Senator Jim Beall’s Statement on SB 1 Approval

April 06, 2017

SACRAMENTO -- Senator Jim Beall, the chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and the author of SB 1, issues this statement regarding the SB 1 transportation package, which increases road maintenance funding by $5 billion annually:

“My thanks and appreciation go to Governor Brown, the Legislature’s leadership for their support of SB 1, and the lawmakers who voted for the bill. They took a courageous stand today that said they will not tolerate the status quo. They voted to get our crumbling roads repaired and made safer. They voted to make California better. With $5 billion in new revenue, the state can quickly begin work on shovel-ready road repairs.

“SB 1 updates an obsolete revenue system that fell behind the spiraling maintenance demands of more than 357,000 lane miles of state, city, and county roads. The state gas tax has not changed in 23 years and this bill will require it to be adjusted for inflation.

“The bill is based on a user-pays model, placing the responsibility on the motorists who use the roads to maintain the roads. The cost to the average driver will be about $10 a month.

“By investing in the repair of the infrastructure that millions of Californians rely on every day, the state is also generating and sustaining hundreds of thousands of job and our infrastructure and expanding pre-apprenticeship and job training, the state. It will take 300,000 smog-spewing diesel trucks off the roads, eliminating 90 tons of nitrogen oxides and three tons of toxic diesel soot per day. In addition, $700 million will be available for mass transit projects that will reduce the cars on the road, such as extending BART to San Jose.

“This bill contains accountability measures, such as an Inspector General to audit the performance of Caltrans, and mandates that the created savings be plowed back into road repairs. The approval of ACA 5 provides further protections by placing all new revenues created by SB 1 into a lock box, preventing funds from being diverted to non-transportation uses.

“This bill has been a work-in-progress for the past two years. I am proud of my colleagues for tackling an extremely difficult and expensive problem that has persisted for a generation.  We passed a road-funding solution that will not take a dime out of the general fund, preserving revenue for our schools, universities, and human services.''