September 4, 2015 - The League of California Cities® issued the following statement from Executive Director Chris McKenzie today in support of Gov. Jerry Brown’s transportation funding framework:
“For too long California leaders have talked about the need for additional investment in the transportation system without taking the needed action. Today the Governor’s office shared a proposed framework that represents a balanced compromise and incorporates some of the best ideas from a number of California legislators and stakeholders. Included in that framework are a number of needed transportation reforms and a significant investment in the local streets and roads system and public transit.
“The League of California Cities urges the Legislature to come together and adopt a funding package based on this framework before adjourning next week.
“The local streets and roads we all rely on are literally crumbling beneath our feet … and the tires of our cars, buses, trucks and bicycles. The conditions are getting so bad that if Californians don’t commit to prioritizing funding to fix them, we will be facing the failure of a large portion of our bridges, streets and roads. And our pothole-filled roads are forcing drivers to pay a hidden tax of $762 per year to repair their vehicles because of poor conditions.
“Whether you travel by car, truck, bus, train, bicycle, or on your own two feet, you are using a part of the transportation system. California has invested too much to let it go to ruins now. We need leadership on this important threat to the safety of Californians and our economy.
“It is well past time for the Legislature to act.”
California’s local streets and roads are literally facing the tipping point. Pavement conditions according to the 2014 Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment are at 66 out of 100.
League of California Cities Additional Information:
As the legislative session entered its final week, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday released a proposed framework for a transportation deal that would bridge the divide between Democrats and Republicans.
The framework is built on ideas put forward by the Fix Our Roads Coalition and both legislative caucuses. It includes significant constitutional protections for new revenues, CEQA streamlining and Caltrans reforms.
The League’s officers were briefed prior to the public release of the proposed framework and agreed that it is consistent with the League’s approved transportation funding principles.
The package would provide an annual amount of funding of $3.6 billion, and represents a significant step in addressing cities’ street maintenance needs, public transit needs and other priorities. One-half of the funding ($1.8 billion) would go to cities and counties for street maintenance, complete street projects, public transit and state-local partnership funding projects. Of this amount, $1.05 billion would be allocated by formula for local streets and roads maintenance, $525 million of which will go to cities each year based on population (new allocation estimates). An additional $100 million would be set aside for a complete streets competitive grant program.
The revenue package required to fund this smaller program does not require a gas tax increase, but it is adjusted and indexed for inflation.
The rest of the revenue proposal includes use of $500 in Cap-and-Trade revenues, $100 million in CalTrans efficiencies, $500 million from an 11 cent increase in the diesel tax indexed for inflation (to support the trade corridor enhancement program and other highway and road improvements) and $2 billion from a $65 per vehicle highway user fee. The entire package will cost Californian vehicle owners about $10/month, according to the Governor’s Administration. These same vehicle owners are paying an average of $762 a year to fix their vehicles due to poor road conditions.
With just one week until the legislative session adjourns, the Legislature must act quickly. City officials are encouraged to call and tweet their legislators to express support for the Governor’s framework.