June e-newsletter from the California Alliance for Jobs

  • by BPC Staff
  • on June 30, 2014


Newsletter masthead
June 2014
Decision on Water Bond more likely now that Governor has weighed in
Governor Brown last week engaged in discussions with Senate and Assembly leadership to negotiate a water bond to replace the current $11.14 billion bond that is set to go before voters in November, which likely means a final decision will come soon.
Shasta Dam under construction in the 1930s.
Following the defeat of Sen. Lois Wolk’s SB 848 last Monday by the state Senate, the Governor outlined his opening position—-a $6 billion bond with $2 billion earmarked for surface storage. The Governor’s figures are significantly less than the $10.5 billion with $3 billion for storage contained in Wolk’s proposal.
SB 848 needed 27 votes to pass—-a two-thirds majority—-but failed with several notable abstentions and without garnering a single Republican vote. 
At the close of the debate, President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said he expected the bill wouldn’t pass, but that the floor vote debate was a vital part of moving the conversation forward. While Republican senators supported the $3 billion, continuously appropriated, for increased storage, they voted no (and several Democrats abstained) over other provisions. Among the points of disagreement were the distribution of money dedicated to the environmental restoration of the Delta, additional levels of oversight to smaller, regional water infrastructure projects and monies directed to local environmental conservancies.
Steinberg and Wolk, who oppose the twin-tunnel conveyance system that is part of the Governor’s state water plan, said the water bond needed to be “tunnel neutral,” but many lawmakers from the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California argued extra storage wouldn’t matter if the water couldn’t be conveyed south.
In addition to storage, Delta restoration and local water infrastructure, a new bond is likely to include funding for safe drinking water, groundwater recharge, conservation and emerging technologies such as desalination and recycling. In beginning talks, the Governor also expressed reservations about the 2009 bond, which has been pulled from the ballot twice over concerns about the cost and claims it contained too many earmarks.
The Legislature missed a soft deadline of last Thursday to work out a final bond bill, but bond supporters hope a deal can be struck before the Senate and Assembly adjourn this Thursday for a month’s recess. In order to appear on the ballot the measure would need to be enacted by mid-August at the latest.
High-speed rail emerges as winner in budget; roads not seen as a top priority
While high-speed rail emerged as a winner in this year’s state budget deliberations, the construction industry was not successful in persuading the Governor and Legislature of the importance of securing additional critically needed funding to maintain our highways and local streets and roads.

As the state slides into a 
Transportation Fiscal Cliff, the Alliance and other transportation stakeholders had urged lawmakers to restore nearly $1 billion a year in truck weight fees to their historical use of maintaining roads and highways. However, the legislative leadership and the Governor declined to take action on this needed first step as they completed action on the FY 2014-15 budget.

As a result, the transportation spending plan remained essentially where it was in the Governor’s initial budget proposal last January, with $337 million in early transportation loan repayments, along with a last-minute addition of about $140 million directed primarily to local governments to fund city and county road projects.

High-speed rail received $250 million from cap-and-trade funds this year and in the future will receive 25 percent of available funding from that program. Transit, affordable housing and sustainable communities are slated to receive guaranteed amounts in future years, with the remainder earmarked for state government, agriculture and resources.
“We are at a critical juncture with our transportation system—- particularly our roads,” said Alliance Executive Director Jim Earp. “It would be a huge mistake for policy makers to let our system continue to crumble underneath us without taking action now to maintain, rehabilitate and rebuild infrastructure that provides the foundation to our economy and quality of life. Failure to do so will exact a huge price in terms of lost jobs and much higher construction costs.”
Transportation leaders urge Congress to restore Highway Trust Fund
Alliance Deputy Executive Director Michael P. Quigley was among the Northern California transportation community leaders who participated in the annual “Fly-in” to meet with senators and congressmen in Washington, D.C., in early June. The event is sponsored by the American Road and Transportation Builders of America and the Transportation Construction Coalition.

The delegation met with a number of members to urge action on funding the Highway Trust Fund among other issues. Here, they meet with Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin. In the back row, from left to right, are Quigley and Matt Maes, Joseph J. Albanese. In the front row, from left to right, are Kristina Urch, United Contractors; Rodney Jenny, Granite Rock Company; Jose Mejia, CA State Council of Laborers; Congressman Swalwell; Emily Cohen and Man-Li Kelly, United Contractors; and Robert Chrisp, Chrisp Company.
New LIUNA poll shows unsafe roads concern nearly six of 10 Americans
A new poll is out that shows nearly six of 10 Americans worry about unsafe road conditions due to poor road conditions-and nearly three in 10 say road conditions have contributed to an accident.
The nationwide poll was conducted by Hart Research Associates and commissioned by the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA).
Here are the key findings from the survey:
  • 59% of Americans worry about unsafe road conditions due to poor road surfaces – and 27% worry often.
  • Worries are highest in the Northeast (69%) and Midwest (67%) and in urban areas (70%).
  • 28% say road conditions have contributed to an accident involving themselves or someone they know.
  • 40% say they or someone they know has almost had an accident or lost control of their car due to poor road surfaces.
  • 69% say poor road conditions contribute to wear and tear on their car.
You can read more here.
Sign up today to subscribe to our blog 
Now it’s easier than ever to stay on top of infrastructure news by subscribing to the Alliance’s blog. Each day there’s a new post you will receive an e-mail containing the message. Subscribing is easy —- just visit the blog page and fill out the form on the right-hand side.
Here are snippets of some recent posts:
Summing up the transportation funding problem
The Las Vegas Sun ran a really nice piece on Sunday about how the looming insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund is impacting plans to build Interstate 11 between Vegas and Phoenix. It must be nice to live in states where officials strongly support highway construction, but we digress. The…
New poll shows Americans worried about unsafe roads
A new poll is out that shows nearly six of 10 Americans worry about unsafe road conditions due to poor road conditions-and nearly three in 10 say road conditions have contributed to an accident. The nationwide poll was conducted by Hart Research Associates and commissioned by the Laborers’ International…
Will Durst weighs in —- fix the (truck horn) roads!
Continuing our efforts to educate policy-makers and the public about the need to return truck weight fee revenue to where it’s needed most —- fixing the roads —- the Alliance today unveiled its newest radio commercial. Will Durst warns there are potholes big enough to have their own ZIP codes and…

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.

Read more
Our Members
Local 3 LogoAGC logo 
Carpenters logo 
Sign up to receive future editions of The Ally
Join Our Mailing List
Subscribe to the Alliance blog
Just visit our blog pageand fill out the form!
Forward to a friend
Stay Connected
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our videos on YouTube  Visit our blog
California Alliance for Jobs | jfrith@rebuildca.org | http://www.rebuildca.org
1415 L Street

Suite 1080

Sacramento, CA 95814

Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Tags: , ,