Transportation

Overview

California’s transportation infrastructure is facing a crisis. The state needs more funding to invest in road systems, but the current financing methods are insufficient for the magnitude of work. According to a recent assessment by the California Transportation Commission, maintenance and repair of the state’s highway system is undersupplied by more than $5 billion a year, and local street repair is underfunded by an additional $1.8 billion a year.

In comparison to other states, the Federal Highway Administration found that California ranks 48th in rural interstate conditions and 49th in the condition of urban interstates. Add to this California’s dead-last ranking in urban interstate congestion, and it is clear that new funding solutions are needed. Transportation Funding Issues/Solutions

Goal

Develop and maintain a statewide transportation network that is adequate for the needs of business, agriculture and individual citizens.

Major Victories

  • Supported legislation signed into law in 2010 authorizing use of design-build by the Riverside County Transportation Commission (AB 2098).
  • Stopped new tax on goods movement in 2008 by leading a coalition of associations and businesses that persuaded former Governor Schwarzenegger to veto a bill to increase the cost of shipping goods and make California less competitive by imposing an illegal per-container tax in the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland (SB 974).

Issue Summaries

High-Speed Rail in California
Position: The California Chamber of Commerce opposed Proposition 1A because of concerns with sustaining substantial amounts of additional indebtedness when the state faced massive budget deficits. The CalChamber remains skeptical of funding plans that rely heavily on uncertain federal funds and ambiguous ridership numbers. In addition, there are many other high-priority issues that deserve legislative attention and funding.

Nevertheless, the CalChamber recognizes that despite the possibility of an increasing lack of political viability of the project, voters passed Proposition 1A to make the initial investment in a high-speed rail system in California. Until the will of the voting public changes, the CalChamber seeks to limit further increases in costs. The CalChamber will seek to ensure that all interested private firms—whether foreign, out-of-state, or California-based—can bid for contracts without constraints so that the system can be built in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. High-Speed Rail in California 

Making California Ports More Competitive
Position:
 The California Chamber of Commerce supports policies that result in improved trade volumes, increased employment, and enhanced economic growth. Improvements in infrastructure will ensure that the state’s ports remain vibrant and competitive. California lawmakers should focus on policies that improve public-private partnerships to invest in port infrastructure and remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to growth.

The CalChamber supports the following policies in order to make California ports more competitive:

  • A fair, balanced, workable regulatory environment;

  • An enhanced public-private partnership for immediate investment in trade-supporting infrastructure;

  • Strategic trade policies that stabilize and improve state and national economies. Making California Ports More Competitive    

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