Senator Jim Beall’s Statement on the Consensus Transportation Infrastructure Package
SACRAMENTO -- Senator Jim Beall, D-San Jose, chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, issues this statement regarding the SB 1 transportation package:
"My goal from day one has been always about fixing California's roads. That was my priority. Today's agreement is a break through. For the first time, Legislature's leadership and the Governor are united and standing behind a plan to repair California’s crumbling transportation infrastructure.
"The proposal is fiscally sound. It does not rely on borrowing. It establishes an equitable funding system based on each user of the road paying their fair share for maintenance. It create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Many of those jobs would be in construction occupations paying prevailing wages. It also funds job training programs targeted toward women, low-income and disadvantaged communities.
“This proposal also contains funding for rail transit that will open the door for the completion of the final stage of BART to San Jose.
“The agreement relies on the precepts of SB 1, which have been thoroughly vetted in three Senate committees. Over 120 cities and counties have thrown their support behind the bill and for good reason. They know that properly funding the road maintenance costs less than rebuilding them after they fall apart.
“If the state’s obsolete method of road funding is not updated there will be a higher private cost to motorist. The poor condition of the streets and freeways already costs the average California driver $762 in damage a year. I don’t see that figure going down unless we take firm steps to modernize the state’s funding system.
“Ignoring our deteriorating roads is not an option. They need help now. This proposal, if approved by the Senate and the Assembly, moves the state’s road maintenance funding system out of the 1990s and into the 21st century to serve California's growing economy.’’