Legislators urge passage of gas tax to fix California infrastructure
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Sacramento legislators were in San Diego Friday attempting to sell Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to fix California’s crumbling infrastructure using a $0.12 cent a gallon increase in gas tax.
Legislators and labor representatives gathered in Balboa park at a spot overlooking Interstate 5 and State Route 163, Friday morning to sell the huge transportation funding plan, a five-billion dollar-a-year-program.
Democrats think they have the votes in Sacramento to pass State Senate Bill 1, but it would be a lot easier if they can convince the public — that while California has the fifth highest gas tax in the country, raising it even more is absolutely necessary.
For too long, they say, fixing our infrastructure has been kicked down the road.
“No new money has come in to fix crumbling infrastructure in decades,” Assembly Member Todd Gloria said. “Legislatures, 23 years, democrats and republicans alike who have not tackled the issue.”
“There are potholes everywhere, independent analysis costing drivers $19 hundred a year because of not properly maintaining their roads,” Gloria said.
The plan includes strict accountability — the funding can only be spent on transportation and there is a formula that says the city of San Diego will get about $30 million a year.
“The city spends about $100 million a year on streets,” State Senator Kevin De Leon said. “This would be a substantial increase in the budget.”
As for why the state budget hasn’t addressed something of this magnitude, De Leon says, “Why cant you run government like a business, the fact is we are paying 1990 prices for 2017 infrastructure. We haven’t had a gas tax increase since the 90s; I was in grade school then.”
The Governor wants the bill passed by April 6.