SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Moving to fill potholes, smooth thousands of miles of pavement, repair bridges and strengthen public transportation, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed a package of legislation to improve transportation and create jobs in communities across California.
“Safe and smooth roads make California a better place to live and strengthen our economy,” said Governor Brown. “This legislation will put thousands of people to work.”
“While Washington can barely get its act together, in California we stepped up to address one of the most pressing concerns facing our residents. This plan is fiscally responsible and will improve the quality of life for all Californians while creating jobs. Our roads will be safer and our cities and towns will be better connected to each other – finally bringing our transportation infrastructure into the 21st century,” said Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León.
“SB 1 will make our roads better and safer and help make commutes shorter. Supporting SB 1 required a combination of common sense, political courage, and concern for the Californians who drive on our roads and bridges. Now we owe it to the people of California to perform the oversight and do the due diligence that will ensure the transportation projects SB 1 funds are completed in the timely and efficient manner our constituents deserve,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.
“Today is the culmination of over two years of work that I’ve devoted to SB 1. It was never destined to be an easy piece of legislation but the work resulted in the first major investment in California’s transportation infrastructure in 23 years,” said Senator Jim Beall.
“For too long we have neglected our state and local transportation needs. Our roads are falling apart and our bridges are in desperate need of repair. After two years of visiting every area of the state, I have heard people’s concerns about commuting to work, running errands or just getting their kids to soccer practice. Transportation is integral to our quality of life and SB 1 is the comprehensive funding package that will help repair our state highways and local streets and roads, while also expanding our travel options with funding for public transit. With Governor Brown’s signature on SB 1 we can finally improve California’s transportation infrastructure,” said Assemblymember Jim Frazier.
SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, co-authored by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) and Assemblymember Jim L. Frazier Jr. (D-Discovery Bay), is backed by a broad coalition of supporters and invests $52.4 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and put more dollars toward transit and safety.
State and legislative leaders joined city and county officials and local and statewide business, labor and transportation leaders in Riverside, Concord, Fresno, Bakersfield, San Diego, Los Angeles and Sacramento to build support for the landmark transportation investment package and Governor Brown testified at Senate and Assembly hearings on the legislation.
“In contrast to the gridlock in Washington D.C., California has taken responsibility to address its crumbling infrastructure. SB 1 will not only repair our highways and roads, but will also address the over 500 bridges in California currently requiring major repair, including the nearly 400 that are considered structurally deficient. This will drive our economy, create jobs, while decreasing traffic delays and providing for a smoother commute. Governor Brown, Assembly Speaker Rendon, Senate Pro Tem De León and the vast majority of Legislators have shown leadership in improving the quality of life for all residents,” said State Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO President Robbie Hunter.
“Fixing our roads and improving transportation in the state is critical to California’s economy and our job climate. SB 1 enhances the long standing user pay program that provides the long term funding source necessary to keep people and goods moving in our state,” said California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg.
“California cities appreciate the Governor’s signature on SB 1 today. Now our cities can get to work repairing and maintaining our streets and roads. These investments will also reduce car repair bills for our residents and improve our transportation system that is so vital to our economy and quality of life,” said League of California Cities President JoAnne Mounce.
“This landmark legislation offers counties real hope to catch up on a significant backlog of deferred maintenance. From my home county of Alameda to rural counties like Alpine, we’re finally going to be able to start fixing potholes, improving pavement and making sure our bridges are structurally sound. We thank Governor Brown, Senators De León and Beall, Speaker Rendon and Assemblyman Frazier for their leadership on this bill,” said California State Association of Counties President Keith Carson.
“SB 1 is so much more than just a roads bill. The bill also provides an historic level of stable and permanent funding for public transit and active transportation projects, assuring California can meet its mobility goals while achieving important environmental objectives,” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly.
“This bill clearly demonstrates California’s commitment to clean, sustainable transportation, and the role that public transit plays in that vision. While California’s transportation infrastructure needs are many, this proposal acknowledges the importance of public transit in achieving the 21st century transportation network that Californians need and deserve. We expect these new investments to lead to cleaner transit vehicle fleets, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, as Californians will be offered more attractive mobility options,” said California Transit Association Executive Committee Chair Michael Wiley.
“The benefits of SB 1 go well beyond desperately needed repairs for our streets and roads by funding important sustainable improvements to our transportation system for walking and cycling as well — good for our health, our environment, and our economy,” said Transportation California Executive Director Roger Dickinson.
“This legislation was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in the future of California’s quality of life and economic growth. SB 1 creates a responsible and dedicated source of revenue for decades to come by including voter-approved constitutional protections. We thank Governor Brown and the Legislature for taking this issue head-on and approving transformational legislation that will create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, increase safety and improve commerce,” said California Alliance For Jobs Executive Director Michael Quigley.
The legislative package will cost most drivers less than $10 a month and includes strict accountability provisions to ensure the funds can only be spent on transportation. The new funding will allow Caltrans to make major repairs to California’s transportation infrastructure including 17,000 miles of pavement, 500 bridges and 55,000 culverts over the next ten years. The package will also fund huge investments in repairing local streets and roads. The package also provides historic levels of public transportation funding — roughly double what was provided by Proposition 1B in 2006.
The following funds will be split equally between state and local investments over a ten-year horizon:
Fix Local Streets and Transportation Infrastructure (50 percent):
– $15 billion in “Fix-It-First” local road repairs, including fixing potholes
– $7.5 billion to improve local public transportation
– $2 billion to support local “self-help” communities that are making their own investments in transportation improvements
– $1 billion to improve infrastructure that promotes walking and bicycling–double the existing funding levels
– $825 million for the State Transportation Improvement Program local contribution
– $250 million in local transportation planning grants.
Fix State Highways and Transportation Infrastructure (50 percent):
– $15 billion in “Fix-it-First” highway repairs, including smoother pavement
– $4 billion in bridge and culvert repairs
– $3 billion to improve trade corridors
– $2.5 billion to reduce congestion on major commute corridors
– $1.4 billion in other transportation investments, including $275 million for highway and intercity-transit improvements.
Ensure Taxpayer Dollars Are Spent Properly with Strong Accountability Measures:
– Constitutional amendment, ACA 5 for voter approval on the June 2018 ballot, to prohibit spending the funds on anything but transportation
– Inspector General to ensure Caltrans and any entities receiving state transportation funds spend taxpayer dollars efficiently, effectively and in compliance with state and federal requirements
– Provision that empowers the California Transportation Commission to hold state and local government accountable for making the transportation improvements they commit to delivering
– Authorization for the California Transportation Commission to review and allocate Caltrans funding and staffing for highway maintenance to ensure those levels are reasonable and responsible
– Authorization for Caltrans to complete earlier mitigation of environmental impacts from construction, a policy that will reduce costs and delays while protecting natural resources.
Guided by the principles set forth by President Ronald Reagan when he signed bipartisan legislation to increase the federal gas tax in 1982, today’s transportation investment package is funded – over a ten-year horizon – by everyone who uses our roads and highways, in the following ways:
– $7.3 billion by increasing diesel excise tax 20 cents on November 1, 2017
– $3.5 billion by increasing diesel sales tax to 5.75 percent on November 1, 2017
– $24.4 billion by increasing gasoline excise tax 12 cents on November 1, 2017
– $16.3 billion from an annual transportation improvement fee based on a vehicle’s value starting January 1, 2018
– $200 million from an annual $100 Zero Emission Vehicle fee starting July 1, 2020
– $706 million in General Fund loan repayments.
The Governor has also signed the following bills:
– SB 131 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review – State public employment: memorandum of understanding: approval
– SB 132 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review – Budget Act of 2016
– SB 496 by Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) – Indemnity: design professionals
For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov