Berman Releases Statement on Historic Transportation Package

Thursday, April 6, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Berman (D-Palo Alto) released the following statement in response to the passage of Senate Bill 1, California’s landmark transportation package.

“Tonight I voted yes on Senate Bill 1 to raise an additional $5.2 billion a year to repair California’s crumbling transportation infrastructure.

One of the fundamental roles of government is to build and maintain the critical infrastructure assets our communities need to function and thrive. Yet for a generation, California has fallen further and further behind in maintaining the condition of our roads, highways, bridges, and transit systems.

California’s roads are in a pitiful state. I first realized this almost ten years ago, when I was driving my frail grandmother from her home to my parent’s house for dinner. While I never really noticed the poor quality of the streets, I did notice that my grandmother was clearly uncomfortable every time the car was jostled by a pothole or dip in the road.

That led me to serve on Palo Alto’s Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission, and later on the Palo Alto City Council’s Infrastructure Committee, leading the effort to increase investments in the community’s roads and streets. These funds have made a difference; by 2019, Palo Alto will have some of the best roads and streets in the Bay Area.

One of my highest priorities in running for State Assembly was to fix our transportation infrastructure. Today we approved the first major investment in over 22 years. Is the bill perfect? No – it’s not. But we can no longer afford to let the perfect be the enemy of the very good. The bill takes a pay-as-you-go approach, rather than incurring debt. It will double spending to repair our crumbling city and county roads. Over the next decade, it will provide billions of dollars for public transit, and hundreds of millions of dollars for bicycle and pedestrian transportation projects. And it will provide the resources needed to begin fixing our pothole-filled highways.

Everyone recognizes the need to improve our crumbling roads, even if few people want to pay for it. We cannot continue to avoid making difficult but necessary decisions today. We have too much work to do to make sure future generations of Californians are set up for success.”

Senate Bill 1 passed out of the California State Assembly on a 54-26 vote. The bill is accompanied by Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 which was also approved by the Legislature earlier today. Senate Bill 1 awaits Governor Brown’s signature.

Assemblymember Marc Berman represents the 24th Assembly District, which includes southern San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Website of Assemblymember Marc Berman: www.assembly.ca.gov/Berman

Contact: Kaitlin Curry (916) 319-2024