Will Kempton, Executive Director for Transportation CA was a recent speaker at the WCOE CA Chapter Leadership Summit held in San Francisco in October. He discussed the history of transportation funding, repair acts and the challenges. His remarks regarding transportation issues in California are presented below.
"The State of California is in a crisis and needs increase in funding. Senator Bell and Assembly Member Frasier are both champions for transportation bill for funds of $7.4B annually (0.17/gal gas tax; returns weight fees to transportation projects instead of general fund for debt service). Identical bills in special session have been introduced. The issue could be dealt with in a conference committee but there is some reluctance to make changes in the conference committee, so it is likely to happen in a committee structure during the special session between 11/8/16 and 11/30/16. The bill would need to be introduced, consensus gained, printed and then voted on after 72 hours. Kempton believes they have the leaders involved to get this done, but does not have commitments yet. It may be possible to bring the legislature to come back on 11/10/16, however, the Munger initiative requires 72 hours for bills to be in print and following the 10th, many legislators are on various educational trips, so it is most likely to be in print the week of 11/21/16 and brought out the last week of November."
"There is some concern about the size of the increases for the package as different camps want to ensure that the size of the package is enough $3.6B (Governor's proposal) or $7.2B (Bell/Frasier proposal)."
"What can we do? Talk to our legislators, send them emails that this is important for our state, quality of life, construction industry."
"Local programs – There are 20 counties with local tax programs for investment in transportation programs. This is critical to CA transportation funding. The local programs are mostly dependent on state and federal programs and therefore cannot raise all their own funds. Funding adjustments are needed at both levels. There are 14 of these local programs on the ballots requesting additional funding for transportation."
Lee Cunningham: "Will, you are missed by the small business community. Tell us about the Munger Initiative – and Charles Munger."
Will Kempton: "The initiative requires that any pending legislation to be in print a full 72 hours before the legislature can vote on it. We have to assume it will pass and that anything CA Transportation does is compliant."
Rebecca Lewellyn: "Are there any legislators in particular that we need to work on?"
Will Kempton: "Target moderate democrats in Central Valley. 80 assembly seats (52 by democrats; need 54 votes); 40 Senate (27 votes required) 25 democrats. We are going to need to get all the democrats and as many republican members we can get on board. Moderate Dems in assembly including Elk Grove and Modesto. Also, target Republican Assembly Members including Meinschein, Erick Linder, Kristen Olsen, Chad Mayes, Republican Minority Leader (Desert) and Katherine Baker (So Contra Costa). In the Senate, target Anthony Canella, Bob Usk and Steve Glazer (Contra Costa)."
"Talk to any Congress member that you know and encourage WCOE Members to do so. Contact anyone with whom you have a relationship."
Will Kempton contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org