Legislative & Budget Update: ATP Bill Advances, Budget Ask Still in Limbo
June 3, 2016 1 Comment
Things are heating up in Sacramento, both with the weather (a high of 105 degrees today!) and in the legislature, where all bills had to pass their house of origin by June 3. We are excited to report that AB 2796, which would create set-asides for non-infrastructure (10%) and planning (5%) within the ATP, passed 78-1 out of the California State Assembly on May 31, 2016! The bill now goes on to the State Senate. A few days later, AB 2222, which would create a statewide program providing free or discounted transit passes to K-12 and community college students, also passed out of the Assembly. Both bills will undergo a series of amendments as they move along but we are hopeful that both will make it out of the State Senate and to the Governor’s desk!
On the budget side, the Budget Conference Committee started meeting yesterday, and a budget must be passed by June 15. We are asking that the $100M allocated for a new Low Carbon Roads program in the Governor’s May revise budget instead be allocated for ATP. The Assembly budget proposal included this ask, but the Senate proposal did not. We are watching closely to see what the conference committee decides. Throwing a potential wrench into the budget negotiations is the recent news that the latest cap-and-trade auction proceeds generated far less money than anticipated. As a result, there is less money available across the board for all programs funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), let alone new programs. We still feel that additional funding for ATP should be a part of the budget deal, and are working closely with partners in Sacramento to make sure that happens. Stay tuned to this space for more details – things are moving fast as the budget and legislation moves forward this month!