On Monday, Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Oakley) introduced AB1 a bill to fund transportation improvements in California. He calls it “a sensible and realistic approach to tackling California’s crumbling transportation infrastructure,” which is similar to the transportation funding bill he co-sponsored, earlier this year.
“My commitment to passing a comprehensive funding plan that addresses California’s failing transportation system will not waiver,” stated Frazier, who is the Chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee. “This proposal dedicates billions to road and highway repairs that our state so desperately needs while also creating tens of thousands of good paying jobs.”
According to the bill’s text, “This bill would create the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program to address deferred maintenance on the state highway system and the local street and road system. The bill would require the California Transportation Commission to adopt performance criteria, consistent with a specified asset management plan, to ensure efficient use of certain funds available for the program. The bill would provide for the deposit of various funds for the program in the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account, which the bill would create in the State Transportation Fund, including revenues attributable to a $0.012 per gallon increase in the motor vehicle fuel (gasoline) tax imposed by the bill with an inflation adjustment, as provided, an increase of $38 in the annual vehicle registration fee with an inflation adjustment, as provided, a new $165 annual vehicle registration fee with an inflation adjustment, as provided, applicable to zero-emission motor vehicles, as defined, and certain miscellaneous revenues.”
Frazier claims that AB1 represents an adult-in-the-room approach to meeting the vital, long-term needs of California’s transportation system. The proposal if approved will raise an additional $6 billion in annual funding to repair state and local roads, improve trade corridors and support public transit. Also included are measures related to accountability and streamlining of project delivery
“The transportation crisis in California affects each and every part of our state. If we don’t step up and solve it, our economy will decline and the people we represent will suffer,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount). “Transportation funding has traditionally been a bipartisan issue and our goal is to work across the aisle to come to a comprehensive solution.”
“We have been working closely with Assemblyman Frazier for more than two years on a variety of concepts to provide the resources local governments need to fix our roads and bridges,” said Kiana Valentine, Legislative Advocate for the California State Association of Counties. “It’s no secret that our vital infrastructure is crumbling and we’re at a tipping point. We urge the Governor and Legislative Leadership to keep their promise to advance this vital legislation early in the 2017 session.”
Once the 2017-18 Legislative Session begins, AB1 will be referred and heard in policy committee.
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.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.