CA Voters Pass Prop 69 to Protect Critical SB 1 Funds
Proposition 69 passed handily last week with a clear majority of California voters in favor of the measure. 80% of voters are in agreement that the $5 billion raised annually by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1) should only be used for transportation improvement purposes and not for other unrelated projects.
California Transportation Commission Chair Fran Inman has noted that, “Before SB 1, California’s transportation infrastructure was crumbling faster than we could maintain, repair, or replace it.” Now, one year after the passage of SB 1, funds are flowing to needy projects. Last month, more than $1.2 billion in SB 1 funding was awarded to Southern California projects — with $700 million going to Los Angeles County alone— for improvements to heavily congested freeways, trucking routes, and several transit projects.
But with certain politicians collecting signatures to repeal SB 1, voters may be called upon again in November to protect SB 1 and the long-awaited progress it brings.
Governor Brown has urged Californians “to vote ‘no’ on those crazy efforts” to repeal the gas tax increase. LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti echo Brown’s defense of SB 1, saying a repeal would lead to congestion, traffic, and failing infrastructure.
A November ballot measure to repeal SB 1 would:
Stop transportation improvement projects already underway in every community. A repeal measure would eliminate funds already flowing to every community to fix potholes, make safety improvements, ease traffic congestion, upgrade bridges, and improve public transportation. 4,000 local transportation improvement projects are already underway across the state thanks to SB 1.
Jeopardize public safety. Cracked, potholed roads in poor condition pose a major safety threat to California drivers. Currently, 89% of counties have roads that are in poor or at-risk condition and 25% of our bridges show significant deterioration. Repealing SB 1 would cut funding currently dedicated to fixing roads and upgrading freeways, bridges, tunnels and overpasses to make them safer.
Make traffic congestion worse. Our freeways and major thoroughfares are among the most congested in the nation, and Californians spend too much time stuck in traffic away from family and work. This measure would make our traffic worse by repealing SB 1 funds that are dedicated to reducing traffic congestion.
Cost drivers and taxpayers more money in the long run. The average driver spends $739 per year on front-end alignments, body damage, shocks, tires and other repairs because of bad roads and bridges. Additionally, it costs eight times more to fix a road than to maintain it. By delaying or stopping SB 1 projects, this measure will cost motorists more money in the long run.
Hurt job creation and our economy. Reliable transportation infrastructure is critical to get Californians to work, move goods and services to the market, and support our economy. By repealing funding for road repairs and transportation improvements, this measure would eliminate more than 680,000 good-paying jobs and nearly $183 billion in economic growth that will be created fixing our roads over the next decade.
Southern California Partnership for Jobs supports infrastructure investment. We advocated for the passage of SB 1, a new transportation funding source that is becoming ever more critical for California. We oppose any efforts to repeal SB 1 that would rob our communities of vital road safety and transportation improvement funds.