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All Eyes on Special Session for Transportation Funding

Senate and Assembly Subcommittees Send Transportation Budget Proposal to Special Session

May 27, 2016
Over the past two weeks Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees took action to remove Gov. Jerry Brown’s transportation funding proposal from the budget negotiations.
This procedural move, which involves voting to reject the proposal without prejudice, puts all focus squarely on the Special Session.

While this action is simply a procedural action, it raises concerns about the timing of a vote on a funding reform package for transportation. The Special Session has not been active since Oct. 21, 2015, when the conference committee met for an informational hearing on California’s Transportation Funding Challenge. Much has changed in the legislature since October, and there are several procedural actions that need to take place before the Special Session Conference Committee reconvenes. 
In addition, Assembly Budget Committee Chair Phil Ting tweeted on Tuesday following the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #3’s vote: “We have been working on transportation funding for over a year.  Overall I support the Governor’s proposal and, although it has a lot of support in the Legislature, it doesn’t have the votes to pass by June 15. By moving it to the policy process, we can keep these important discussions moving forward.”
As of today, Senate and Assembly leadership has not revealed a timeline to restart the Special Session.  Next week the Fix Our Roads Coalition, of which the League is a member, will send a letter to legislative leadership encouraging them to reenergize the Special Session Conference Committee quickly. California’s transportation funding shortfall continues to grow each day the legislature delays action, and it has become too easy for the legislature to push transportation needs to the back of the line of issues to address.

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