Sacramento, CA – Today, Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Oakley), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Transportation, unveiled legislation to provide much-needed transportation funding for California.
AB 1591 will raise over $7 billion annually and fund two major initiatives: trade corridor improvements and road maintenance and rehabilitation. "California must invest in its trade corridors if we hope to develop and sustain economic vitality. Manufacturers and farmers want to be able to move their goods to market and AB 1591 will provide the investments we need to ensure that they can," stated Frazier.
AB 1591 further answers the challenge Governor Brown made last year when he called upon the Legislature to provide $5.9 billion annually to fix state highways. According to Frazier, “You can’t put out half a fire. The funding proposals developed over the past year do not begin to sufficiently address our highway and bridge maintenance needs. Failure to adequately fund deferred maintenance is short-sighted and will leave our highways congested in gridlock.”
Frazier spent the past seven months listening to the public, industry experts across the state, and his colleagues in order to develop a comprehensive plan to effectively tackle California’s transportation needs. AB 1591 looks to make these investments now, rather than costing us exponentially more in the long-run.
“Anyone who travels on California’s roads or rides our buses and trains can attest to the dire need for significant investment in our state’s infrastructure,” said Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount). “I commend Assemblymember Frazier for his diligence in considering a wide variety of perspectives as he developed this proposal.”
The revenue generated in Frazier’s plan is a portfolio approach drawing equitably from multiple sources. Key components of the transportation funding package include:
- Restoring revenue from weight fees imposed on large trucks to the State Highway Account. This revenue, nearly $1 billion, will be directed to improvements in the state's major freight corridors;
- Ensuring additional revenues generated are used to address road and bridge maintenance, rehabilitation, and, as appropriate, increases in capacity;
- Allocating cap and trade auction proceeds to transportation projects that ease congestion and therefore provide significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in trade corridors;
- Imposing moderate increases in gas tax, diesel tax, and vehicle registration. The state's aging infrastructure is degrading at an increasingly rapid pace. These funds will ensure existing assets are protected;
- Repaying outstanding transportation loans. These loans were made at a time when the General Fund was in crisis. That is no longer the case. These funds need to be returned to the transportation purpose for which they were intended;
- Increasing allocations to intercity rail and transit programs;
- Ensuring all vehicle owners pay to support the transportation infrastructure by imposing a nominal surcharge on electric vehicles; and
- Initiating proper oversight on highway expenditures.
To contact Assemblymember Jim Frazier please visit his website at www.asmdc.org/frazier or call his District Offices at 707-399-3011 or 925-513-0411.
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