California bill would rescue truck fees for roads

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Monday, December 15, 2014

If a California state lawmaker gets his way, certain truck fees will soon be used to help pay for road work.

Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona, has filed a bill for consideration once the regular session begins early next month that is aimed at helping the state address $295 billion in transportation needs during the next decade. Specifically, his bill would cover nearly 10 percent of the shortfall.

Linder said a budget “gimmick” in place for five years continues to negatively affect the condition of roadways throughout the state.

“Worse, it is eminently solvable,” Linder said in a news release. “And yet, year after year goes by and the problem only grows worse.”

He wants to void a practice in place since 2010 to pay bond debt. Since then, state lawmakers have rerouted from the state’s highway account the vehicle weight fees paid by commercial vehicles. Instead, Linder said the revenue should be applied to its intended purpose.

Linder singled out Riverside County as one area that would significantly benefit from the switch. He highlighted the county’s traffic congestion problems.

“The only way to solve this is to start taking seriously how we fund our roads and highways,” he stated.

The bill, AB4, can be considered during the session that begins Jan. 5, 2015.

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