Legislative Update: ATP and Transit Pass Bills Move Forward, Rest of Transportation Equity Package Stalls

In a previous newsletter, we identified our legislative priorities for the year, including four bills that were part of a Transportation Equity Package. Over the past few weeks, we have been working hard with our partners to support these bills as they move to committee hearings, as well as oppose bills that may inhibit our work. We are excited to report that AB 2796, which would create set-asides for non-infrastructure (10%) and planning (5%) within the ATP, passed unanimously out of the Assembly Transportation Committee on April 11. On the same day, AB 2222, which would create a statewide program providing free or discounted transit passes to K-12 and community college students, also passed unanimously out of the Transportation Committee. Both bills now go on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Other bills did not fare as well. AB 1982, which would have appointed two new members to the California Transportation Commission with an environmental justice background, failed to pass out of the Assembly Transportation Committee. The remaining Transportation Equity Package bill,  AB 2332, which would prioritize disadvantaged communities in state transportation funding programs, was pulled before the hearing. Others including AB 2360, which would allow communities to put videocameras on school bus arms, and AB 1659, which would expand school zones, did not make it to committee.

While many of these bills may be dead for today, these issues are by no means going away. On the contrary, our coalition is growing stronger and more motivated to fight for transportation equity with each minor setback, so that schoolchildren, low-income Californians, and all Californians, can benefit from a safe, healthy, sustainable transportation system.

Stay tuned for more updates as bills that are still alive continue through the session.

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