Governor Brown was joined by Democrat legislative leadership to introduce a 10-year, $52 billion proposal to address the state’s abysmal infrastructure system. A self-imposed deadline for passage of the bill was declared for April 6th, and the bill passed out of the Senate with two Democrats voting no, and one Republican voting yes, with the remainder of the votes along party lines. The proposal includes a gasoline tax, diesel tax, and vehicle license fee to raise just over $5 billion annually. This bill would deposit the revenues attributable to 50 percent of the $0.20 per gallon increase in the diesel fuel excise tax imposed by the bill into the Trade Corridors Enhancement Fund, to be expended on corridor-based freight projects. Much needed road improvements in our own border region, such as those used by commercial trucks to access the Otay Mesa port of entry, would be eligible for funding.
Opposition cites distrust that funds for road maintenance and other transportation costs have routinely been diverted to the General Fund during tough financial times for the state, and existing taxes should already be maintaining infrastructure.