Fix Our Roads condemns initiative filed to repeal recent transportation funding. Coalition urges sponsors to pause. Vows to launch well-funded campaign to defeat measure if it goes forward.
Sacramento —The Fix Our Roads coalition condemned an initiative filed with the State Attorney General today which would repeal the new transportation funding package. Known as Senate Bill 1, the bill passed earlier this year by a two-thirds, bipartisan vote of the legislature. This initiative is apparently an attempt by some California Congressional Republicans to place the measure on the November 2018 ballot in an effort to improve Republican turnout.
The coalition urged sponsors to reconsider this ill-advised scheme, but pledged to mount an aggressive and well-funded campaign to defeat the initiative should it go forward.
“While Congress has repeatedly failed to act, California finally passed a historic measure to invest in fixing roads, repairing unsafe bridges, and reducing traffic congestion,” said Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of Orange County Business Council. “This measure – which won’t be voted on for a year if it goes forward – will have the effect of halting billions of dollars worth of local road repair and improvement projects mid-stream. It will kick people off the job site and completely leave road construction in disarray.
“We know Californians overwhelmingly want their roads repaired and voters will oppose this measure when they learn it will stop thousands of needed traffic relief improvements around the state, including road repairs in their communities. We urge our friends in Congress to put a stop to this effort.”
The initiative includes a provision requiring statewide voter approval of all gas taxes and vehicle fee increases after January 1, 2017. It is an unprecedented new policy that will not only jeopardize existing funding, but will paralyze the state in the future from making the needed road improvements that help sustain our quality of life and economy.
SB 1 will deliver $5 billion annually in new funding to conduct road maintenance, fill potholes, fix unsafe bridges and overpasses, improve road safety, reduce traffic congestion and invest in public transit. Money is split equally between state and local projects and comes with strict accountability provisions to ensure funding is spent efficiently and only on transportation projects.
Revenue from SB 1 will start flowing to cities, counties and Caltrans in January 2018. In fact, Caltrans has already jump-started state road projects in anticipation of receiving the funds. Cities and counties are also programming new projects all over the state. Tens of thousands of jobs will be created.
For more information visit www.fixcaroads.com.