A California state lawmaker is asking for assurances that highway funds
for the state will not go for other uses.
Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, D-Carson, has offered a proposed amendment
to the state’s constitution that would ensure state fuel taxes are spent on
Oropeza, chairwoman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, said
diverting road, bridge and mass-transit funding in recent years to the state
general fund breaks faith with California voters who overwhelmingly passed
Proposition 42 in 2002. The proposition requires that fuel pump sales tax
revenue be used solely for transportation.
However, that law allows the governor and state lawmakers to divert the
money in the case of a fiscal emergency.
“It’s too easy to suspend Proposition 42,” Oropeza said in a written
statement. “Our economy cannot afford to live with unstable funding.”
She said that nearly $3.5 billion has been siphoned from vital
transportation programs into the state general fund since 2001. “That creates
havoc for planners,” she said.
The proposed constitutional amendment – ACA11 – would eliminate the
suspension provisions in Proposition 42 while allowing limited, short-term
The proposal won unanimous approval in the Assembly Transportation
Committee early this year. It has since moved to the Assembly Appropriations