California math: 1 vote = $500 million in road, rail work

Two-thirds of the state Senate and Assembly voted to approve the bill known as SB1. A vote on the trailer bill will come after the Legislature's spring recess.

"Jerry Brown 1.0 was someone who didn't reach out - he didn't do politics", said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a veteran political analyst at the University of Southern California.

State drivers will shoulder much of the financial burden for the new plan: The bill raises gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon and creates a new annual fee for vehicle owners. The new legislation is expected to bring jobs to contractors and construction-trade unions, which strongly supported the bill. Therefore, although debate can begin on SB 1 at any time, the Senate cannot vote on it until this afternoon at 2:39pm. "For me, this is a wise plan that's a modest plan".

According to California data, the state has not increased the gas tax in 23 years, and since then the state's population has added eight million new residents, which translates into more vehicles on the roads. "You have to be drunk to support this measure tonight - drunk on the power that is ruining this institution, and that is making it harder and harder to live in this state". Steve Glazer - "he was able to lift a weight that has eluded him", said Bill Whalen, a longtime GOP strategist who is now a research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution. "We have to maintain our roads".

Asked about the deal-cutting following the vote, Brown told reporters that all of the money was being spent on worthwhile projects. After he cast his vote, a number of fellow Democrats swarmed around his desk, shaking their heads. Apparently Dems are ok w/ increasing gas taxes by 70% on Californians who are already struggling to make ends meet. His pleas capped a week of cajoling and prodding lawmakers with rallies in the districts of undecided legislators. "They just don't want to be associated with the bill because it has money in it", Brown said.

"There's no question that our roads need to be repaired", said Asm. One Republican senator, Anthony Cannella of Ceres, voted for the measure.

"We are proud to have worked to secure a commitment from the Administration to properly fund Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar and finally deliver a measure of fairness and equity to Riverside County's four newest cities", they wrote. The Republican from Ceres in the Central Valley had said previously that he would support the package if the state supported the extension of the Altamont Corridor Express to Ceres and Merced and a $100 million parkway project between the UC Merced campus and Highway 99.

He said his concerns are that the bill has been prepared in haste and includes an exemption for the California Administrative Procedure Act, which gives the public an opportunity to participate in the adoption of state regulations.

The governor thanked Democrats and the lone Republican to back the bill, Sen. Richard Roth, both Democrats - have elicited scorn and cynicism from the right.

"The Speaker of the House of Representatives is ideologically opposed to public investment in public infrastructure", says Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), the ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. If he does not, it may be years before we see another effort to raise funding for transportation. And I'm certain that part of that is, 'You help me and I'll help you, ' " she said.

Earlier this year, Brown proposed spending more than $50 million to establish programs to collect taxes and issue licenses while hiring dozens of workers to regulate the industry.

Rumors of other SB 1 vote-getting arrangements lingered in the Capitol this week.

  • Zachary Reyes