|Assembly Speaker Toni "Woof" Atkins|
Yet Another Leftist Slush Fund
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins proposed a plan Wednesday for funding road maintenance with $1.8 billion in fees on California drivers.
The fees would total roughly $52 annually for most people behind the wheel, according to preliminary details released by the speaker's office.
"California's roads and transportation infrastructure simply aren't in the shape they need to be in order to keep people and goods moving," said Atkins (D-San Diego), who announced the proposal during a forum on transportation policies in Sacramento.
Atkins' proposal would require a two-thirds vote for legislative approval because it creates a new fee. That means she would need support from Republicans who are often skeptical about raising additional revenue but have expressed interest in funding infrastructure projects reports the L.A. Times.
"Transportation has traditionally been a bipartisan issue, and I believe we can pass this plan and provide a new funding stream in a fair and comprehensive way," she said.
The new fee, called a "road user charge that could be tacked on to insurance bills," or vehicle registration charges. The $1.8 billion generated annually would be used in two different ways, according to Atkins' office.
Roughly $800 million would go directly to road improvements. The additional $1 billion would free up money in the general fund and allow truck weight fees to be spent on maintenance, their original purpose before they were redirected to help cover debt costs.
|Billions spent on a bullet train to nowhere, |
but little spent on roads that people actually use.