The County Voice

It’s Simple: Support Prop 69 to Protect Transportation Funding

This opinion piece originally ran in the Bakersfield Californian on May 29. 

California initiatives often are complex and confusing, but Proposition 69 on the June ballot is very simple: it will ensure that existing transportation revenues we already pay are used only for transportation improvement projects. It does this by preventing the Legislature from diverting the funds to non-transportation purposes.

Many roads throughout Kern and Kings Counties suffer serious disrepair, from the major arteries that run through our region to the rural routes that many of our residents count on each day to get to their jobs, schools and activities.

Proposition 69 will protect revenues we already pay and ensure they’re used only on transportation. It does not raise taxes.

Proposition 69 ensures that projects planned or already in progress along dozens of miles of our highways and streets continue. Kern and Kings Counties, and the cities within them, stand to receive more than half a billion dollars for transportation improvements over the next decade.

Proposition 69 protects this money slated to repair aging and deteriorating bridges, tunnels and overpasses, as well as highways, freeways and local streets and roads. The protected funds will fill potholes and fix cracked and crumbling roads, while also relieving traffic congestion by adding new lanes and removing bottlenecks.

This includes a $45.6 million pavement preservation project to replace guardrails, install safety strips, replace signs and improve 27 miles on State Route 14, $12.1 million to upgrade sidewalks, widen shoulders and improve 11 miles on State Route 184 from south of Edison Highway to State Route 178 in Kern County and $3.4 million to repair and resurface State Route 99 between McFarland and Delano. Additionally, the City of Bakersfield will use funding to address several deferred maintenance projects to improve driving conditions and reduce wear and tear on vehicles.

In Kern County and throughout the region, our well-traveled freeways and rural routes stand at risk of failing during storms or other natural disasters. We need to ensure that first responders have well-maintained roads to respond as quickly and safely to possible emergencies.

That’s why it’s important to vote YES on Prop 69 this June. We need to protect transportation funding from legislative raids and make sure this money is used on transportation projects only.

Public safety officials, business groups, taxpayer advocates and more support Proposition 69. The coalition supporting Proposition 69 includes California Association of Highway Patrolmen; California Professional Firefighters; the League of California Cities; California State Association of Counties; California Chamber of Commerce; San Diego Taxpayers’ Association; and California Small Business Association.

Proposition 69 is about ensuring good governance and accountability. Supporting Proposition 69 means supporting California and our region’s health, safety, economy and quality of life. It’s that simple.

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