January 18, 2017 - Sacramento – Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, joined a bipartisan coalition of rural California legislators and introduced AB 174, which would require one sitting, voting member of the California Transportation Commission to reside in a county with a population of less than 100,000 people.
“Time and time again, rural California gets the short end of the stick. This bill will ensure the voices of small, rural California counties are heard,” Bigelow said. “This bill gives our communities a seat at the table that we desperately need.”
The bipartisan coalition comprised of rural California representatives who join Bigelow in co-authoring the bill include Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Assemblywoman Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), Assemblyman Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Plumas Lake), Assemblyman Dr. Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) and Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia).
“California’s transportation issues are as diverse as its many communities. It is critical that our rural counties have a voice on the California Transportation Commission to ensure that the transportation system as a whole is as responsive to rural communities as it is to urban centers,” Assemblywoman Aguiar-Curry said.
“I am proud to be a coauthor of Assemblyman Bigelow’s bill,” said Assembly Member Jim Wood, representing California’s North Coast. “I have traveled all over my district and access to well-maintained roads can actually be the difference between life and death for some of our residents.”
The California Transportation Commission is comprised of eleven voting members and two non-voting ex-officio members with a mission to be a unified voice for California’s transportation policy. Currently, every member of the Commission resides in a county with a population over a million.
“Without rural representation on the Commission, it is impossible for the Commission to meet their mission as a unified voice for transportation issues in California. Our rural roads are crumbling and polka dotted with pot holes. Shovel-ready projects to update our infrastructure keep receiving the red line. The time has come to ensure our issues have a voice and a vote,” Bigelow said.
CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION RURAL REPRESENTATION ACT
AGUIAR-CURRY, CABALLERO, DAHLE, GALLAGHER, MATHIS, WOOD
AB 174 would require one voting member of the California Transportation Commission to reside in a county with a population of less than 100,000.
Currently, the California Transportation Commission consists of 11 voting members, and 2 Members of the Legislature who are appointed as non-voting ex-offico members. Of the 11 voting members, 9 are appointed by the Governor, one is appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, and one is appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.
THE ISSUE & AUTHOR’S STATEMENT:
The California Transportation Commission’s mission is to be a unified voice for transportation issues in California; however every current member of the California Transportation Commission resides in a county with a population over one million people. It is impossible for the Commission to meet their mission as a unified voice for transportation issues in California without a representative from a small rural county of under 100,000 people.
AB 174 will ensure the voices of small, rural California counties are heard on the Commission. Our rural roads are crumbling and polka dotted with pot holes. Shovel-ready projects to update our infrastructure keep receiving the red line. The time has come to ensure our issues have a voice and a vote.
Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, is a lifelong rancher who represents the 5th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes all or parts of Placer, El Dorado, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Madera and Mono counties.
Source: Assemblyman Frank Bigelow
California Assemblyman Frank Bigelow Introduces Rural Transportation Measure with Bipartisan Coalition