Gov. Brown released his first budget today (okay, his first 21st century budget). Here is the legislative summary by Metro’s government relations team:
Governor Brown released his 2012 budget proposal earlier today. The budget proposes major cuts to many state services and proposes the extension of taxes which are set to expire in the near future. With respect to transportation, the Governor is proposing a budget which will help to stabilize transportation funding, and, in marked contrast to the budgets proposed by former Governor Schwarzenegger, actually proposes adequate funding for public transit. The Governor specifically proposes to ensure that the State Transit Assistance Account remains funded at the levels approved in the recently enacted sales tax/gas tax swap legislation. This action is a significant commitment to public transit and we would like to thank Governor Brown and his Administration for this recommendation.
The Governor’s budget also includes a recommendation to reenact the sales tax/gas tax swap legislation enacted last year. As staff has previously indicated, Proposition 26 could threaten transportation funding by repealing portions, if not all of, the legislation enacted last year. A coalition of transportation stakeholders, including Metro’s advocacy team has been meeting to discuss this issue and has developed a recommendation to reenact this legislation which is allowed under Proposition 26.
Metro staff will bring this proposal to the Board for consideration at the January meeting. The Governor’s budget further includes a recommendation to transfer truck weight fee revenues to the General Fund to assist with debt service payments. Lastly, Department of Finance representatives identified that they do not plan on engaging in a spring bond sale. This could be a significant issue for Metro since many of our major capital projects rely on bond sales for funding. Staff has remained in constant contact with representatives of the Departments of the Treasurer, Controller, Finance, Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission on this issue and will continue to keep the Board informed as the issue develops.
Categories: Policy & Funding
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Glad to hear that the transportation funding will remain stable. After Arnold’s cuts, things were not looking so good, as cutting transportation funding has a negative net effect on jobs and commerce in general. Good to see that this trend won’t continue. Although Im still not going to hold my breath on these kinds of things just yet…