To browse all LAO publications, visit our Publications page.
January 12, 2010 - Presented to: Assembly Transportation Committee, Hon. Mike Eng, Chair
November 23, 2009 - We reviewed the progress of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), local road agencies, and transit operators in their use of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds in the months since the enactment of the federal stimulus programs and found that (1) Caltrans has made good progress in the use of almost $1 billion made available to the department, already putting out to bid contracts for 92 percent of the funds; (2) local road agencies have been slower to use their obligated ARRA transportation funds, with contracts for only one–third of their funds out to bid; and (3) the progress of transit system operators is unclear due to a lack of complete information. From the data we were able to compile, however, the operators appear to be making good progress. We recommend that the Legislature hold oversight hearings on the use of ARRA transportation funds to determine if any actions are necessary to ensure that California meets various ARRA deadlines.
June 10, 2009 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee
May 28, 2009 - Presented to Budget Conference Committee Budget Conference Committee
March 17, 2009 - Presented to: Senate Transportation and Housing Committee
February 5, 2009 - Presented to Assembly Transportation Committee
February 3, 2009 - The Governor’s budget proposes $16.5 billion in expenditures (mostly from special funds) for transportation programs in 2009‑10. This is a net decrease of $3 billion, or about 16 percent, below the estimated current-year expenditure level. In this report we examine ways the Legislature can reduce the impact of the Governor’s transportation funding proposals. We also explain how a number of major funding sources for transportation are unstable, and describe ramifications of this situation for transportation programs. We offer several recommendations to the Legislature to help stabilize funding for these purposes. The specific actions the Legislature can take include more clearly setting funding priorities, providing more funding from ongoing sources by raising the per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel, and exploring new ways of funding transportation programs, such as charging a mileage-based fee to generate revenues for transportation. In addition, we look at how the state is implementing Proposition 1B bond programs for transportation and offer recommendations to improve program accountability. We also examine the Governor's economic stimulus proposals for transportation and recommend that the Legislature consider an alternative to achieve greater stimulus effect.
December 10, 2008 - As part of his 2008–09 special session package, the Governor proposed to speed up construction of $822 million in planned state transportation projects. We believe that the concept of accelerating transportation projects has merit. We offer an alternative approach that we believe would provide greater benefits with a similar amount of funding. Specifically, we recommend the use of revenue bonds backed by future gas tax revenues to accelerate 122 highway rehabilitation projects. These projects would be ready for construction in 2008–09, 2009–10, and 2010–11, but are not scheduled for construction until later years, due to limited funding. Our bond proposal would require voter approval. Accordingly, we recommend the Legislature place a measure on the next ballot to seek voter approval to issue $800 million in gas tax revenue bonds to fund these projects.
December 1, 2008 - The role of the Legislative Analyst's Office is to review state programs and make recommendations to the Legislature as to how the state can operate more effectively and efficiently. This report summarizes various changes to law that we have recommended in recent years. Recommendations in this report include, among many others: (a) Simplify and Consolidate K-12 General Purpose Funding, (b) Promote the Adoption of Health Information Technology in California, (c) Fund Inmate Education Programs Based on Actual Attendance, and (d) Increase and Index the State Gas Tax.
October 31, 2008 - Presented to: Assembly Transportation Committee
June 12, 2008 - Conference information for Item 2740 of the 2008 Budget Conference Committee (page 117).
April 3, 2008 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Transportation
February 20, 2008 - In order to address a projected shortfall in the Motor Vehicle Account (MVA), the Governor proposes to increase vehicle registration fee by $11 per vehicle--bringing total registration fee to $52 per vehicle, and to double the penalty for late registration. Absent such corrective actions, the level of MVA spending proposed by the budget would leave the account with a shortfall of over $160 million at the end of 2008-09, growing to $500 million in 2009-10, and nearly $1 billion at the end of 2010-11. If revenues and expenditures grow at historical trends, the fee hike proposal would keep MVA solvent through 2013-14.
February 20, 2008 - Proposition 1B authorizes about $20 billion in bond funds for transportation projects. The timely delivery of these projects depends on several factors, such as the availability of funds anticipated from other sources and the ability of the Department of Transportation to hire the necessary staff to plan and construct projects. We recommend several measures to ensure that bond-funded projects are not delayed. review infrastructure