Republicans ready to turn in signatures for ballot measure to repeal California gas-tax increase

: latimes – excerpt

Republican activists said Tuesday that they have collected at least 830,000 signatures for an initiative to repeal recent increases in California’s gas tax and vehicle fees, more than enough to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

The activists need 585,407 signatures of registered voters to qualify the ballot measure.

Because signatures are still being processed and counted by the campaign, backers hope to have 900,000 by the time they begin turning them in to the counties on Friday, according to Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego City Council member and organizer of the drive.

“The breadth and depth of voter anger over the car and gas tax hikes is just amazing,” said DeMaio, who hosts a radio talk show. “We are seeing Democrats, independents and Republicans sign the petition and volunteering to carry the petition, people from all walks of life.”

The initiative targets a law approved in April 2017 by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown that is expected to raise $5.4 billion annually for road and bridge repairs and improvements to mass transit… (more)

 

Governor Brown does not believe in Taxation with Representation

News flash!

Governor Brown imposes extra hurdles for voters’ initiated ballot initiative to repeal state taxes and fees imposed by the state legislature. He wants a recount of the signatures!

  • It is not enough that California has the highest valued land and highest inflation rate in the country.
  • It is not enough that the California legislation is passing taxes, fees, and fines onto the citizens at an alarming rate.
  • It is not enough that our state legislators have created a number of regional taxing administrative organizations made up of non-elected bodies of bureaucrats to pass even more taxes, fees and fines at non-governmental levels.

We do not work for them. Governor Brown and the state legislature need a wake up call to remind them that they work for us. That means we can fire them by voting them out of office. We want representatives  who respects our rights and the rights of our local governments to represent the people of California, not the corporate money interests.

Show the Governor who is boss by sending more signatures to count:
Here’s the petition for you to print and get signatures

Brown’s transportation budget celebrates the car

By Daniel Weintraub :  californiahealthreport – excerpt

Weeks after returning from the Paris summit on climate change where he was hailed as a leader in the movement to limit greenhouse gases, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed a new transportation budget that celebrates the car.

In 2016-17, Brown wants to spend $16 billion on transportation, and most of that would go toward making it easier for people to drive. The Democratic governor wants to build new roads and highways and repave old ones, and use more technology to speed traffic.

As opposed to what the SFMTA is doing. Are they at odds with the state?

Brown does dedicate some new money to transit and rail improvements, including the high-speed rail project that he sees as part of his legacy.

But he proposes almost nothing to promote “active transportation” – human-powered movement through neighborhoods and cities on bikes and on foot that is not only better for the environment, but also for our health.

Despite an increase of $3 billion for transportation overall, his budget would offer the same $120 million these programs received in 2015-16 to pay for changes that make streets safer and offer alternative routes to help walkers and cyclists get off the roads.

Brown’s budget would do little to reduce a backlog of more than $800 million in local projects seeking a share of these limited funds.

His biggest insult to active transportation is his proposal to use $100 million in cap-and-trade fees collected from industrial polluters to finance an initiative he calls “low-carbon roads.”  That proposal might even be illegal… (more)

Is it April Fools Day or is this the Onion? Can this be true that the governor has figured out cars are not the enemy, that the car industry is producing cleaner more efficient engines that use less gas and are swapping out for electric cars as fast as they can get their hands on them?

Could it also have anything to do with the realization that around 30% of the funds for public transportation comes from private transportation drivers. You don’t want to kill that goose if you want to keep those buses, trains and rails moving.

He must know better than to fight the latest trend in Silicon Valley as they turn to cars and the drones now that everyone has a computer and smart device. You don’t want to fight Apple and Google over their future plans to build robot cars. Those cars will require smart roads no doubt.

Regardless, we applaud the governor and state representatives for changing their focus and finally (we hope) supporting the goose that lays the eggs that feed the ferocious transportation appetite. Most of the air pollution is coming out of the ground (in SoCal) and is produced by the buildings, not the cars.

California state bills of concern to motorists

The NMA continues to advocate for motorists’ rights at the national, state and local level. Legislatures across the country took up a broad range of motorists’ issues in the second half of 2014. Here’s a brief summary of the driving-related issues we addressed.

California

Opposed Assembly Bill 1646 which would add a violation point for texting or using a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Brown.

Opposed Assembly Bill 2393 which would increase vehicle registration fees to fund the implementation of an automated fingerprint identification system. The bill was passed and signed into law by Gov. Brown.

Opposed Assembly Bill 2398 which would establish penalties for a driver convicted of causing bodily injury or great bodily injury to a “vulnerable road user,” defined as a pedestrian, a person on horseback, a person operating a bicycle, in-line skates, roller skates, a scooter, or a skateboard, and a person operating or using a farm tractor. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Brown.

Supported Senate Bill 1079 which would protect against potentially higher fuel costs by exempting suppliers of transportation fuel from having to purchase carbon allowances until 2021. The bill died in committee.

Opposed Senate Bill 1077 which would require various transportation agencies in the state to implement a pilot program designed to “explore various methods for using a mileage-based fee (MBF) to replace the state’s existing fuel excise tax.” The bill was passed and signed into law by Gov. Brown.

Opposed Senate Bill 1183 which would allow local jurisdictions to impose a $5 vehicle surcharge to fund the expansion of, and improvements to, bicycle trails and bicycle parking facilities. The bill was passed and signed into law by Gov. Brown.

Opposed Senate Bill 1151 which would enhance penalties for numerous infractions and misdemeanors committed in school zones. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Brown.

NMA California Alert: Governor Vetoes Anti-Motorist Bills

via email from NMA

Dear California Member,

Gov. Brown has vetoed a series of anti-motorist bills that were opposed by the NMA and its coalition partners in California. Here’s a brief rundown of the vetoed bills:

  • Assembly Bill 2398—Would have imposed added penalties for injuring “vulnerable road users” such as pedestrians and bicyclists.  Only protected non-motorized road users.
  • Assembly Bill 1646—Would have added a point for cell phone violations.
  • Assembly Bill 1532—Would have imposed massive new penalties on passengers when the vehicle they are riding in does not stop as required when involved in a collision.
  • Senate Bill 1151—Would have enhanced penalties for numerous infractions and misdemeanors committed in school zones.

You can learn more about these bills from our previous legislative alert here.

Thanks to all California members who contact Gov. Brown and urged him to take a more reasonable stance on motorists’ issues.

John Bowman
National Motorists Association

http://www.motorists.org/

Gov. Brown Signs Clean-Air Vehicle Legislation

AP : abcnews – excerpt

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law several bills designed to boost use of clean-air vehicles in California.

One bill signed Sunday allows 15,000 additional electric and partial zero-emissions vehicles, or 70,000 total vehicles, to get green stickers that allow driving in carpool lanes even when solo.

Another requires freeway high-occupancy toll lane operators to allow clean air vehicles to drive for free or reduced rates. Such roads exist in Orange and Riverside counties, and the San Francisco area.

Another bill requires a property owner, rather than the person leasing it, to install an electric vehicle charging station and its infrastructure in most cases.

California makes up 40 percent of the nation’s electric vehicle sales and the governor’s press office says it surpassed more than 100,000 sold earlier this month… (more)

Car manufacturers have met the new clean air standards by developing more efficient motor vehicles and the public has embraced the new technology. Changes in automotive industry standards, including increased production of electric vehicles have resulted in a faster pace of emissions reduction than anything the anti-car movement has done. Fortunately, the legislators are supporting the switch to clean energy. Now we just need to tackle the parking and traffic problems at the polls.

Vote No on A and B (No money without accountability) and Yes on L if you want to keep your car in San Francisco.

Gov. Brown signs bills promoting bike paths

: latimes – excerpt

Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed into law two measures aimed at helping cities and counties expand and improve bike paths and trails, including one allowing voters to consider whether to increase some fees to pay for the work.

Local agencies, including cities and park districts, could place proposals on the ballot that, with a two-thirds vote from local residents, would impose a motor vehicle registration surcharge of up to $5 in those districts, with the proceeds going to developing and maintaining bikeway networks.

Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) said his bill will allow communities to provide a transportation alternative to driving cars on congested streets. He cited a study that found the more bike lanes provided per square mile in a city, the more commuters took bikes rather than cars.

“Upgrading bike infrastructure will help public safety, the environment and the quality of life in cities across California,” DeSaulnier said of SB 1183.

Brown also agreed to give local governments more flexibility in designing bikeways.

Under existing law, bike lanes must fit precise standards set by the state’s transportation department. AB 1193 by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) allows cities to plan such lanes that may not meet the state’s standards, as long as the designs meet the guidelines set by a national association of public transportation officials… (more)

If you object and you haven’t yet complained to Governor Brown, Ting and DeSaulnier and the other state reps who are following the dictates of the non-profit bike coalitions, you may want to do so now. Contact info: http://discoveryink.wordpress.com/ca-legislation/state-legislators/

 

 

The 2012 SF Streetsies, Part 2

by Aaron Bialick : sfstreetsblog.com – excerpt

Here is the second and final installment of Streetsblog SF’s first-ever Streetsie Awards. In case you missed them, check out Part 1 and the voting results from the recent reader poll. We’ll return to our regularly programming on Wednesday.
Biggest Fumble…
Worst Police Traffic Scandal
Most Absurd Argument Against SFPark Meters
This year saw a backlash against the SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s plans to expand SFPark meters in the Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, and Northeast Mission neighborhoods. That lead the SFMTA to begin the planning process anew and even remove SFPark from the equation to address skepticism about the efficacy and motives of the data-driven, demand-based parking pricing program (now, only conventional parking meters are on the table). While it’s unclear at this point how receptive residents generally are to the SFMTA’s revamped efforts to end needless circling for parking, Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF) spokesperson Mari Eliza has remained consistently dead-set against the notion of altering the status quo of free parking, instead attacking the SFMTA as a government agency simply looking to gouge drivers. Last month, she told Streetsblog that drivers in the Mission are complaining that finding parking there is difficult (no doubt there), yet said that “I don’t get” the concept that someone might be willing to pay a small price for a parking spot if it’s more readily available…
(more)

I never expected to end up on a list with Gascon, Weiner, Governor Brown, and Ken Bastida.

Brown backs away from bullet train fight

By LANCE WILLIAMS : The Bay Citizen – excerpt

Green groups critical of plan to skirt environmental provisions

Gov. Jerry Brown backed away from a fight with environmentalists yesterday, abandoning a plan to exempt the $68 billion California bullet train project from environmental laws.

Brown had hoped to fast-track construction of the controversial project by sidestepping key provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act.

But the idea had put him at odds with most of the state’s green groups…

But the move also might shore up legislative support for the project. For construction to begin, lawmakers soon must approve the sale of billions of dollars in state rail construction bonds…

(more)  Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/1fi18)

Selling billions of dollars in bonds will increase the debt and further erode the state’s already bad credit rating. And who will buy them? There are already billions of dollars of unsold state bonds waiting for investors to snap them up. This seems like a bad time to finance a controversial project.