Today the Governor’s Office released the May Revision of the state budget and a modestly improved fiscal outlook provided some interesting highlights for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, particularly concerning Caltrans and SB1.
Under the May Revision, the $5.8 billion revenue shortfall forecast in January is now a $3.3 billion shortfall. While some cuts remain, it’s clear the state is committed to implementing SB1, the historic Road Repair and Accountability Act passed by the Legislature in April. By returning the gas tax’s purchasing power to 1994 levels, SB1 will provide $54 billion in new funding over the next ten years alone.
Key Items Coming Out of the May Revision:
- Focus on “fix-it-first” investments to repair neighborhood roads as well as approximately $845-$850 million for rehabilitation and maintenance of the highway system and repair of bridges and culverts, etc.
- Making key investments in competitiveness programs that expand capacity such as commute corridor funds, matching state/local partnership dollars and investing in passenger rail and public transit modernization and electrification.
Other Items of Note from Today’s Announcement:
- SB 1 enhances oversight of Caltrans by the California Transportation Commission asking it to play an even more elevated role than it already does in assessing reasonableness of staffing levels at Caltrans. Silicon Valley Leadership Group President Carl Guardino, one of nine gubernatorial appointees heads to San Diego on Wednesday, May 17 and Thursday, May 18th where implementation of SB1 will be discussed.
- Bay Area residents will also be delighted to know that Caltrans is barreling ahead on its promise to establish an Office of the Inspector General (IG) to ensure SB1 funds are used efficiently, effectively and affordably by adding 10 new staff and beginning the search for an IG.
“With Governor Brown’s May budget revision, it’s clear that Californians are on-track for better transportation solutions, road repairs and traffic relief, “ said Silicon Valley President and California Transportation Commissioner Carl Guardino. “The Commission meets next week in San Diego, so that we can immediately get started in implementing improvements to our transportation system.