One of the things about doing business in California is that just when you think you’ve got the problem solved, somebody takes out an initiative petition to undo all the effort you spent trying to solve the problem.

The latest example of this the recall of future funding of California transportation under SB-1. The repeal measure will appear on the November 6th general election ballot as Proposition 6, the Voter Approval for Future Gas and Vehicle Taxes and 2017 Tax Repeal Initiative—what a mouthful.

What a terrible thing to do to the construction industry and to everyone who rides California roads and rails. SB 1 may not be the perfect or pain-free way to fund state and local transportation projects, but it is based on solid ground—it’s a user pays approach that will keep pace with inflation and provide a good start on repairing our neglected infrastructure.

Polling Looks Bad

The current polls on the measure says a small but solid majority favor repealing the taxes, particularly the hated motor vehicle registration fees. This vote will come in a non-presidential election year which means the voters most motivated will be the ones that show up and less than 30 percent of the voters will decide the outcome.

We’re going to have to work hard to try to get as many SB 1 supporters to the polls as possible to defend all the effort our industry put into trying to secure this funding. The Engineering Contractors’ Association is joining a coalition of construction associations, trade unions and other industry groups to raise money to fight back against Prop. 6. The money raised will go to public information campaigns so the folks who use our highways and trains will understand what is at stake in this election.

We are asking all our member companies for a minimum donation of $1,000 each to oppose the recall of SB-1, with our ultimate goal of adding $100,000 to the Stop Prop 6 fund. If your company’s work depends on state or local road and rail projects, you should think seriously about upping the ante for this effort.

If you do find this a worthy campaign, please make your checks out to the Engineering Contractors’ Association with an annotation “in support of SB-1” and mail it to us today.

By Dave Sorem, P.E. ECA Government Affairs Chairman
[email protected]