What They’re Saying About Governor Brown’s Plan to Fix California’s Transportation Infrastructure


SACRAMENTO – Cities, counties, local and statewide businesses and labor groups, transportation leaders and newspaper editorial boards from across California are supporting the administration’s plan to fix the state’s roads, bridges, public transportation and trade corridors with permanent and sustainable revenue and sensible reforms. Here’s what they’re saying:

Cities and Counties
California State Association Of Counties (CSAC) Executive Director Matt Cate: “It Is A Solid Framework” And “Further Delay Will Only Mean An Even Steeper Price Tag.”
“This represents a balanced approach that includes many of the concepts we’ve been talking about throughout this past year to address our critical funding needs for local streets, roads, and state highways. It is a solid framework that should serve as the basis of a negotiated compromise. CSAC is urging the Legislature to work on a negotiated package that addresses this critical issue. Further delay will only mean an even steeper price tag for California down the line.” (9/3/15)

League Of California Cities Executive Director Chris Mckenzie: Plan Is “A Balanced Compromise And Incorporates Some Of The Best Ideas.”
“Today the Governor’s office shared a proposed framework that represents a balanced compromise and incorporates some of the best ideas from a number of California legislators and stakeholders. Included in that framework are a number of needed transportation reforms and a significant investment in the local streets and roads system and public transit.” (9/3/15)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: “Governor Brown Has A Strong Plan” And “The Legislature Should Use His Framework To Reach A Final Compromise.”
“Governor Brown has a strong plan to help repair California’s deteriorated roads, bridges and highways. The Legislature should use his framework to reach a final compromise package that gets our roads back in working order. With poor roads costing California drivers more than $700 per year in extra vehicle maintenance costs, we cannot afford to wait any longer.” (9/8/15)

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia: “I Strongly Support The Governor’s Plan.”
“I strongly support the Governor’s plan to make sorely needed repairs to our state’s transportation infrastructure, and I call upon the California Legislature to make sure the Governor’s plan is fully funded. With the world’s 8th largest economy, it is critical that California provide safe, efficient, and well-maintained roads and bridges, and the City of Long Beach greatly appreciates the Governor’s leadership on this issue.” (9/8/15)

Business and Labor Leaders
Bay Area Council President And CEO Jim Wunderman: “We Applaud The Governor’s Leadership” And “Urge The Legislature To Use This Framework To Reach An Agreement.”
“We applaud the Governor’s leadership in presenting a reasonable and workable set of funding proposals that the Legislature can work with to reach bi-partisan agreement. California’s transportation needs are immense and we’ve neglected for too long to provide adequate funding. We need good roads and highways to keep our economy moving and growing. The Governor’s framework will move us down the road to meeting the state’s transportation needs. We urge the Legislature to use this framework to reach an agreement on a transportation funding plan this year.” (9/3/15)

Los Angeles Area Chamber Of Commerce Senior Vice President Ruben Gonzalez: Framework “Contains Reforms And Revenues, Both Of Which Are Critical.”
“The Governor’s framework takes ideas from both parties and is a good foundation to negotiate a final package. It contains reforms and revenues, both of which are critical. But time is of the essence, and all parties should come together quickly to reach a final compromise package.” (9/4/15)

Silicon Valley Leadership Group President And CEO Carl Guardino: Proposal Is “The Right Remedy To Help Cure California’s Ailing Local Streets And Roads.”
“With a great combination of reform and revenue, Governor Brown’s transportation proposal released today is the right remedy to help cure California’s ailing local streets and roads and state highway system. Governor Brown’s proposed $3.6 billion a year transportation funding package is a sensible solution to fix the cracks and potholes that have become emblematic of California’s crumbling highways, local streets and roads. As we all know in Silicon Valley, where commutes are long and rough, there is an urgent need for transportation improvements that grows more urgent each day. The proposed 50-50 split between state and local transportation needs is sound policy and will help with the $300 billion 10-year gap in transportation priorities and available funding.” (9/3/15)

Orange County Business Council President And CEO Lucy Dunn: Package Ensures We’re “Using All Existing And New Transportation Revenues As Efficiently And Accountably As Possible.”
“The Governor’s package includes a mix of reforms to ensure we’re using all existing and new transportation revenues as efficiently and accountably as possible. And it also includes a pared down package of new revenues that will help us climb out of the immense funding pothole we’ve gotten ourselves into that has doomed California roads to the most congested and crumbling in the nation.” (9/4/15)

California Alliance For Jobs Executive Consultant James Earp: “The California Alliance For Jobs Strongly Supports The Proposals Outlined Today By Governor Jerry Brown.”
“The California Alliance for Jobs strongly supports the proposals outlined today by Governor Jerry Brown to help solve decades of neglect to our crumbling local and state streets, roads and highways. He has provided a framework that incorporates many strong reforms called for by the Republicans that will ensure transportation funds are protected and will be used for their intended purpose, as well as regulatory changes that will cut through red tape and move projects more quickly through the pipeline. Characteristic of his fiscal conservatism, the Governor has proposed a modest package of new revenue that will tackle the highest priority road repairs at both the state and local levels. He also proposes investments in freight corridors that help move 40 percent of the nation’s goods from the ports to the rest of the country.” (9/3/15)

Associated General Contractors Of California (AGC) CEO Tom Holsman: Framework Is “Basis To Achieve Legislative Consensus.”
“Agreement on a permanent stable funding source for repair and maintenance of California’s streets, roads and highways must be a top priority for the Legislature during the final days of the 2015 legislative session. The Governor’s framework released last week must be used as a basis to achieve legislative consensus. This framework includes proposals put forth by both Democrat and Republican leadership and modest new revenue sources that would be protected under the California Constitution to guarantee they are spent on transportation projects. The framework also includes provisions to address better accountability, make more efficient use of the new revenues, improve CEQA processes, address needed reforms of Caltrans and extend public private partnerships. AGC pledges to work with the Governor and the Legislature to arrive at a workable agreement that builds a stable, sustainable revenue stream to fund California’s infrastructure.” (9/7/15)

California-Nevada Conference Of Operating Engineers Director Tim Cremins: “Package Makes A Permanent Investment In The Maintenance And Repairs Of California’s Highways.”
“We’re pleased the governor’s transportation package makes a permanent investment in the maintenance and repairs of California’s highways, while not relying on the unpredictable and volatile General Fund. We are further encouraged that the proposal includes a variety of practical and efficient tools to improve the state’s approach to repairing our highways, which includes streamlining the environmental review process; strengthening public-private partnerships; and extending local control and financing options to cities and counties. In the coming days, we look forward to working with the governor and leadership to craft a feasible transportation bill that will bring California’s highways up to 21st century standards while also creating valuable jobs for workers throughout the state.” (9/8/15)

California State Council Of Laborers Director Jose Mejia: This Plan Provides “Much Needed Maintenance Repairs To Our Highways.”
“We are happy to see a fair infrastructure funding package proposal that can start to address the dire needs of our transportation infrastructure necessities. The proposal seeks to responsibly address reforms and accountability, extending the authority for private investment while ensuring constitutional protections on new revenues. This plan provides confidence for approved projects and much needed maintenance repairs to our highways, streets and roadways and at the same time creating jobs, ultimately, contributing to our economy.” (9/3/15)

Transportation Leaders
Fix Our Roads Coalition: “The Proposal Will Help Put A Significant Dent In Our Huge Maintenance Backlog.”
“We appreciate the Governor’s commitment to addressing this critically important issue. His framework represents a solid foundation for a potential compromise package. Included in the framework are many of the reforms needed to maximize accountability, make better use of existing funding, and to streamline project delivery. These include ideas for constitutional protections of transportation revenues, repayment from the general fund of previously-diverted transportation funds, CEQA streamlining, CalTrans reforms and an extension of public private partnerships. The proposal will help put a significant dent in our huge maintenance backlog, which if not addressed now, will only become exponentially more costly in a few years. It is time to get this done.” (9/3/15)

Transportation California: “A Practical Solution.”
“California is in an urgent roadway maintenance crisis and Transportation California recognizes the strong effort by the Governor to bring a practical solution to the table in the Special Session. We support the Governor’s willingness to tackle new revenue by restoring the gas tax to last year’s levels and proposing a per vehicle charge to meet our roadway preservation needs. This approach ‘stops the bleeding’ inherent in the existing fuel tax structure resulting from the annual tax adjustment and provides a new vehicle-based revenue source that is immune from the erosion of fuel sales due to improving fuel mileage and alternative fuel vehicle usage. We further support the Governor’s proposals that will address better accountability, make more efficient use of the new revenues, improve CEQA processes address needed reforms of Caltrans and extend public private partnerships.” (9/4/15)

California Transportation Commission Executive Director Will Kempton: Package “A Realistic And Positive Basis For A Solution On The Transportation Funding Issue.”
“The California Transportation Commission has determined that the proposal put forth by the Governor is consistent with the Commission’s adopted principles for reform and revenue and sees the package as a realistic and positive basis for a solution on the transportation funding issue hopefully by the end of next week.” (9/5/15)

Metropolitan Transportation Commission Executive Director Steve Heminger: A “Bold Plan To Shore Up California’s Aging Roads.”
“Kudos to Governor Brown for his bold plan to shore up California’s aging roads.” (9/3/15)

California Transit Association Chair and San Joaquin Regional Transit District General Manager And CEO Donna DeMartino: “A Sensible Framework”
“Governor Brown has proposed a sensible framework to improve California’s transportation infrastructure. His proposal would fix our highways, repair our roads, and improve public transit systems. We thank the Governor for suggesting this framework, and the legislators who had previously introduced bills in the special session to fund public transit – these leaders clearly know with better public transportation infrastructure comes better quality of life for riders, non-riders, community stakeholders, businesses, and the public at-large.” (9/4/15)

Newspaper Editorial Boards
Los Angeles Times: “Legislators Ought To Support It And Start Reinvesting In Critical State Infrastructure.”
“… Gov. Jerry Brown has finally offered a reasonable compromise that raises fuel taxes and vehicle fees while tapping carbon pollution fees to fund highway, street, bridge and public transit improvements. Legislators ought to support it and start reinvesting in critical state infrastructure. … [T”>he basic premise of the governor’s plan is sound, considering the long-standing bipartisan support in California for raising gas taxes and user fees to fund road repairs. Republicans can’t kick the can down the potholed road. It’s time to start rebuilding.” (9/6/15)

San Francisco Chronicle: “In The Long Run, It Could Actually Save California Drivers Money.”
“Still, plenty of smart organizations like the League of California Cities and the Bay Area Council have come out in support of the plan for good reason. It may not be all we need in California, but it may be the best we can do…It is definitely in the best interest of Californians to make these investments. Already, drivers pay a hidden vehicle tax of $762 per year, just because the highways and roads are in such disrepair. A $65 fee would feel painful because it’s more obvious, but in the long run, it could actually save California drivers money. Improving the highways would be good for our economy as well. Our ability to move goods depends on the state of our transit corridors, and right now they’re in sorry shape. Brown’s plan isn’t going to please everyone, but there’s no transportation funding plan that will. The purpose of this summer’s special session was to create a compromise. It’s not perfect, but it beats the inertia that has been the default approach for far too long.” (9/5/15)