Partisan ballot measure would wipe out thousands of road and bridge safety, congestion relief, pothole repair and public transportation projects currently underway throughout the state.
SACRAMENTO – Opponents of the ballot measure to eliminate more than $5 billion annually in existing transportation funding vowed to run a comprehensive campaign to defeat the measure should the measure end up on the November California ballot. Today, the Secretary of State declared the measure eligible for the November ballot.
The measure would make our roads and bridges less safe by eliminating funding for more than 5,000 local road and bridge safety and transportation improvement projects throughout the state. This measure is opposed by the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, the American Society of Civil Engineers, firefighters, paramedics, local transportation agencies, cities, counties, the California Chamber of Commerce, environmental groups, business and labor organizations.
“According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 3,600 fatalities on California roads in 2016,” said Doug Villars, President of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen. “We oppose this dangerous measure because it would stop thousands of needed road safety repair projects all over the state, putting driver and pedestrian safety at greater risk.”
“According to the national 2017 ASCE Infrastructure Report Card, 50% of California’s roads are in poor condition and nearly 1,400 bridges and overpasses are structurally deficient,” said Kwame Agyare, P.E., Region 9 Director, American Society of Civil Engineers. “This harmful ballot measure will stop progress on hundreds of projects currently underway to fix bridges, overpasses and tunnels that do not meet earthquake safety standards. This will increase the risk to public safety.”
In his January State of the State address, Governor Jerry Brown made a strong commitment to protect the new transportation improvement package: “I will do everything in my power to defeat any repeal effort that may make it to the ballot. You can count on that!”
According to the California State Transportation Agency, there are more than 5,000 state and local transportation improvement projects currently underway or planned in every community throughout California. This ballot measure would repeal more than $5 billion annually in funding, putting these projects at risk.
Robbie Hunter, President of the State Building & Construction Trades Council, said: “This measure would jeopardize more than 5,000 transportation improvement projects currently underway or planned throughout the state –making our local roads less safe, more congested and more deteriorated. We will mount a vigorous campaign to defeat this misguided scheme.”
Nearly all the funds to qualify this proposition have come from Republican members of Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, as well as the California Republican Party and other Republican politicians. Backers have admitted they put this measure on the ballot in an attempt to influence turnout to win Republican seats.
Michael Quigley, Executive Director of the California Alliance for Jobs, said: “The partisan attack by politicians who want to eliminate thousands of transportation improvement projects shows they do not have the best interests of California in mind. We’re confident voters will see through this partisan scheme and reject this risky measure.
Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director of the League of California Cities, said: “Cities have thousands of local transportation projects already in the pipeline that will make our roads safer and our commutes better. We have an obligation to every citizen and California driver to defeat this initiative.”
CSAC President and Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, said: “Proposition 69’s recent landslide victory creates a lockbox for transportation funding. It is a clear sign that Californians are looking toward the future. We’re confident the voters will not want to eliminate transportation revenues that are accountable to taxpayers, can’t be diverted, and that voters overwhelmingly dedicated to fixing our roads.”
Joshua W. Shaw, Executive Director of the California Transit Association, said: “This measure would stop public transportation improvements, including projects expanding urban light rail, commuter & intercity passenger rail lines, and new bus service, and, the measure would make it harder for our agencies to purchase new, cleaner-fueled busses and rail cars. This measure will hurt hard-working families that depend on public transportation as well as all Californians by making traffic congestion and air quality worse.”
Allan Zaremberg, President and CEO, of CalChamber, said: “Reliable transportation infrastructure is vital to businesses moving goods and for their employees getting to work. This measure would eliminate revenues already flowing to every city and county to fix potholes, make safety improvements and ease traffic congestion. It would directly hurt job creation and jeopardize more than 68,000 good-paying jobs and $183 billion in economic growth.”
Howard Penn, Executive Director, Planning and Conservation League, said: “California is leading the way to promote zero emission vehicles and invest in public transportation that helps combat climate change and reduce air pollution. We must reject this attack on a better environment and cleaner air.”