Transportation Funding on the Legislative Back Burner, Again!
For Immediate Release:
September 1, 2016
Gregg Fishman, firstname.lastname@example.org (916) 327-7500
Eva Spiegel, email@example.com (916) 658-8228
Orville Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org (916) 446-2259
Will Kempton, email@example.com (916) 446-1280
(Sacramento) The California Legislature just closed out its two-year session without making progress on what is arguably the most critical issue in the state; the dramatically poor condition of our highways, streets, roads, and bridges. Despite the best efforts of Senator Jim Beall and Assembly Member Jim Frazier who Chair the two Transportation Committees, and some of their colleagues across the aisle, their compromise legislation never even got a meaningful hearing.
“Our transportation system is dangerously underfunded, and everyone knows it,” said Chris McKenzie, Executive Director of the League of California Cities. “Bad roads affect everyone in the state. They impact the environment and economy, reduce fuel efficiency and increase the cost of vehicle maintenance. Everybody agrees that our transportation infrastructure deficit issues have to be addressed, but the political will and leadership to act on this issue has been lacking.”
“For two years now, our coalition has been telling the Legislature about the poor and dangerous condition of our transportation infrastructure,” said Michael Quigley, Executive Director of the California Alliance for Jobs. “California has not devoted enough resources to maintain the existing transportation infrastructure, so now, roads are crumbling, bridges are unsafe, and drivers are paying thousands of dollars more per year in vehicle maintenance. In the meantime, California construction companies are laying off workers and in some cases, going bankrupt.”
“It is very disappointing that our roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate due to the Legislature’s inaction on this issue. The only opportunity left this year to address the critical funding shortfall for repairing our transportation system will be later in the fall,” said Will Kempton, Executive Director of Transportation California.
“The Transportation Special Session called by the Governor last year remains in effect through the end of November, so it’s conceivable a bill could be considered before then. However, this approach would require the support of legislative leaders and a commitment to get something done.”
“The longer we wait to begin fixing our roads the more it’s going to cost taxpayers and, frankly, the backlog of deferred maintenance jeopardizes public safety and California’s economic vitality,” said Matt Cate, Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties. “Fixing and investing in our transportation network remains a top priority for CSAC and we are committed to seeing this through the Legislature.”
The Fix Our Roads Coalition represents a broad coalition of cities, counties, labor, business, and transportation advocates working to address California’s chronic transportation infrastructure funding shortfall. For more information visit www.http://fixcaroads.com.