The $5.2 billion that will now be generated annually for California’s state and local transportation system will ensure that Californians have safe and reliable streets, roads and bridges and a solid transportation network. Both houses also passed ACA 5, which upon voter approval will ensure that revenues generated in SB 1 are spent only on their intended purpose.
This accomplishment would not have been possible without the leadership of Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) and Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), chairs of their respective houses’ transportation committees, on SB 1 and ACA 5 and the legislators who voted in support.
League members played a significant role in the passage of SB 1 and ACA 5. The votes are a result of their collective and tireless commitment as California city officials and engagement with the League to ensure that cities have the resources needed to maintain and repair streets. The first League members came together in 1898 to share information on the road building technologies of the day and to protect city revenues for local services. California cities’ support of SB 1 and ACA 5 today in many ways shows how relevant and strong the organization was then and remains now.
The passage of this historic investment package in California’s transportation infrastructure is a culmination of almost a decade of work by the League from the launch of the biennial Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment in 2008, to the development and adoption of eight guiding principles for new transportation revenues
in 2013 and to leadership in the Fix Our Roads Coalition, which formed in 2015 to advocate for increased transportation funding.
The League, its members and coalition partners have participated in countless legislative hearings in recent years to elevate the awareness of how the failure to invest in our local streets and roads has led to worsening roads. The Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment
has come to serve as the definitive authority on local street and road conditions among local governments and legislators alike. According to the report, the average pavement condition statewide for local streets and roads has now dropped to the “at risk” category, which is precisely what SB 1 and ACA 5 are intended to address.
SB 1’s provisions are consistent with all of the funding principles the League board of directors adopted in February 2013. These principles have guided the League’s lobbying efforts to increase transportation funding and set the stage for every level of negotiation on the final provisions of SB 1.
SB 1 will generate $5.2 billion annually for transportation improvements split equally between state highways and local streets and roads in California cities and counties. For cities and counties, this includes $1.5 billion annually to fix local streets and roads. This is nearly double what is available today. It also includes $750 million annually to improve transit operations and capital improvements. These transit investments will help improve air quality by reducing the number of cars on the road and traffic congestion. In addition to the new resources, the League also applauds the strict accountability provisions in SB1 and ACA 5 that will ensure these revenues are spent wisely on state highways, as well as on local streets and roads.
Now that SB 1 has passed, cities can get to work repairing and maintaining their streets. In the coming week, the League will release city-by-city funding estimates.