SANDAG LEADERS PRAISE GOVERNOR'S FUNDING BOOST FOR CALIFORNIA INFRASTRUCTURE

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East County News Service

 

Photo: Hasan Ikhrata, SANDAG Executive Director

 

May 14, 2021 (San Diego) – Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a May budget revision, following news of the state’s windfall $75 billion surplus despite the pandemic.  The May revision includes an unprecedented investment in critical infrastructure through California.

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata stated, “Governor Newsom’s proposal is the kick start we need to build a future mobility system that transforms the way people and goods move around the state. In the San Diego region, this much-needed infusion of funds could help advance some of our key priorities, including the 2021 Regional Plan, LOSSAN Rail Corridor realignment, Regional Bike Early Action Program, zero-emission infrastructure, resiliency planning, and broadband deployment.”

 

He adds, “Sustainable infrastructure is a proven job-creator that directly advances our equity, climate, and mobility goals and we look forward to working with the Legislature and Administration as the details of the final FY 2021-2022 state budget are finalized to ensure these investments are carried through.” 

 

SANDAG Chair and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said “The priorities outlined in his proposal are directly in line with the work we are doing at SANDAG to deliver a safer, faster, and cleaner transportation future.” She also praised Newsom’s proposed $1.5 billion investment to reduce litter along transportation corridors, adding, “We look forward to working with our partners at Caltrans to continue to beautify our highways and local roads. 

The May Revision proposes the following investments related to transportation infrastructure:

 

  • Los Angeles Olympics—$1 billion General Fund to deliver critical projects in time for the 2028 Olympic Games.
  • Priority Transit and Rail Projects—$1 billion General Fund for transit and rail projects statewide that improve rail and transit connectivity between state and regional/ local services.
  • Active Transportation—$500 million General Fund to advance projects that increase the proportion of trips accomplished by walking and biking, increase the safety and mobility of non-motorized users, advance efforts of regional agencies to achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals, enhance public health, and benefit many types of users, especially in disadvantaged communities.
  • High Priority Grade Separations and Grade Crossing Improvements—$500 million General Fund to support critical safety improvements throughout the state.
  • High-Speed Rail—$4.2 billion Proposition 1A to complete high-speed rail construction in the Central Valley, advance work to launch service between Merced and Bakersfield, advance planning, and project design for the entire project, and leverage potential federal funds.
  • State Highway Rehabilitation and Local Roads and Bridges—$2 billion ($1.1 billion special funds through 2028, and $968 million federal funds) to support the advancement of priority State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) projects, Interregional Transportation Improvement Program (ITIP) projects, and local road and bridge investments.
  • Zero-Emission Rail and Transit Equipment Purchases and Infrastructure—$407 million ($100 million General Fund, $280 million Public Transportation Account, and $27 million federal funds) to demonstrate and purchase or lease state-of-the-art, clean bus and rail equipment and infrastructure that eliminate fossil fuel emissions and increase intercity rail and intercity bus frequencies.
  • Zero-Emission Buses and Trucks—$1.4 billion ($1.3 billion General Fund, $87 million Air Pollution Control Fund) to demonstrate and purchase or lease green buses and trucks. These funds are budgeted outside of the transportation budget and are included and described in the Climate Resilience Chapter.

 

Read more about the transportation investments proposed in Governor Newsom's May Revision