By Carolyn Kramer, manager, Transportation Investment Advocacy Center
The California Legislature ended its second special session Sept. 12 without reaching a transportation funding deal. Democratic Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D- San Diego) said lawmakers will instead convene a special committee in the fall to discuss ways to generate revenue for the estimated $59 billion backlog of state transportation infrastructure repairs.
After weeks of deliberating different transportation funding proposals, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Sept. 7 offered his own scaled-down plan to increase vehicle fees as well as motor fuel taxes, which would have also been linked to inflation. While the plan would have generated approximately $3.6 billion per year in new transportation funding, it would have been well short of the nearly $6 billion per year needed to maintain the state’s roads and bridges. Several other proposals introduced this year also failed to gain traction.
“The roads are going to get fixed. It’s just a question of when,” Gov. Brown said at a Sept. 11 press conference as it became clear state lawmakers were not going to pass a transportation funding solution in the special session.