Escondido, CA

A Roadmap of Priority



Tired of sitting in backlogged traffic on the I-15 or just trying to get your kids to school and then to work? California’s population has almost doubled since the 1970s, but our highway system has not kept pace and must be upgraded to keep our people moving and our economy humming. That is why our caucus introduced a nine-point, $6.6 billion plan to fund transportation infrastructure and fix our roads with existing resources.

Our state has the fifth-highest fuel tax in the nation, yet studies consistently rank our highway system as one of the nation’s worst. As the economy has rebounded, tax revenues have increased, but essential highway upgrades have been delayed. During this year’s Transportation Special Session called by the Governor, I introduced ABx1- 14 to make a formal commitment in the State Budget General Fund to fund transportation by $1 billion annually without raising taxes or fees, including $500 million for highway upgrades and $500 million for local streets and roads.

According to early predictions by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), the three-year revenue forecast is such that we can fully fund Prop. 98 (education funding), the Rainy Day Fund (reserves) and still dedicate $1 billion annually to transportation. All without raising taxes!

The need to provide reliable highways, streets and roads is one of the primary responsibilities of state government, and it’s one I take very seriously. Our economy and our way of life depend upon a network of highways and roadways designed for a growing population of almost 40 million people, not an antiquated system built many decades ago. Rebuilding our state’s highways can wait no longer.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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