California Governor Jerry Brown released his proposed budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year on January 10, and it includes $100 million in new funding for the Active Transportation Program (ATP)! The additional money would come from cap-and-trade revenue (a.k.a. the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund) and least half of the funding must benefit disadvantaged communities. The Safe Routes Partnership has been pushing for many years to increase the amount of ATP funding in the Governor’s annual budget, so we are pleased to see such a significant expansion proposed, especially since the program is heavily oversubscribed.
To give you a history of the past few budgets:
- In 2013, the ATP was created by consolidating the Safe Routes to School program with other sources of federal and state active transportation funding (Bicycle Transportation Account, Pedestrian Safety Account, etc.).
- In 2014, the Governor’s budget includes no new money for active transportation, except for a small $9 million boost from repayment of old loans from the Bicycle Transportation Account and Pedestrian Safety Account programs. It only had a mention that ATP could receive funding from the GGRF, which was set up later in the year.
- In 2015, funding for ATP was actually reduced by $14 million. We circulated a petition asking for $100M from cap-and-trade revenue (GGRF) to go to ATP Cycle 2 but we were unsuccessful in our efforts.
- In 2016, the Governor proposed $100 million for a new Low Carbon Roads program that would have funded active transportation projects but also many other types of road projects. Ultimately the Governor and legislature negotiated a deal that provided $10 million from cap-and-trade to ATP and no Low Carbon Roads program. We are happy to see that the latter program has not been resurrected and instead the Governor sees the benefit of investing in the existing ATP.
Other highlights of this year’s budget include:
- $300 million for the Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program
- $142 million for the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) program
- $25 million for a new Sustainable Transportation Grant grant program to help communities implement their region’s Sustainable Communities Strategies required by Senate Bill 375 (2008).
- $400 million for transit capital (Transit & Intercity Rail Capital Program)
- $2.7 billion for multimodal corridor mobility improvements
The Governor’s budget release is just the first step in a long road to a budget. The next few months will be filled with negotiations, and a revised budget will be released in May. The legislature must pass a final version by June 15, though some pieces are often delayed until the fall, as was the case last year with cap-and-trade revenue. The Governor is also tying this new investment to the legislature voting to reauthorize the cap-and-trade program past 2020, which requires a two-thirds vote that may be difficult to reach.
We have released a statement along with our state transportation policy partners, which you can view here. Other partners including TransForm and CalBike have also issued statements, and Streetsblog has an article covering the budget release. We will be closely watching the budget to make sure this critical investment remains a part of the final version.
The full version of the Governor’s budget is available here.
Budget tables for transportation and GGRF are provided below: