BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 613
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   July 1, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
                               Bonnie Lowenthal, Chair
                  SB 613 (DeSaulnier) - As Amended:  April 23, 2013
           
           SENATE VOTE  :  35-0
           
          SUBJECT  :  Bay Area Toll Authority

           SUMMARY  :  Places limitations on the use of toll revenues from  
          the seven state-owned toll bridges within the jurisdiction of  
          the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA).  Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Prohibits BATA from acquiring any office space or facility in  
            addition to the offices it recently acquired in San Francisco.  
             

          2)Limits BATA's authority to contribute to the Metropolitan  
            Transportation Commission (MTC) to no more than one percent of  
            the gross annual bridge revenues, as defined.  

           EXISTING LAW  :
           
           1)Creates MTC as a local area planning agency to provide  
            comprehensive regional transportation planning for the  
            nine-county Bay Area region comprised of the City and County  
            of San Francisco and the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa,  
            Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.  

          2)Creates BATA to administer all toll revenues for the  
            state-owned Bay Area toll bridges (except for revenues derived  
            from the $1 seismic toll surcharge).  BATA is governed by the  
            same board as MTC.  

          3)Grants BATA broad authority, including the authority to: 

             a)   Acquire, construct, manage, maintain, lease, or operate  
               any public facility or improvements; 

             b)   To invest any money not required for its immediate  
               necessities, as determined by BATA; and,

             c)   Make contributions to MTC in furtherance of BATA's  
               powers, including contributions of personnel services,  








                                                                  SB 613
                                                                  Page  2

               office space, overhead, and other funding necessary to  
               carry out the function of the authority.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown

           COMMENTS  :  In 2011, MTC and BATA formed a joint powers agency,  
          the Bay Area Headquarters Authority for the purposes of  
          acquiring an office building in San Francisco to create a joint  
          regional government co-location facility.  The building is  
          initially to serve as a regional headquarters for MTC, the Bay  
          Area Air Quality Management District and the Bay Conservation  
          and Development Commission and may later house the Association  
          of Bay Area Governments and the San Francisco Bay Area  
          Conservation and Development Commission.  

          MTC's purchase of the building entailed significant controversy.  
           Questions were raised as to why bridge toll revenues from BATA  
          were used to purchase a building that is much larger than the  
          amount of office space the co-locating agencies need, with the  
          intent to rent out extra space.  

          In response to concerns regarding the purchase and planned  
          moved, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee requested the State  
          Auditor to investigate the proposed move and specifically the  
          use of toll revenues to fund the purchase and improvements of  
          the office building.  The audit was released in August 2012 and  
          found, in part, that BATA's use of toll bridge revenues to  
          purchase a regional headquarters building in San Francisco  
          likely is likely legally permissible.  However, the audit raised  
          concerns that MTC may not realize anticipated cash flow needs  
          sufficient to repay contributed toll revenues by a range of $1.5  
          million to $53.7 million over 30 years.  

          Ultimately, the State Auditor recommended to the Legislature  
          that, if it believes state law provides BATA too much discretion  
          over its use of toll revenues, then the Legislature should  
          consider amending state law to more narrowly define how toll  
          revenues that are not immediately needed for bridge maintenance  
          or debt service may be spent or invested.  

          SB 613 implements that recommendation by limiting the amount of  
          money BATA can contribute to MTC and by clarifying that the  
          contributions must be necessary to carry out BATA's functions.  

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :








                                                                  SB 613
                                                                  Page  3


           Support 
          
          City of Oakland
           
            Opposition 
           
          None on file

           
          Analysis Prepared by  :   Janet Dawson / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093