ECA Newsletter 4-14-17
Now That the State Passed SB-1, What’s Next?
The ECA’s Public Officials Night was April 6, the same day that SB-1 passed in both the State Assembly and the State Senate Chambers with close votes. I urge you to read the Bill as amended by clicking here-
In the Assembly, the voting was so close that if there had been 1 less vote in favor, the bill would have been defeated. In the Senate, the margin was just as close. To see how everyone in both the Assembly and the Senate voted, click here–
Behind the scenes, there were many organizations and individuals talking to the “swing voters” needed to pass the bill. Supervisor David Rabbitt was one of those contacting Levine and Woods to make sure they voted in favor of the bill. Supervisor Rabbitt showed me his cell phone at Public Officials night and let me read a few of the messages he was sending and receiving from Marc Levine. Wednesday, I got a chance to speak with Senator Mike McGuire, who was a HUGE advocate for SB-1 and was right in the middle of the “negotiations” to secure the “Aye” votes needed to pass the bill. Senator McGuire has been a real champion for this area in securing funding for the 18 mile Highway 101 reconstruct from Windsor to Geyserville, and his great energy in pushing through SB-1.
Levine was the key vote in the Assembly, and he has said that he was holding out for an additional $200 million to fund the Novato Narrows but when that did not occur, he voted “Aye” anyway in large part due to the tremendous pressure put on him by many groups.
So now that the Transportation Bill has passed, what is next? To see how the dollars will be allocated in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Lake and all the other Counties and Cities in those Counties, click here
The other part of what needs to be done, and I will be working diligently on this-is to insure the Counties do not cut their General Fund spending that they have as a “baseline” because they are getting some extra dollars from the State tax increase as a result of SB-1. Although I have heard nothing from our Supervisors hinting at them cutting or reallocating County funds away from roads, those discussions will certainly continue.
Does SB-1 solve all our problems? Not even close. We have deferred maintenance for so long, the repairs needed far exceed even the $52 billion that SB-1 is estimated to bring in over 10 years. The ECA will continue to push for an extension of Measure M here in Sonoma County, in order to bolster the road repairs needed in the nine Sonoma County cities as well as in unincorporated Sonoma County.
We have the pleasure of having Suzanne Smith, Executive Director of Sonoma County Transportation Authority, attending our Board of Director’s meeting on Tuesday, April 18 to tell us what exactly SB-1 will do, and what we still need to do to fund local road repairs. If any members would like to attend this rather special Board Meeting, please contact Mary at 546-5500 to see if we can accommodate your request. If you are interested, you must contact Mary no later than noon on Monday. Then you too can find out “WHAT’s NEXT?”.
That’s All Folks!