How To Fix Our Roads Without New Taxes

Assemblymembers Kristin Olsen and Katcho Achadjian
California State Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, 12th District. California State Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian, 35th District.

Californians are tired of government not keeping up with its fundamental duty to keep our roads in good repair. There are over 30 million registered vehicles in our state, and about 400,000 miles of road. Almost any California driver could tell you – our roads and the gridlock, traffic, and potholes that come with them are unacceptable for the Golden State.  To improve our quality of life as well as our economy, we must improve our roadways and develop a reliable transportation network across the State.

California currently has $59 billion in deferred road maintenance on state highways. Add to that billions of dollars in needed repairs on local roads up and down the State, and we have a very serious unmet need, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars. Despite this, the recently-enacted 2015-16 State Budget ignored the need to invest in our roads and get people out of gridlock. It didn’t increase spending for transportation infrastructure by one penny, despite a record amount of new spending on other projects.

Investing in California’s roads, highways and bridges comes down to a question of budget priorities. We are willing and able to make transportation funding the budget priority that it should be – without making Californians pay new taxes.

That is why the Assembly Republicans introduced a nine-point plan to fund California’s transportation needs and fix our crumbling roads. Our plan shows that state government can significantly increase transportation funding without raising taxes or imposing new ones.

Among other provisions, our plan would:

  • Commit over $6 billion in existing state funds for transportation infrastructure;
  • Make a formal commitment in next year’s state budget to fund transportation;
  • Reform existing laws to get transportation projects moving quickly and at lower costs, so we can create jobs and get Californians out of traffic gridlock.

Our plan focuses on eliminating redundancies, cutting through red tape, and making a formal commitment to prioritize transportation. It is a practical and straightforward way to fix our roads. More importantly, this plan will allow us to fund transportation infrastructure within existing resources, and without taking any money away from education or the Rainy Day Fund.

Our plan for fixing state roadways will help Californians spend less time in their cars and more time with their families. We will be able to invest in good roads, bridges, and highways for years to come and can help California continue to be an economic powerhouse in the future.

All 28 members of the Assembly Republican Caucus signed a letter sent to Assemblyman Jim Frazier, Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, introducing the nine-point plan and expressing our desire to work with him, and all legislative Democrats, on finding a solution to California’s transportation needs.

We expect bipartisan support on this plan, and are eager to get started. California’s transportation infrastructure desperately needs attention.  If we work together, we can make the investment in transportation that the people of California deserve.

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