Coalition of business, labor, local government and transportation advocates commits to getting this deal across the finish line by April 6.
Sacramento – The Fix Our Roads Coalition today applauded Governor Brown, Pro Tem de León and Speaker Rendon and threw its full support behind the Road Repair and Accountability Act, the comprehensive transportation funding and accountability plan announced today. The plan will provide approximately $5 billion annually in new funding to make road safety improvements, fill potholes, and repair local streets, freeways, bridges and overpasses. It also includes strict accountability provisions, including a constitutional amendment to prevent funds from being used for non-transportation purposes.
“We are fully committed to supporting the road repair plan and intend to get it and the companion constitutional protection through the Legislature by April 6,” said Michael Quigley, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs. “We need new revenue coupled with accountably provisions to begin to make a dent in the multi-billion dollar backlog of needed repairs to state highways and local roads. With strong protections that dedicate this revenue toward fixing the roads, this is a smart and responsible investment legislators should support.”
In addition to raising new revenues for transportation, the transportation deal includes strict accountability provisions to ensure the money is spent effectively, including regular audits. Constitutional protections will ensure the funding can only be spent on transportation and not siphoned off for other uses which has happened in the past.
Bad roads cost drivers every year. Today, California drivers are paying an additional $762 per year in vehicle maintenance costs resulting from driving on crumbling roads. The package announced today is expected to cost the average driver less than $10 a month.
“Californians are sick and tired of driving on bad roads and we are all paying the cost of disrepair, traffic congestion and unsafe roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure,” said Carolyn Coleman, executive director, League of California Cities. “We want to thank the Governor and Legislative leaders and encourage all members of the legislature to pass this responsible plan by April 6.”
Regular maintenance and upkeep, fixing problems when they are small, is cheaper than waiting for small problems to become bigger and more expensive. It costs eight times more to fix a road than to maintain it.
“Transportation funding has been a county priority for more than three years, so we are gratified to see this legislation gaining traction,” said CSAC Second Vice President and Humboldt County Supervisor Virginia Bass. “We understand the next few days will be critical and legislators should rest assured that members of the Fix Our Roads coalition support this package, and we will stand behind legislators who vote for it. This will allow counties to make much-needed repairs to improve the safety and efficiency of our local transportation systems.”
“We’ve got the momentum, common sense and sound policy on our side,” said Roger Dickinson, executive director, Transportation California. “Now we need to close this deal and pass it out of the legislature by April 6.”