Bumpy Roads – URGENT CALL TO ACTION!!
Although the ECA usually only acts on local legislation, there pending California bills so important that I am breaking out of our “local mode”.
SB 1 is a Bill that has passed the Transportation Committee with “flying colors” and is heading to the State Appropriations Committee next. Simply put, the Bill would impose a fee on electric cars and add fuel excise tax dollars to fund approximately $6 Billion worth of road and bridge repair in California. The estimated impact to each City and County is included here–
Although there have been strong efforts over the past two years to get a California Transportation Bill approved, so far the State Legislators have been unable to get behind a single Bill and approve it. Despite a “Special Session”, which lasted for an unprecedented length of time over 2015 and 2016, three similar Bills have not moved as far as SB 1 has now moved. To illustrate the widespread support for SB1, I am including several letters that hopefully will prompt you to write your own letter to our local State Representatives. Here are a few support letters:
- A letter from the “Fix Our Roads” Coalition (and many others) to Jim Beall, Chair of the State Transportation and Housing Committee- link
- A letter from the League of California Cities to Ricardo Lara, the Chair of the California State Senate Appropriations Committee – link
Although there are many more, those two should give you enough of an idea of the widespread supports of this SB 1 bill. To read the article in the Press Democrat about SB-1, click here –
By now you might be asking “ok-John, what’s so urgent about all of this? Sounds like it is heading in the right direction?” Yes and No. After checking with Mike McGuire’s office, the Bill is being discussed with the Governor’s staff “as we speak”, to incorporate any needed changes Governor Brown wants to include. Once that is done, we are told, the Bill will go to the Appropriations Committee for approval. After that, it goes to the Assembly for a needed 2/3 vote. Behind the scenes, the ECA has been working and tracking closely with several of our other Associations to track this bill and to make sure at least OUR LOCAL ELECTEDS in Sacramento will vote yes should the Bill successfully get to a vote, as promised, on April 6, 2017. We are hearing some “weakening” of support from only one of our local electeds-Marc Levine, who is California State Assembly Member from District 10 which serves a large chunk of Sonoma County and most of Marin County.
So here is the urgent “ASK”-we need you, today while you are reading this, to do two things:
- Write an email to Marc Levine urging him to support SB 1 to fix our long suffering roads and bridges in Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties and the Cities of those Counties. This is our BEST CHANCE to reverse decades of negligence of our crumbling roads. Here is how to email Marc- link
Call Marc Levine and leave a message urging him to support SB 1. His office phone number in Santa Rosa is 707-576-2631.
I do not often urge you to write an email or make a call. I will be doing this on behalf of the ECA but it is also important for ALL of you to do so on behalf of your Member Firm. A “sample idea for the message to Assemblyman Levine is as follows:
“Dear Assemblyman Marc Levine- For decades, Funding for repairs for our roads and bridges have not kept pace with the wear and tear our vibrant economy has delivered. Legislators have for too long been looking for a “perfect” bill to pass. We are out of time. As demonstrated by the estimated $770 Million worth of damage the recent January storms delivered to our highways in California, deferred maintenance is NO LONGER AN OPTION! Please support SB-1 or a similar Bill should the Appropriations Committee pass it to the Assembly for a vote”.
Please do not wait-do this TODAY! Thank you!
That’s All Folks!
California High Speed Bullet Train Doomed?
Recently, the Federal Government had a $647 Million grant “on the table” for electrification upgrades to CalTrain. Republicans asked the Trump Administration to put that $647 million on “hold” because they wanted to kill the high speed train funding efforts and the electrification of Cal Train was tied to the larger Bullet Train project. The Republicans felt without the Federal funding for Cal Train, the High Speed Bullet Train would not move forward with much needed funding. Governor Brown’s pet project is this high speed bullet train, and its sole current source of funding has become the auctions for Cap and Trade of greenhouse gas emission allowances. The most recent auction netted zero dollars. This “double whammy” puts any additional funding of the bullet train in serious jeopardy. To read the story, click here-
NEW POLICY FOR ECA SPEC COMMITTEE-
In an effort to stimulate participation from our Committee members and our Directors in order to best utilize their knowledge and expertise, the ECA has decided to open up our Specification Committee and request “issues and Agenda items” to be heard at our Spec Committee. Recent suggestions have included:
- The City of Petaluma is the only entity around that still withholds 10% retention on its Public Works projects. I would like the ECA to try to advocate for changing this practice”.
- The City of Santa Rosa does not allow asphalt to be delivered via bottom dumps on their Public Works Projects. Can the ECA look into this and see if the City might give the Contractor the option to bid with AC delivered in bottom dumps?
If any of the ECA Members wish for us to discuss a “Specification” issue, please bring it to my attention before the 2nd Thursday of each month. We meet the 3rd Thursday of the month and would love to hear from more of you as to your issues! Email me at John@nceca.org