Governor Jerry Brown on Monday made a direct plea to lawmakers to pass the new transportation and gas tax bill.
Brown started in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday morning, then he moved on to the Assembly Transportation Committee in the afternoon. During that second hearing Republican Catharine Baker questioned the Governor about why vehicle weight fees moved to the General Fund when the state was in economic crisis have not been moved back, especially given the transportation infrastructure need throughout the state. "Since then we have increased General Fund spending by 36-billion dollars but not a penny on transportation," insisted Baker.
Governor Brown told Baker we are headed back into recession and that worry about our federal money is like a Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads, "we normally pave the roads out of road related fees," responded Brown. "It's a big lift, but I don't see how else we're going to fix the roads."
The Assembly hearing was informational, but there was a vote in Senate Appropriations to send the bill to the full Senate for a vote this week.