line between the Bay Area and Central Valley, and $100 million for a parkway project at the UC Merced campus.The measure approved Monday also provides $427 million for transportation projects in Riverside County, where Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside) and Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona) held off supporting the gas tax until the day of the vote. Other money goes to providing clean air technology for trucks in areas that include the district of Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino).Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) questioned the legality of the bill, which he said &ldquo;rewards&rdquo; lawmakers for their votes and undermines public trust. When Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yucca Valley) called Senate Bill 132 &ldquo;graft,&rdquo; Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) objected, saying Gallagher was "impugning the integrity of some of the colleagues on this floor.&rdquo;However, Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) said SB 132 pays for &ldquo;key transportation projects that are important in our state to stop the gridlock.&rdquo;The bill was one of three measures asked for by lawmakers who ended up voting to approve the gas tax bill. The Assembly also approved a proposal by Gray that exempts architecture and engineering firms from having to pay the defense fees for clients who are sued.Another bill scheduled for action would provide $17 million to a handful of young cities in Riverside County that lost state funds when they incorporated.