Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) and Vice-Chair of the Budget Committee Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) issued a joint statement regarding Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised plan being considered during the Special Session on transportation of the California Legislature.
“I’m pleased that Governor Brown is willing to engage and discuss the options to fix our crumbling infrastructure. His revised plan does shift some of the cap and trade dollars to fixing our roads – but the vast majority of those dollars are still earmarked for mass transit, including high speed rail,” said Fuller.
“The governor has also said he is open to include some CEQA reform, but because this proposal doesn’t include any details from his office, it’s difficult to determine if this is something that would really streamline projects that would fix our roads and highways,” Fuller stated.
Sen. Nielsen said, “The Governor’s solution to fixing our roads and highways cannot be to raise taxes. We are already paying enough. What are they doing with the taxes Californians have been paying at the pumps?
“Most Californians drive over 10,000 miles each year; an increase of six cents per gallon for gas, eleven (11) cents per gallon for diesel and paying an additional $65 in car taxes per vehicle is an enormous burden on California's working families least able to pay them.”
Senate Republicans remain committed to spending transportation dollars on transportation projects. We have offered a comprehensive package during this Special Session that calls for reforms and changes in spending priorities to address these issues effectively and efficiently. It’s also important to note that in this past year the state of California had $10 billion in unanticipated revenue. Unfortunately, funding transportation projects has not been a priority for Democrats during this budget session.
In these closing days of session, Senate Republicans will continue to work towards finding common solutions with the governor and our Democrat colleagues. But it is unfair to hard working Californians to pay even more for road and highway construction when billions of dollars in taxes are diverted away from these projects.