This article was originally included in the Safe Routes to School National Partnership's April Newsletter
On April 6, the California Senate and Assembly passed the long-gestating transportation funding package after a long debate. Senate Bill 1 will provide 10 years' worth of funding for transportation improvements across the state, including $1 billion in new funding for the Active Transportation Program. This funding will be folded into the State Highway Account and will likely be disbursed annually or biannually in $100-200 million increments as part of the regular ATP Cycle process. We’ve been monitoring the transportation funding proposal for several years as it morphed from a “special session” of the California legislature in 2015 that ended without resolution in November 2016, to SB 1 and AB 1 in December 2016. The bill is not perfect and our coalition has had many concerns along the way, including the last-minute insertion of an exemption of trucks from diesel emissions standards. But we also made significant process in the final bill, boosting ATP from $800 million to $1 billion, significantly boosting public transportation spending, removing CEQA exemptions for roadway projects, and removing cap-and-trade revenue from the bill out of concerns about fluctuating auction proceeds. You can read the coalition statement SRTS National Partnership issued with over 30 of their partners following the passage of the bill here.