As state legislators have failed to come to an agreement on funding infrastructure, California counties are being asked to take on more responsibility for the future of their roads, streets, bridges, and transit services. If approved, local transportation funding measures allow county leaders to have greater control and certainty over transportation infrastructure funds – reducing local dependence on partisan politics at the state level.
The California Alliance for Jobs works with counties to help pass local transportation measures designed to fund transportation infrastructure. In 2016, the Alliance worked with seven counties on their campaigns to fund transportation infrastructure. Out of the seven counties the Alliance worked with, Merced, Monterey, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Stanislaus counties all saw their transportation funding measures pass. Those campaigns, in addition to the Alliance aided BART Bond passage; will result in over $12 billion being spent on infrastructure construction.
Campaigns in Contra Costa County and Placer County came within percentage points of meeting the 67 percent threshold needed for sales tax increases. Both counties, along with several others, are looking at running transportation measures in 2018. Money raised through tax measures would be dedicated to transportation improvements and go towards fixing local problems. The local counties would have strict oversight regulations that ensure transparency and safeguards against legislators using the funds for state purposes.