Sen. Glazer explains vote against transportation bill, gas tax hike

Cites failure to ensure reliable transit & ineffective use of funds

Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) who represents Antioch and most of Contra Costa County in the California State Senate, issued the following statement today, regarding his vote against SB-1, the transportation funding bill which included a 12 cents per gallon gas tax increase, as well as increases to the Vehicle License Fee. He was the only Democrat in the Senate and only one of two in the entire legislature to vote no.

“I want to thank Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, Sen. Jim Beall and Gov. Jerry Brown for their hard work in addressing the problem of crumbling roads and aging transportation systems.

My constituents are particularly dependent on good roads and highways and reliable transit systems, so I agree we need additional transportation investments.

But this transportation package did not have the support of my district, for good reasons. Even after a multi-million dollar lobbying effort supporting the $52 billion bill, sentiment in my district ran two-to-one opposing these new gas taxes and car registration fees.

My constituents have told me loud and clear that they want any new taxes to be spent more wisely and effectively. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to spend billions of dollars on an unpopular High Speed Rail system that backers claim might be completed by 2029 when it could go for transportation improvements today.

Beyond the issues of setting better spending priorities and taxes, I also believed this bill could have been improved. We need to be more forward thinking, where we recognize the role technology can play in allowing us to use our roads and highways more efficiently.

And we need a plan that provides commuters with the confidence and assurance that reliable transit will be there for them every day of the year.

This bill also failed to ensure that any new transportation funding given to local transportation agencies be used only for the purposes intended and not diverted to other uses.

I was also concerned about last-minute amendments to this bill that the environmental community and air quality regulators say will unwisely limit our ability to control diesel pollution from trucks. These changes have never been fully vetted and deserve more scrutiny.

I look forward to continued discussions with the governor in which we take into account the need to modernize our approach to transportation in an efficient and reliable manner.”

The bill passed both the State Senate and Assembly and awaits the signature of Governor Brown. To learn more about the bill, click here.

 

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3 Comments to “Sen. Glazer explains vote against transportation bill, gas tax hike”

  1. Arne Simonsen says:

    Thank you Steve, for sticking to principles and voting NO on SB1. Sadly, none of your colleagues had the same courage.

  2. Loretta Sweatt says:

    Fantastic. A man of integrity and ethics!

  3. Steven Payne says:

    What is that sound that I hear? Finally a voice reflecting what his employers actually want from him. Someone with the fortitude to actually vote the voice of his constituents rather than that of special interests, turning a blind eye to payoffs and kickbacks. Finally, somebody who can look himself in the mirror and see someone with some degree of decency. I do not know his motivation but it is truly a breath of fresh air, for a change. I only hope that he is not on the bullet train to and from nowhere with gov. moonbeam and doesn’t fall for more liberal double talk like the great plastic shopping bag injustice. Watch your back Mr. Glazer, you are probably not too popular among the “ruling class” presently. Good luck and God’s speed.

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