California Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly kicked off the hearings by presenting the transportation funding framework
proposed last month. The Legislative Analyst’s Office also presented an overview
of all the proposals presented thus far in the special session. The conferees then heard from a variety of stakeholder groups including the League, California Alliance for Jobs, Orange County Business Association.
Transportation needs of cities and counties received a significant chuck of time during the second hearing in Ontario. Ontario City Council Member Alan Wapner opened the hearing by welcoming the legislative panel to Ontario and talking about the status of transportation projects in the city and surrounding region. League President and city of Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Dennis Michael represented the League and led a panel of local government representatives that included County of Riverside Supervisor John Benoit, city of Hemet Mayor Linda Krupa, and city of Lakewood Public Works Director Lisa Rapp.
While each panelist focused on the needs in their community, the overall message was united. There is a great need for additional investment in transportation maintenance and preservation, and without immediate action the problem will continue to worsen. Recognizing that many legislators are focused on reforms and streamlining in addition to funding, Ms. Rapp focused her remarks on what city and county public works are doing already to use every dollar wisely.
Now that the hearings have wrapped up, conference committee members will resume negotiations among themselves. Cities should continue to contact their legislators to stress the importance of immediate action to provide additional funding.