On Monday, Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) introduced a new Transportation Bill which is aimed at raising an additional $6 billion in annual funding to repair state and local roads, improve trade corridors and support public transit.
Within the AB1, it includes a 12 cent per gallon increase in motor vehicle fuel, a $38 vehicle registration increase, a new $165 annual vehicle registration fee on zero-emission motor vehicles, and would create an Office of the Transportation Inspector General where the Governor would appoint the Inspector General to a 6-year term.
Here is Assemblyman Frazier’s Press Release on introducing the Bill:
Frazier Introduces New Transportation Funding Bill
Sacramento, CA – Today, Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Oakley) introduced AB1, a sensible and realistic approach to tackling California’s crumbling transportation infrastructure.
“My commitment to passing a comprehensive funding plan that addresses California’s failing transportation system will not waiver,” stated Assemblymember Frazier. “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.”
AB1 represents an adult-in-the-room approach to meeting the vital, long-term needs of California’s transportation system. This proposal would 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.
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.
According to the California Legislative Information Website, here is a look what is within AB 1 and what it does:
- Creates a Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program
- Requires 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
- $0.012 per gallon increase in the motor vehicle fuel (gasoline) tax imposed by the bill with an inflation adjustment
- An increase of $38 in the annual vehicle registration fee with an inflation adjustment
- A new $165 annual vehicle registration fee with an inflation adjustment, as provided, applicable to zero-emission motor vehicles
- Sets aside $200,000,000 of the funds available for the program to fund road maintenance and rehabilitation purposes in counties that have sought and received voter approval of taxes or that have imposed fees, including uniform developer fees, as defined, which taxes or fees are dedicated solely to transportation improvements.
- Require $80,000,000 of the funds available for the program to be annually transferred to the State Highway Account for expenditure on the Active Transportation Program.
- The bill would require $30,000,000 of the funds available for the program in each of 4 fiscal years beginning in 2017–18 to be transferred to the Advance Mitigation Fund created by the bill pursuant to (12) below.
- The bill would continuously appropriate $2,000,000 annually of the funds available for the program to the California State University for the purpose of conducting transportation research and transportation-related workforce education, training, and development, and $3,000,000 annually to the institutes for transportation studies at the University of California.
- The bill would require the remaining funds available for the program to be allocated 50% for maintenance of the state highway system or to the state highway operation and protection program and 50% to cities and counties pursuant to a specified formula.
- The bill would impose various requirements on the department and agencies receiving these funds. The bill would authorize a city or county to spend its apportionment of funds under the program on transportation priorities other than those allowable pursuant to the program if the city’s or county’s average Pavement Condition Index meets or exceeds 80.
- The bill would also require the department to annually identify savings achieved through efficiencies implemented at the department and to propose, from the identified savings, an appropriation to be included in the annual Budget Act of up to $70,000,000 from the State Highway Account for expenditure on the Active Transportation Program.
- This bill would create the Office of the Transportation Inspector General in state government, as an independent office that would not be a subdivision of any other government entity, to ensure that all of the above-referenced state agencies and all other state agencies expending state transportation funds are operating efficiently, effectively, and in compliance with federal and state laws.
- The bill would provide for the Governor to appoint the Transportation Inspector General for a 6-year term, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and would provide that the Transportation Inspector General may not be removed from office during the term except for good cause. The bill would specify the duties and responsibilities of the Transportation Inspector General and would require an annual report to the Legislature and Governor.
- This bill would deposit the revenues attributable to a $0.20 per gallon increase in the diesel fuel excise tax imposed by the bill into the Trade Corridors Improvement Fund.
- This bill would increase the additional sales and use tax on diesel fuel by an additional 3.5%. By increasing the revenues deposited in the Public Transportation Account that are continuously appropriated, the bill would thereby make an appropriation.
- This bill would, beginning July 1, 2019, and every 3rd year thereafter, require the State Board of Equalization to recompute the gasoline and diesel excise tax rates and the additional sales and use tax rate on diesel fuel based upon the percentage change in the California Consumer Price Index transmitted to the board by the Department of Finance, as prescribed.
For a look at the entire Bill, click here.