The 2020-21 Budget: Transportation

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has just published the following report:

The 2020-21 Budget: Transportation

This report provides our review of the Governor’s 2020-21 budget proposals for the state’s transportation departments and programs.

Budget Summary. In total, the proposed budget includes $26.9 billion for transportation programs, including the California Department of Transportation, local streets and roads, the high-speed rail project, California Highway Patrol (CHP), and Department of Motor Vehicles. This total is $3.4 billion higher that estimated current-year spending for these programs. One contributor to increased state transportation spending is the passage of Chapter 5 of 2017 (SB 1, Beall). We find that since the enactment of SB 1, state revenue collected from fuel taxes and certain vehicle fees has doubled, growing from $6.4 billion in 2016-17 to $12.7 billion in 2020-21.

A Few Proposals to Implement New or Recently Enacted Policy Changes. The report reviews and provides recommendations related to several Governor’s budget proposals related to new or recent policy changes. For example, we find that it is unclear that the Governor’s proposal to create a $7 million CHP-led task force is the most effective way to address the problem of illicit vaping. We recommend the Legislature consider a range of issues in determining what approach it wants to take to reduce the public health effects of illicit vaping products—such as available information on the scope of the problem, potential effectiveness of alternative strategies, and the relative merits of having other other entities lead the task force.

Certain Proposals Appear Warranted, but May Benefit From Legislative Oversight. In several cases, we find administration proposals to be addressing legitimate programmatic and fiscal challenges, including the future insolvency of the Motor Vehicle Account, increasing quantities of litter on state highways, and a high rate of collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists on the state highways. In each of these cases, we recommend ongoing legislative oversight to better ensure that the underlying causes of these problems are clearly defined and can inform future policy and fiscal decisions.

This report is available using the following link:

This article was released by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

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