ECA Newsletter 6-10-18
Long Suffering Highway 101 Commuters Can See the End-ONE WAY OR ANOTHER!
Since Regional Measure 3 was passed by voters on June 5, 2018, revenues from the increase in bridge tolls (all the bridges going over San Francisco Bay except the Golden Gate. Bridge) will combine with ongoing revenues from Senate Bill 1 (the fuel excise tax increase voters approved in 2017), and the Highway 101 widening and HOV lane construction could be completed as soon as 2023. That means all of the widening from Marin County through Santa Rosa could be wrapped up and completed within 5 ½ years from today! Amazing.
However, some very shortsighted Republican efforts to repeal Senate Bill 1 have succeeded in gathering enough signatures to put the question of repealing SB1 to voters in November. Recently, the North Bay Business Journal published an article about the traffic implications of passing RM3 and keeping SB1 in place. Click here for the North bay Business Journal article
What does this all mean to ECA members? The positive impact to completing all of the Highway 101 work cannot be overstated. Not only are “our guys” getting the work and employing the workers at high paying wages, but the rest of us will benefit from reduced traffic time to commute from Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa and beyond, into the San Francisco area. That is a huge benefit for businesses and for our communities.
We cannot afford to lose this battle over SB1. The repeal of SB1 has had polling done and the polling shows statewide a lot of support for repealing the fuel tax measure. Should it be repealed, not only will Highway 101 work be impacted, but the various Cities and Counties that have to fix our roads will be devastated by the loss of revenue from SB1.
The repeal of SB1 is a self-serving effort by the State Republicans to drive voter turnout up in November. Now most of you know I am a Republican, and here I am calling out the dumb and short-sighted tactics of our State Republican party. Yep. I am. This is a stupid and potentially disastrous repeal. Why do I say that? Let’s assume the repeal is successful-what happens then?
- SB1 fuel taxes will cease to be collected. Anybody believe that the gas and oil companies will voluntarily roll back the price for a gallon gas or diesel in California? If you do believe that, I have some of last year’s Exacta tickets to sell you.
- Local cities like Santa Rosa, already under tremendous financial pressure due to costs associated with the October wildfires, will probably have to cease and desist any and all work pertaining to resurfacing roads and building traffic improvements that have been planned for years (Hearn Avenue Overpass, Fulton Road reconstruction, etc., etc.).
- The County of Sonoma would continue to spend General Fund monies this year and next year at the current level of spending but would probably cut way back on any future General Fund expenditures as they would need a Measure M extension to pay for road fixes. And if SB1 got repealed by voters, how likely do you think voters would be to pass a Measure M extension?
- Marin County would still build their Highway 101 widening project and HOV land construction in Southern Marin County, but the effectiveness of the HOV lane would be compromised by the inability to complete the Sonoma County section that was counting on SB1 funding (the stretch from Washington Street to Pepper Road which includes the Rainier Avenue underpass infrastructure work).
So-what can we do? Employers cannot tell their employees how to vote, but they can include handouts with their company newsletters and paychecks that explain the facts about what SB1 revenues (or their lack therein) might mean to their communities. We need every one of our employers to be actively educating their workers about what the facts are about SB1. Hopefully, those workers are registered voters, and if not, employers need to get their employees registered to vote.
WE NEED EVERY VOTE WE CAN GET TO DEFEAT THE SB1 REPEAL.
I will provide legal handouts that employers can use in an upcoming email to all of you.
To register online click here.
If you need assistance in getting your employees registered to vote, please contact Mary and she will provide assistance to you.
That’s All Folks-
Congratulations to Judy James, Director of Governmental Affairs of Comcast for winning North Bay Women in Business Award! link