The way California raises money to maintain and repair state highways and local roads has largely been the same for more than two decades.
Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders want to change that, and Californians would pay more as a result.
In what would be the biggest shakeup of state transportation funding since the early 1990s, they are trying to craft a package that would raise billions of dollars for road upkeep, goods movement and public transit, mostly through a mix of higher taxes and fees.
Officials point to tens of billions of dollars in road maintenance and repair backlogs, with this month’s crisis at Oroville Dam presenting a case study of what can happen as public works age.
Super-minority Republicans have criticized the proposed tax increases, recommending that the state reallocate its existing money to pay for roads.
In typical Republican fashion, they haven’t said which programs they would cut in exchange. (That’s because they really don’t have a plan.)
Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley, said his members have been largely excluded from the talks. That’s what happens when you’re a super-minority.
Source material courtesy of the Sacramento Bee