ELECTION 2014: California governor active on transportation issues

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 8/25/2014

California is one of 36 states where voters will decide this fall on who will sit in the governor’s seat for at least the next four years.

Up for re-election is Gov. Jerry Brown. The Democrat has been active the past four years acting on bills that cover topics that include transportation funding, congestion, brokers, ticket cameras and warrantless searches.

During the 2013 regular session, Brown signed bills into law that include:

  • AB210 permits Alameda and Contra Costa counties to put transportation measures on their ballots to boost funding for local infrastructure.
  • AB60 authorizes the state to offer driver’s licenses to immigrants in the country illegally.

Two issues vetoed by Brown during the session:

  • SB448 sought to create an office of fuel price investigation and manipulation prevention at the California Energy Commission.
  • AB405 called for freeing up carpool lanes in the Los Angeles area during non-peak hours and weekends.

In 2012, notable bills signed into law include:

  • SB1029 allocated $7.9 billion to start work on the California high-speed rail line.
  • AB1888 allows commercial drivers to attend traffic schools for minor violations occurring in their personal vehicles.
  • AB2118 prohibits household goods movers from being brokers.
  • SB1092 requires construction trucking brokers to annually disclose a copy of his or her surety bond.
  • AB1518 enables a weighmaster weighing construction loads, to use an unattended weighing system. Affected loads include dirt, stone, sand, gravel and ready mixed concrete.
  • SB1303 set statewide standards for installation and operation of ticket cameras by local governments.
  • AB2489 boosted the fine for drivers who alter, or cover, their license plates to avoid tickets for red-light camera violations.

Three measures vetoed during the 2012 regular session:

  • SB1434 sought to prohibit police from searching cellphones, or other devices, in certain instances without a warrant.
  • SB1310 would have increased the fine for texting or talking on hand-held phones while driving from $160 to about $200 after court costs.
  • AB2200 called for suspending eastbound carpool lanes on segments of Interstate 80 between San Francisco and Sacramento.

In 2011, the governor signed multiple bills of interest:

  • AB529 gave communities leeway in setting speed limits and, as a result, reducing yellow light intervals.
  • AB1041 extended through 2015 the San Francisco program to outfit Muni transit vehicles with cameras to record parking violations occurring in transit-only lanes.
  • SB341 requires a construction vehicle in excess of 14,000 pounds that operates at, or transports construction or industrial materials to and from, a mine or construction site to be equipped with an automatic backup audible alarm. Tractor-trailers used to pull bottom dump, end dump or side dump trailers are included.

Brown also vetoed bills that include:

  • AB135 mandated that at least one of CARB’s board members be a small-business owner.
  • AB529 sought to clarify that officers must first obtain a search warrant when there is probable cause to believe a suspect’s phone contains evidence of a crime.
  • SB29 called for establishing statewide standards for installation and operation of ticket cameras by local governments.
  • SB28 would have increased fines for using hand-held phones and texting while driving from $160 to $310 after court costs.

For more 2014 election coverage from Land Line, click here.

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