As we approach the final days of the legislative session, Governor Brown has released a framework for a transportation funding package. We urge legislators to use this proposal as the basis for negotiations and come together to fix our crumbling streets and roads now.

The Governor’s package includes a mix of reforms to ensure we’re using new and existing transportation revenues as efficiently and accountably as possible. It also includes a pared down package of new revenues that will help us climb out of the immense funding pothole that has doomed California roads to the most congested and crumbling in the nation.

On the revenue side, the Governor’s proposal is more modest than what many have been calling for, but it will help put a significant dent in our huge transportation maintenance backlog. The plan promotes a “user pay” system with modest increases so that users of our streets and highways pay a fair share for maintaining them. The Chamber would further suggest that truck weight fees be returned from the General Fund and that a greater portion of “Cap and Trade” funds go to alleviating highway choke points, thus improving air quality for all of us.

On the reform side, the Governor included changes that will maximize accountability, make better use of existing funding and streamline project delivery. He proposed constitutional protections of transportation revenues, repayment by the general fund of previously-diverted transportation funds, CEQA streamlining, Caltrans reforms and an extension of public private partnerships (P3s).

While we understand those who don’t like the notion of paying more, the reality is that transportation funding has stagnated at 1994 levels because our gas and motorist taxes dedicated to roads have not been increased in decades. Anyone in construction knows that you cannot build or repair the same number of projects today as you could with the same revenue two decades ago.

Waiting to fix our roads will only cost us more in the long run. Here in Los Angeles County, local taxpayers have invested local sales tax dollars toward meeting this challenge. Now we need the state to step up and join us.

Business leaders know that an investment in roads is an investment in our local economy. The Governor’s package includes a responsible mix of accountability reforms and new revenues. We urge legislators to finalize a package in the next few days.