Members of the Fix Our Roads Coalition
, of which the League is a founding member, testified in support of Sen. Jim Beall’s (D-San Jose) bill that generates an additional $6 billion annually for California’s local and state transportation network.
Rony Berdugo, who testified in support on behalf of the League of California Cities, stressed to the committee that “we used to take pride in our infrastructure, but now our California roads consistently rank as some of the worst in the nation, costing drivers and consumers more than $760 in annual repairs.” Californians cannot afford to wait any longer for the passage of a meaningful transportation funding package. The system that California residents, businesses and visitors rely on is crumbling. It comes down to pave now or pay more later.
Sen. Beall reminded committee members that it is crucial that California steps away from the cliff of crumbling road conditions. State and local roads have a maintenance backlog of $130 billion and California motorists are spending more than $700 annually on car repairs due to pothole-filled roads. This backlog is divided between $59 billion for state highways and $73 billion for local streets, roads, and bridges. Without additional funding, this shortfall is projected to grow by $20 billion in the next decade.
SB 1 now goes to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee where it will be heard on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 9:30 a.m. Each committee hearing moves the Legislature closer to meeting Gov. Jerry Brown’s April 6 deadline to pass comprehensive transportation package.