Helen Kerstein
(916) 319-8364
Forestry, Parks, and High Speed Rail
Frank Jimenez
(916) 319-8324
Highways and Roads, Recycling, Agriculture, and Toxics
Luke Koushmaro
(916) 319-8355
Mass Transportation, Traffic Enforcement, Statewide Planning and Infrastructure
Rachel Ehlers
(916) 319-8330
Deputy Legislative Analyst: Environment and Transportation



To browse all LAO publications, visit our Publications page.


Appropriating Proposition 1B Funds

February 21, 2007 - Proposition 1B authorizes about $20 billion in bond funds for transportation. The measure allocates specific amounts of bond funding for particular transportation uses, and requires that the funding be subject to legislative appropriation. The budget requests three-year appropriations of these funds and proposes budget bill language that would allow the administration to transfer appropriated funds among Proposition 1B programs. These proposals run counter to the bond measure’s intent that the Legislature appropriate specific amounts for particular transportation programs. Accordingly, we recommend that the Governor’s proposals be rejected.


Eliminating Spillover

February 21, 2007 - The passage of Proposition 42 rendered the "spillover" mechanism unnecessary. In order to simplify the state’s transportation funding structure, we recommend the enactment of legislation to eliminate the spillover mechanism for generating revenue into the Public Transportation Account (PTA) beginning in 2008-09. This would also reduce the volatility of revenues into the PTA. While eliminating the spillover would result in less funding for transit operations through the State Transit Assistance program in some years, it would increase the predictability and stability of annual funding. Moreover, additional funds could become available for broader transportation uses.


Analysis of the 2007-08 Budget Bill, Transportation Chapter

February 21, 2007 - Analysis of the 2007-08 Budget Bill, Transportation Chapter


California Travels: Financing Our Transportation

January 26, 2007 - What is being done to address California's transportation problems? How should the state ensure Proposition 1B funds effectively address congestion problems and provide mobility to facilitate the state’s growing economy? What other fund sources are available for transportation? How are these funds distributed? This graphically intensive publication seeks to answer these and other related questions.


An Overview: 2006-07 Governor's Budget Funding for Transportation Programs

March 30, 2006 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4


An Overview: Implementation of the Federal Real ID Act of 2005

February 24, 2006 - Presented to the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4


Real ID Act of 2005 Will Significantly Increase DMV Costs

February 23, 2006 - Requirements under the federal Real ID Act, which will become effective in mid-2008, underscore the necessity for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to success-fully update its aging computer and database infrastructure, as well as hire staff to handle additional workload. We recommend that DMV report at budget hearings on anticipated workload requirements to implement the act, how the department plans to meet these requirements, and the potential costs related to the act’s implementation.


Enhanced Radio System Proposed to Improve CHP’s Communications

February 23, 2006 - The California Highway Patrol (CHP) proposes to begin in 2006-07 a five-year, $491 million project to modernize its radio system. We concur that CHP’s radio system needs improving; however, it is not clear to what extent the proposed solution supports the state’s goal of interoperability among public safety agencies. We recommend that the Director of the Office of Emergency Services, in his role as chair of the Public Safety Radio Strategic Planning Committee, report to the Legislature at budget hearings on how CHP’s proposal supports the state’s goals.


Funding for Transportation Programs

February 23, 2006 - In recent years, transportation funding has been both constrained and uncertain due to various factors including the use of transportation funds to help the General Fund. The 2006-07 Governor’s Budget proposes to reverse this trend. Specifically, it proposes to fully fund Proposition 42 and partially repay a previous loan of transportation funds to the General Fund. In addition, as part of his Strategic Growth Plan, the Governor proposes to provide $12 billion in general obligation bond funding and $14 billion in revenue bond funding for state transportation over the next ten years. Furthermore, he proposes to permanently firewall Proposition 42 funds after 2006-07 by prohibiting suspension of the transfer from the General Fund. We highlight a number of policy issues that the Legislature should consider as it reviews the Governor's proposals.


Analysis of the 2006-07 Budget Bill, Transportation Chapter

February 23, 2006 - Analysis of the 2006-07 Budget Bill, Transportation Chapter


An Overview: Transportation Infrastructure Proposals and Their Financing

January 30, 2006 - We review infrastructure proposals in the Strategic Growth Initiative related to transportation. Presented to the Assembly Transportation Committee, Hon. Jenny Oropeza, Chair


Funding for Transportation: What the New Federal Act Means for California

January 19, 2006 - The new federal transportation act (SAFETEA-LU), enacted in August 2005, will provide $23.4 billion in federal funds to California through 2009 for highways, transit, and transportation safety. This represents a 40 percent increase in federal funding each year for transportation over the previous federal program. In addition to increasing federal funding to the state, SAFETEA-LU presents opportunities for financing transportation through nontraditional funding sources and expediting project delivery. There are a number of issues for the Legislature to consider when implementing the act in California. We discuss these issues and make recommendations where further legislative actions are warranted.


The State’s Infrastructure And the Use of Bonds: A Primer

January 3, 2006 - There has been much interest recently both by the Governor and the Legislature in investing in the state’s infrastructure and using bonds to do so. This reflects both the state’s large current and future infrastructure needs and the key role that bonds will inevitably have to play in financing them. This brief answers a number of common questions related to using bonds to fund infrastructure. These questions include the overall nature of the infrastructure needs facing California, the different options for paying for them, and key issues and concerns associated with using more infrastructure


Transportation Funding Instability Continues

May 6, 2005 - PowerPoint presentation describing the status of transportation funding.


Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Funding History and Options

March 31, 2005 - Presented to the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on March 30, 2005.