BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING
                              Senator Jim Beall, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:          AB 2620           Hearing Date:    June 14,  
          2016
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Author:   |Dababneh                                              |
          |----------+------------------------------------------------------|
          |Version:  |4/11/2016                                             |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Urgency:  |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Consultant|Manny Leon                                            |
          |:         |                                                      |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          

          SUBJECT:  Passenger rail projects:  Funding


            DIGEST:  This bill authorizes the California Transportation  
          Commission (CTC) to reallocate funds from the Proposition 116  
          (1990) program, if they are not encumbered or expended by 2020,  
          for other existing passenger rail projects with existing rail  
          service.

          ANALYSIS:
          
          Existing law:
          
          1)Enacts Proposition 116, the Clean Air and Transportation  
            Improvement Act (CATIA), which authorized $1.99 billion in  
            general obligation bonds for specific projects, purposes, and  
            geographic jurisdictions, primarily for passenger rail capital  
            projects. 

          2)Allows the Legislature to reallocate funds not expended or  
            encumbered by July 1, 2010, to any passenger rail project in  
            the state by a two-thirds vote in each house. 


          3)Creates the CTC with specified powers and duties relative to  
            the programming of transportation capital improvement projects  
            and the allocations of transportation revenues. 









          AB 2620 (Dababneh)                                 Page 2 of ?
          
          

          COMMENTS:

          1)Purpose. The author notes, "During a time when many are  
            looking for a funding source and solution to maintain and  
            repair California's transportation infrastructure, California  
            should better utilize existing funding sources.  In the case  
            of Prop 116, money has been allocated, yet some of these funds  
            have not been utilized, and if they remain unused for an  
            extended period of time, the state should reallocate the funds  
            to projects which will move forward.  While there has been  
            little activity related to the use of these funds, the  
            additional administrative cost to the state can be avoided if  
            the program was to sunset and the funds were redirected to  
            existing projects."

          2)A brief history of Proposition 116.  Proposition 116, which  
            was approved by voters in 1990, authorized $1.99 billion in  
            general obligation bonds for a variety of intercity passenger  
            rail, commuter rail, transit, and other projects.   
            Specifically, $1.852 billion was authorized for the  
            preservation, acquisition, construction, or improvement of  
            rail rights-of-way, rail terminals and stations, rolling stock  
            acquisition, grade separations, rail maintenance facilities,  
            and other capital expenditures for rail purposes.   
            Additionally, $73 million was authorized for 28 non-urban  
            counties for various rail projects, the purchase of  
            paratransit vehicles, and other capital facilities for public  
            transportation.   Finally, for non-rail projects, $20 million  
            was available for a competitive bicycle program for capital  
            outlay for bicycle improvement projects and $30 million for a  
            water-borne ferry program.  Proposition 116 is administered by  
            the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and CTC  
            and is programmed and allocated in a two-step process similar  
            to the process used for the State Transportation Improvement  
            Program (STIP).  First, CTC programs the funds for projects  
            eligible under the original authorization, which it does by  
            approving project applications that define a project's scope,  
            schedule, and funding.  Then CTC allocates the funds when the  
            project is ready for funding.

          3)CTC's Report to the Legislature. As part of its 2015 Annual  
            Report to the California Legislature, the CTC urged the  
            Legislature to enact legislation to sunset the Proposition 116  
            program and reallocate any funds remaining at that time to  








          AB 2620 (Dababneh)                                 Page 3 of ?
          
          
            other passenger rail projects.  The CTC reports the most  
            recent action for allocating funds from the program occurred  
            in 2014-15, and as of June 30, 2015, of the amounts programmed  
            only $12.7 million remains unallocated.   

          4)Status of Proposition 116 funds.  CTC is working with the  
            remaining local agencies on their programmed projects to try  
            to finalize any Proposition 116 allocations.  AB 2620 would  
            allow CTC to continue this process until 2020 before any  
            reallocation would occur.  CTC would then be able to  
            reallocate any unallocated funds to other passenger rail  
            projects in the state as outlined in the proposition.  As the  
            state continues to grapple with funding shortfalls in all  
            modes of transportation, utilizing existing, unused  
            Proposition 116 revenues for other rail projects seems  
            appropriate. 



          Assembly votes:

            Floor:         78-0
            Approps:  20-0
            Trans:         15-0
          

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Appropriation:  Yes    Fiscal Com.:  Yes     
          Local:  No


            
            POSITIONS:  (Communicated to the committee before noon on  
          Wednesday,
                          June 8, 2016.)
          
            SUPPORT:  

          California Transportation Commission 

          OPPOSITION:

          None recieved


                                      -- END --








          AB 2620 (Dababneh)                                 Page 4 of ?