Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) has announced her appointment to the Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee to explore solutions to California’s infrastructure challenges. This committee is one of three convened for the Special Session on Transportation as called by Governor Brown earlier this month.
"California needs a 21st century road system for the 21st century, and I am honored to be part of the committee charged with making progress on that goal,” said Bates. “We all know that major upgrades are needed on our state’s roads, highways, and bridges and the Legislature has a responsibility to ensure that transportation dollars are actually used for transportation projects. That is what I fought for at the local level as a county supervisor and what I will fight for during the special session.”
Last week, Senate Republicans introduced two measures at the opening of the governor's special session on transportation infrastructure. SCA X1 1 (Huff, R-San Dimas), co-authored by Bates and 31 legislators, would constitutionally guarantee that the billions in transportation taxes paid annually by California drivers are used only for transportation purposes.
Also introduced was SB X1 2 (Huff), and co-authored by Bates, which would dedicate cap-and-trade taxes derived from putting gasoline production under the cap to improving California's roads.
In the last five years, the state has raided over $5 billion in fees and other transportation taxes that were supposed to be used for road maintenance and instead used that money for other programs.
The Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee will address legislation relating to the Department of Transportation and the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as bills relating to state highways, local streets, roads, and bridges, public transportation systems, transportation infrastructure, state and local revenue, bonds, and taxation.
Bates previously served on the Orange County Board of Supervisors and on the board of the Orange County Transportation Authority, which is the county’s primary transportation agency. She also supported the voter-approved Measure M, which helped transform Orange County into a vibrant economic region through transportation improvements. A key part of earning the voters’ support was ensuring that “promises made were promises kept” by telling voters the projects that were to be funded.