Alliance submits draft ‘California Road Repairs Act’ initiative to Atty. General
The Alliance, along with Transportation California, another transportation advocacy group, last month asked the state Attorney General to provide the title and summary for a proposed constitutional amendment that would provide a new source of funding to address the looming Transportation Fiscal Cliff.
The California Road Repairs Act would assess an annual California Road Repair Fee on all vehicles equal to 1 percent of each vehicle’s value. When the fee is completely implemented in 2018, it could raise about $2.9 billion a year to maintain the state’s road, bridge and transit systems, and to rehabilitate and replace transit vehicles.
The Alliance and Transportation California have stressed that no final decision has been made to pursue the measure in 2014. Once the official title and summary are prepared, the transportation community will determine if the time is right to move ahead. It is expected that decision will be made in January.
Read more about the Act and the need for increased and stable transportation funding here.
Dry years prove the state must take action to resolve water problems
While state officials aren’t yet officially using the D-word (drought) to describe our water supply problem, the fact remains that without one great month of rainfall in 2011, the state would have experienced six straight years of below-normal precipitation.
Alliance water expert Andy Fields muses about the current situation and what needs to be done in a recent blog post. Here is the takeaway:
What does this all mean? It means we need to do better by our water system. It shows the unpredictability and volatility of our most precious resource. Water isn’t only used to grow the crops that form the backbone of California’s economy, but it’s essential to the high-tech manufacturing and development in Silicon Valley. It’s necessary for commercial and residential development in Northern and Southern California, and let’s not forget the need for population centers all around the state to provide Californians with clean drinking water.
We need to do more to ensure the system can sustain the severe ups and downs that are increasingly becoming the new normal. Increased storage, both new surface storage projects and an increase in groundwater, will allow us to weather these cycles better. A new and better water delivery system will help protect that supply from catastrophic events and make the allocation of water more reliable.
In short, the system as a whole needs an overhaul.
The Alliance is committed to continuing its leadership role in solving the state’s water problems in 2014.
New videos about Transportation Fiscal Cliff will be released soon
The Alliance is working on three new videos to give contractors, labor, policy-makers and the public information about the Transportation Fiscal Cliff – both how we got here and what we can do to prevent it from happening.
As with the first video in the series, released earlier this year, they will feature humorist Will Durst. The next video, designed to educate contractors and labor about the problem and solutions, should be available soon. (Will reminds everyone that we must Be Prepared.)
Others in the series will deal with the economic impacts of not investing in transportation and how the state came to the brink of the Fiscal Cliff.
To stay up to date about the Alliance’s efforts, you can easily read our latest Blog posts, become our Facebook friend and Twitter follower, and subscribe to our YouTube channel simply by clicking on the icons to the right.
New office administrator joins staff
Aubrey Parks has joined the Alliance as staff office administrator, where she will be assisting long-time Office Manager/Executive Assistant Susan Stevens. Parks has a strong background in the administrative field, with more than 10 years’ experience.
An Oregon native, she lived in Orange County for nearly a decade before relocating with her 10-year-old son to Sacramento over a year ago.
In her spare time, Aubrey enjoys adventure and fun with her family and friends, as well as using her quirky sense of humor to make others laugh. With her knack for comedy, as well with as her genuinely philanthropic nature, she hopes that one day she’ll be able to save the world…one laugh and hug at a time.
Infrastructure news from around U.S.
Rebuilding Pennsylvania. While elected officials in Sacramento talk about the need to rebuild the state’s infrastructure, lawmakers in Pennsylvania passed on a bipartisan basis a $2.3 billion measure to repair roads, bridges and mass transit infrastructure in the Keystone State.
Republican Gov. Tom Corbett signed the bill into law last month, surrounded by Democratic and Republican lawmakers, along with representatives of labor, business and transit organizations.
Water Bill update. House and Senate negotiators have begun meeting to reconcile differences in versions of this year’s federal water resources development bill. Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the panel’s co-chair, expressed optimism lawmakers could work out an agreement and send it to the president this month.
The bill is expected to authorize nearly $600 million to complete levee improvements in the Sacramento area. Other Californians on the panel are Republican Duncan Hunter of San Diego and Democrats John Garamendi of Walnut Grove, Janice Hahn of San Pedro and Grace Napolitano of Norwalk.
About the Alliance
The California Alliance for Jobs represents more than 2,000 heavy construction companies and 80,000 union construction workers from Kern County to the Oregon border.
As a unique partnership between labor and management, the Alliance focuses on the core of what really matters to our members and California as a whole: creating jobs and ensuring that our state builds and maintains the transportation networks, water systems and commercial and residential building projects they demand.