By Allen Payton
State Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) and State Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) presented a $7.4-billion transportation plan late Wednesday, which includes an increase of 17 cents per gallon in the state gas tax, to help pay for it. The plan would also increase the tax on diesel by 30 cents per gallon and introduce a $165 annual fee on electric cars.
The Frazier-Beall plan also includes streamlining the environmental process for repairing existing transportation infrastructure and a new Office of Transportation inspector general to oversee spending.
The pair’s proposal is in response to a report about the condition of California’s roads, highways and bridges, also released on Wednesday. See the entire report, here – TRIP_Report_August_2016
Frazier issued the following statement about the report, on Thursday:
Yesterday, The Road Information Program (TRIP) released a report detailing the current status of California’s transportation system, confirming Assemblymember Frazier’s (D – Oakley) claims that road conditions will continue to worsen without passing a transportation funding plan.
“The information released in yesterday’s report further demonstrates the desperate need to repair California’s transportation system,” stated Frazier. “This cannot be accomplished without fixing the current, outdated funding structure.”
The report details the existing condition of California’s transportation infrastructure and examines future mobility needs with an increase in population and goods movement. Included in the study is the vital role our roads, highways and bridges have on economic growth and overall quality of life. The report uncovered that deteriorating roads cost Californians $56.6 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
“I’ve spent the past year calling for a comprehensive funding fix. If we fail to act on this now, the condition of our roads will continue on this downward trajectory,” stated Frazier. “Our residents deserve a transportation system that works for all Californians. It’s time that the Legislature comes together to pass a thoughtful, sustainable plan. To that end, I’ve worked with Senator Beall to put forth a plan that will address these concerns.”
The report concluded that addressing these significant transportation issues is essential for California to remain competitive and accommodate the demands of a modern society.
Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.