California’s deadline to sign or veto bills for the 2013 legislation session passed over the weekend. Here are the bills I’ve been tracking related to transportation in the Golden State.
Among the 96 bills rejected by Jerry Brown this year:
- Brown vetoed SB 811, which would have imposed significant additional mitigation measures beyond existing Federal and state environmental regulations for a proposed I-710 project to “improve” the Long Beach Freeway between the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the Pomona Freeway (Highway 60). Brown says he commends the author’s objectives but doesn’t want to establish a precedent of statutory mitigations for specific projects.
As you can guess, this freeway is wildly unpopular to the residents who would be most directly impacted by its construction. Biking In LA believes this bill was written as a poison pill to kill the project. Senator Lara, who represents the district through which this proposed freeway would run and sponsored SB 811, responded to this veto:
While I am disappointed that key components and guarantees provided by SB 811 will not be implemented in standards, the extensive work and discussions we have had this year on community impacts, mitigation and benefits were not in vain…Last week, Malcolm Dougherty the Director of Caltrans, toured my district, met with members of the community and stakeholders, and assured me that the concerns of the community will be heard and Community Alternative 7 will be analyzed. Though this bill was not signed, we have a relationship and a seat at the table that will still enable us to advocate for clean air, safe roads and healthy communities.
- AB 1290 adding two new members to the California Transportation Commission was vetoed. The bill would have required by statute the inclusion of planning and and air quality expertise on the Commission. Brown says he vetoed AB 1290 because of a new administrative policy that requires the same thing.
California Bicycle Coalition supported this bill.
Jerry Browned signed 800 bills this legislative season. Among them:
- AB 466 on transportation finance updates state law to reflect changes in Federal law regarding the use of federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. The state had the option of changing the funding formula, the legislature voted to retain the old formula that predates the current MAP-21 transportation funding authorization.
- SB 142 allows a transit agency board ” to levy a special benefit assessment on real property to finance the acquisition, construction, development, joint development, operation, maintenance, or repair of one or more eligible transit projects.” Only the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority currently has the authority to do this. SB 142 extends this authority to transit agencies statewide.
- AB 946 allows public transportation buses in Santa Cruz County and Monterey County to drive on the shoulder of Highway 1 after the shoulders have been upgraded for Bus On Shoulder operation.
- AB 206 allows bike racks that can hold up to 3 bikes on Sacramento buses. Existing law on vehicle length restricted Sacramento Regional Transit District from legally installing the slightly larger front bike racks.
AB 417 exempting CEQA from environmental review signed.