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February 18, 2004 - In both the mid-year cuts submitted in November 2003 and in the 2004-05 Governor's Budget, the administration has proposed to use a number of transportation funds to provide about $2 billion in one-time General Fund aid over the current and budget years. This includes suspending in 2004-05 the transfer of $1.1 billion derived from the sales tax on gasoline to the Transportation Investment Fund.
February 18, 2004 - The customer service, driver safety, and cost effectiveness of the DMV’s driver licensing process can be improved. We recommend the department report at budget hearings on the viability of making administrative changes to reduce the millions of in-person visits at field offices. We further recommend the enactment of legislation for various fees to encourage fewer in-person visits at field offices and offset costs related to the program.
February 18, 2004 - Every year over 30 million customers visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) field offices. Staff reductions in recent years have caused average customers wait times to grow significantly, from 35 minutes in 2001-02 to a projected 80 minutes in 2004-05. We recommend that the Legislature reexamine the levels of service to be provided by DMV. If the Legislature determines that current wait times and overall service levels are unacceptable, we recommend the Legislature restore selected field office positions
February 18, 2004 - Pavement maintenance protects the taxpayers’ investment in the highway system and can reduce long-term costs by postponing the need for more expensive roadway rehabilitation. Poorly maintained roadways increase costs to motorists for vehicle repair, costing drivers in Los Angeles or San Jose an average of more than $700 a year for instance. There is now a backlog of $587 million in pavement maintenance work. We recommend Caltrans refocus its maintenance efforts by developing an investment plan for highway maintenance. We also recommend Caltrans develop performance measures that link the state’s investment to the resulting quality of the highway system.
February 26, 2003 - Overview of 2003-04 Budget presented to the California Transportation Foundation.
February 19, 2003 - The administration proposes to increase the maximum 911 surcharge rate from 0.75 percent to 1 percent of intrastate phone charges. Since the proposal is inconsistent with current law and changes the nature of the 911 surcharge, we recommend the Legislature reject the proposal.
February 19, 2003 - In recent years, the Caltrans has consistently rescheduled the delivery of many State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) projects to later years. This reduces the value of the STIP as a scheduling tool and renders Caltrans' annual capital outlay and capital outlay support budgets meaningless. We recommend that Caltrans and CTC report on the reasons for the high levels of project rescheduling. We further recommend budget bill language requiring CTC to identify in its next annual report strategies to reduce this level of rescheduling.
February 19, 2003 - The Motor Vehicle Account (MVA), which primarily funds the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and DMV, faces a significant deficit in the budget year without corrective actions. In order to ensure that the MVA remains in a healthy fiscal condition, the Legislature will have to either increase fees further or reduce expenditures for the departments it supports.
February 19, 2003 - The Governor's proposal to use about $1.7 billion in transportation funds to aid the General Fund would delay projects in the Traffic Congestion Relief Program (TCRP) and makes the program's future funding uncertain. We recommend that the Legislature act quickly and decisively to determine the state's funding commitment to the program.
January 28, 2003 - The Sales and Use Tax exclusion granted through Chapter 592 is scheduled to sunset on January 1, 2004. Based on our examination of the impact of this exemption on state and local governments, we believe that a strong case can be made for removing the sunset and allowing the exclusion to continue
March 18, 2002 - California law requires certain employers who provide free parking to their workers to also offer cash in lieu of the parking. The goal is to provide workers an incentive to use transportation alternatives to driving alone. The Air Resources Board has conducted little outreach to make employers aware of the program. Additionally, there are no statewide data on the effectiveness of the program. We recommend that the board (1) conduct outreach to all firms with 50 or more employees and (2) perform periodic surveys to assess the program's effectiveness.