California’s transportation infrastructure is facing a crisis. The state needs more investment in road systems but the current financing methods are insufficient for the magnitude of work. According to the most recent assessment by the California Transportation Commission (CTC) in 2011, 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 Reason Foundation ranked California’s highways 45th in overall performance and 46th in urban congestion in 2013. These deficits and rankings reveal that the state needs new funding solutions. Transportation
Develop and maintain a statewide transportation network that is adequate for the needs of business, agriculture and individual citizens.
- 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).
High-Speed Rail in California
Position: The CalChamber opposed Proposition 1A because of concerns with sustaining substantial amounts of additional indebtedness at a time 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 that political viability of the project may be lacking, 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
Position: The CalChamber 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; and
- Strategic trade policies that stabilize and improve state and national economies. California Ports
Related Top Stories