The special session called by Governor Brown this past year to address the need to improve our transportation infrastructure was unsuccessful.  As the new legislature gets underway soon, this issue will be near the top of their priority list and once again the question of how to pay for it will be front and center.

California is not unique in its need to improve its highways, roads and bridges.  Maintaining transportation infrastructure is one of the most fundamental, compulsory requirements of an elected government.  The idea that this responsibility can only be met by further raising taxes indicates an issue with the priority setting of those elected to use the funds they’ve collected.

When a working person needs to paint his house or put a new transmission in his car or truck, he budgets accordingly and figures out a way to pay for it.  Discretionary spending is postponed or even spending on other critical items is delayed.  He doesn’t go to his employer and say, “I need a raise to pay for my new transmission.”  

The California Delivery Association is an association of primarily single-owner small businesses.  Our members do not have their names on any NFL stadiums or PGA Tour events.  More likely their names are on the jerseys of a local little league team.

As such, we have to work hard to have our voice heard.  We understand that fresh legislation to improve our roads is likely that the Democrat-controlled state legislature is considering funding such improvements with new taxes.  What we hope is that the moderate, business-friendly Democrats, and Governor Brown himself, will consider the impact of their actions on small businesses like ours.

To his credit, Governor Brown has on a number of occasions pushed back on behalf of business. Last year,legislation was proposed that would have carved out regulation exemptions for a small segment of our industry, leaving the rest to compete on a not-so-level playing field.  Fortunately, we were successful in defeating that legislation but it points to the potential for devastating unintentional consequences when we don’t make our voices heard.

Our members rely on our transportation infrastructure for their survival, and we accept our part in helping maintain it.  We trust those tasked with shaping this legislation will listen to all relevant input from those most impacted, big and small.