Assembly Republicans launch road improvement plan

Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals)
Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) Oakhurst Staff Photo

Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) announced Friday that Republicans in state government have launched the Traffic Relief and Road Improvement Act (TRRIP), a plan to restore and enhance the state’s transportation infrastructure without raising taxes. TRRIP provides $7.8 billion in transportation funding and is based on three key principles, Bigelow said:

Transportation funds should only be used for transportation

Protect the middle class: no tax or fee increases

More accountability and make government more efficient

“Our priorities this legislative session must include improving our roads,” Bigelow said. “This winter has taken a devastating toll on several access roads in my district, leaving them in tremendous need of repair. Improving California’s transportation infrastructure is vital to our state’s economy and the livelihood of all Californians. I believe the GOP’s transportation plan provides several valuable solutions the California State Legislature should act on immediately.”

TRRIP provides $5.6 billion each year by dedicating all vehicle sales and insurance taxes to transportation projects, which are currently diverted to the General Fund. TRRIP would generate another $2.2 billion by immediately repaying money that Bigelow said was raided from transportation funds during the recession. The funding package supports repairs to local roads, capacity improvements and traffic relief, highway maintenance, and public transit projects.

TRRIP also devotes 30% of its funds towards traffic relief projects. Current transportation proposals in the legislature provide zero new dollars for relieving gridlock, despite billions proposed in tax and fee increases.

Additionally, this measure includes reforms to ensure taxpayer money is being spent effectively, Bigelow said. It removes regulatory red tape that unnecessarily slows down street repairs, improves accountability by establishing a Transportation Inspector General, and provides audits of major transportation projects to ensure the billions of additional dollars are being spent efficiently and appropriately.

Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, is a lifelong rancher who represents the 5th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes all or parts of Placer, El Dorado, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Madera and Mono counties.