New Transportation Funding Bill Introduced to CA Legislature
On the first day of the new 2017-18 California legislative session, Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) introduced a new Transportation Bill aimed at raising an additional $6 billion in annual funding to repair state and local roads, improve trade corridors and support public transit.
The need for infrastructure funding is urgent. California’s freeway system faces a $59 billion maintenance shortfall over the next decade and local governments face another $78 billion shortfall for local highways and bridges. This new bill (AB1) would create the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program to address deferred maintenance on both the state highway system and the local street and road system.
“My commitment to passing a comprehensive funding plan that addresses California’s failing transportation system will not waiver,” stated Assemblymember Frazier. “This proposal dedicates billions to road and highway repairs that our state so desperately needs while also creating tens of thousands of good paying jobs.”
AB1 represents a realistic approach to tackling the long-term needs of California’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. In addition to raising $6 billion in annual infrastructure funding, AB1 also includes measures related to accountability and the streamlining of project delivery.
“The transportation crisis in California affects each and every part of our state. If we don’t step up and solve it, our economy will decline and the people we represent will suffer,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount). “Transportation funding has traditionally been a bipartisan issue and our goal is to work across the aisle to come to a comprehensive solution.”
“We have been working closely with Assemblyman Frazier for more than two years on a variety of concepts to provide the resources local governments need to fix our roads and bridges,” said Kiana Valentine, Legislative Advocate for the California State Association of Counties. “It’s no secret that our vital infrastructure is crumbling and we’re at a tipping point. We urge the Governor and Legislative Leadership to keep their promise to advance this vital legislation early in the 2017 session.”
Statewide taxes and fees dedicated to the maintenance of the state’s transportation system have not been increased in more than 20 years, with those revenues losing more than 55 percent of their purchasing power, while costs to maintain the system have steadily increased and much of the underlying infrastructure has aged. AB1 proposes a 12-cent per gallon increase in motor vehicle fuel, a $38 vehicle registration increase, and a new $165 annual vehicle registration fee on zero-emission motor vehicles.