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February 21, 2007 - It is virtually impossible for California—or any other state—to implement the Real ID Act by the federal deadline of May 2008. Federal regulations for implementing the act are expected to be delayed until July or August of 2007 and there is no federal plan to fund the costly mandate. Nonetheless, the administration has indicated that it may request funding to implement Real ID as part of the spring revision process. Given the current lack of information regarding federal requirements and funding, as well as growing opposition to the act in other states, we recommend the state go slowly for now, and limit spending to planning activities.
February 21, 2007 - Seven years into the Traffic Congestion Relief Program (TCRP), only 26 of the 141 projects have been completed. In addition, many project sponsors have yet to identify full funding for their TCRP projects. While development work continues on many projects, delayed state funds and cost increases continue to threaten project delivery. Nevertheless, we recommend actions that the Legislature can take to ensure that funds are used to deliver projects in a timely manner and to ensure that the California Transportation Commission has adequate flexibility in implementing the program.
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.
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.
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.
March 30, 2006 - Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4
February 24, 2006 - Presented to the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 4
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 bonds.review infrastructure