Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Budget & Bond Funds

A breakdown of funding for transportation programs.

Transportation Bond Use Funded in Final State Budget (August 28, 2007)

The 2007-08 state budget adopted this week continues important commitments to state transportation funding as approved by California voters.

The budget fully funds Proposition 42, the California Chamber-supported initiative voters approved in 2002 to dedicate gasoline sales tax revenues to transportation purposes.

In addition, the budget and two accompanying “trailer” bills provide supplementary funding and authorization for spending revenues from Proposition 1B, the $19.9 billion CalChamber-supported bond measure voters approved in November 2006.

Even after voter approval, use of the funds depends on the Legislature actually appropriating the revenue. The California Transportation Commission is the state agency charged with passing out the money.

Lawsuit Limits

Part of the agreement on the 2007-08 state budget involved approval of legislation to limit the authority of the state Attorney General to file lawsuits challenging county general plans’ compliance with provisions of AB 32, the climate change legislation signed last year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The legislation, SB 97 (Dutton; R-Rancho Cucamonga), exempts any project funded by Proposition 1B from any legal challenge relating to meeting the objectives of AB 32 before the California Air Resources Board adopts regulations implementing the legislation. SB 97 will “sunset” in 2009.

In addition, projects funded by the levee and flood control bond (Proposition1E, also approved by voters in November 2006) are to be exempted from such legal challenge.