In June, Governor Brown called a special session of the Legislature to address how the state funds transportation infrastructure needs. According to the governor’s office, permanent and sustainable funding is needed to maintain and repair the state’s roads and highways, improve key trade corridors, and support efforts to improve local infrastructure.
According to MTC Senior Legislative Analyst Rebecca Long, this is the first call for a special transportation session in over a decade, and comes from the widespread recognition that the state’s current fuel excise tax is insufficient to meet the state and local governments' severe backlog of needed repairs.
In his proclamation establishing the special session, the governor stated that “the current fuel excise tax revenues are only sufficient to fund $2.3 billion in annual highway repairs, leaving $5.7 billion in unfunded repairs each year” — in part because as cars become more fuel-efficient, gas tax revenues decline. And that’s just at the state level. Backlogs in needed local street and road repairs and the need for new infrastructure to address the region’s and the state’s growing economy add billions more to the tab.