CSAC Bulletin Article

CSAC Sponsored Bill to Streamline Transportation Projects Sent to Governor

September 12, 2019

CSAC’s sponsored bill, SB 137 (Dodd), was approved unanimously by both houses of the Legislature and is now headed to the Governor’s desk. The bill would eliminate duplicative environmental reviews and expedite county bridge and road safety projects by authorizing additional exchanges of federal and state transportation funding through the Match Exchange Program. A similar streamlining mechanism is currently only available to regional transportation planning agencies with populations below 200,000.

SB 137 will allow the state and local agencies to reduce the cost of transportation projects and provide for more projects to be completed with the same amount of revenue by expanding the Match Exchange Program to other transportation programs with federal funds allocated to local agencies, specifically the Highway Safety Improvement Program and local bridge projects. Counties have estimated that going through federal aid process and the National Environmental Policy Act review, in addition to California’s robust processes, adds anywhere from fifteen to forty percent to the cost of a project; especially smaller projects.

CSAC worked closely with the Legislature, the California Department of Transportation, the California Department of Finance, and the California State Transportation Agency to negotiate amendments and secure passage of the bill. We encourage counties supportive of SB 137 to submit a letter to the Governor requesting his signature.

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