MOORLACH UPDATE — SBX1-9 — July 18, 2015

Due to the date of the special election, March 17, I was sworn in after the due date to submit legislation for consideration in the current session. With the Governor calling for two special sessions, legislators are permitted to submit new bills. I have my first bill! It’s SBX1-9. MyMotherLode.com provides the news below.

The seed for my proposed bill can be found at MOORLACH UPDATE — Caltrans Sunshine? — September 27, 2014 September 27, 2014 John Moorlach. I would highly suggest that you reread it.

How can Sacramento ask you to pay more in taxes for road and transportation improvements, when Caltrans is badly mismanaged? It shouldn’t. Let’s improve Caltrans first. How can Sacramento tell us to run our lives with another tribute tax, when Caltrans can’t even run itself properly?

The bill includes two thrusts. The first is that should Caltrans receive any new funding, including bond proceeds, those funds may not be used to pay for salaries and benefits of existing staff. Use the money for roads, not to grow an already bloated bureaucracy.

The second component is to use more outside engineering and architectural firms. Currently, Caltrans only uses them for ten percent of their projects. The bill mandates that this threshold must increase. This is an approach that I tried to pursue while a County Supervisor (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Missed Outsourcing — July 24. 2014 July 24, 2014 John Moorlach, MOORLACH UPDATE — Questioning Outsourcing — July 23, 2014 July 23, 2014 John Moorlach, and MOORLACH UPDATE — Outsourcing Measure — July 21, 2014 July 21, 2014 John Moorlach). Let’s direct our tax dollars towards roads, not additional staffing and the resulting high pension costs. Phasing this approach in while our workforce is retiring out makes great sense.

As a bonus, I’ve provided the text of the bill at the bottom of this UPDATE. Here are some of the justification highlights:

(a) Over the next 10 years, the state faces a $59 billion shortfall to adequately maintain the state highway system in a basic state of good repair.
(b) The 21st Annual Highway Report by the Reason Foundation, published in September 2014, found the following:
(1) California has 50,462 lane miles of highways under the administration of the Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
(2) Overall, California spent $501,136 per state mile of highway, more than three times the national average, yet California’s state highway system ranks 45th in overall performance and cost effectiveness.
(3) California spent $102,889 per state mile of highway specifically on maintenance, nearly four times the national average.
(4) California spent $48,754 per state mile of highway specifically on administration, more than four times the national average.
(c) Proposition 35, approved by voters in 2000, allows Caltrans, without limitation, to contract for architectural and engineering work. Currently, Caltrans only contracts for 10 percent of this work, while 90 percent is completed by permanent state staff, resulting in an inability to adjust staffing levels as workload fluctuates.
(d) Hiring permanent state staff with limited-term or one-time funding is fiscally imprudent and leads to structural funding deficiencies.
(e) According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, in the Capital Outlay Support Program Review report issued in May 2014, the Capital Outlay Support Program is overstaffed by approximately 3,500 full-time equivalent positions, at a cost of more than $500 million annually.

MML - Mother Lode Round-Up

Wide Range Of Transportation Proposals

Written by BJ Hansen

Several ideas are emerging at the state capitol that proponents say would improve California’s roads and transportation infrastructure.

Yesterday six Republican Senators introduced bills in preparation of Governor Jerry Brown’s requested special session on transportation. California has several roads and highways that are in need of repair, but there is not a consensus on how to fund the fixes. For example, Mother Lode Senator Tom Berryhill is authoring SB 11, which he says would exempt road repair and maintenance projects on existing right-of-way from CEQA review. SB 9, authored by John Moorlach, would move the state toward awarding more private contracts for transportation projects, as opposed to the current practice of employing many full-time Caltrans employees through temporary bond funds or loans. SB 13, introduced by Andy Vidak, calls for the creation of a new Transportation Inspector position to look for waste, fraud and efficiency problems with Caltrans and the High Speed Rail Authority. SB 10, authored by Pat Bates, calls for more local control of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), and to streamline project approval.

Roads and highways are a growing concern in the state because gas tax revenues over recent years have been falling short of revenues, notably due to a rise in fuel efficient cars. The Governor has noted that gas taxes are generating $2.7-billion annually, but around $8-billion is what’s really needed.

BONUS:

SBX1-9

An act to add Section 14009 to, and to add Article 2.6 (commencing with Section 14140) to Chapter 2 of Part 5 of Division 3 of Title 2 of, the Government Code, relating to transportation.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 9, as introduced, Moorlach. Department of Transportation.
(1) Existing law creates the Department of Transportation with various powers and duties relative to the state highway system and other transportation programs.
This bill would prohibit the department from using any nonrecurring funds, including, but not limited to, loan repayments, bond funds, or grant funds, to pay the salaries or benefits of any permanent civil service position within the department.
(2) Article XXII of the California Constitution grants to the State of California and all other governmental entities the choice and authority to contract with qualified private entities for architectural and engineering services for all public works of improvement.
This bill would require the Department of Transportation to contract with qualified private entities for architectural and engineering services with respect to public works of improvement undertaken by the department, with a minimum of 15% of the total annual value of these services to be contracted to qualified private entities beginning on July 1, 2016, and increasing each year to a minimum of 50% by July 1, 2023.

Digest Key

Vote: majority   Appropriation: no   Fiscal Committee: yes   Local Program: no  

Bill Text

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Over the next 10 years, the state faces a $59 billion shortfall to adequately maintain the state highway system in a basic state of good repair.

(b) The 21st Annual Highway Report by the Reason Foundation, published in September 2014, found the following:

(1) California has 50,462 lane miles of highways under the administration of the Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

(2) Overall, California spent $501,136 per state mile of highway, more than three times the national average, yet California’s state highway system ranks 45th in overall performance and cost effectiveness.

(3) California spent $102,889 per state mile of highway specifically on maintenance, nearly four times the national average.

(4) California spent $48,754 per state mile of highway specifically on administration, more than four times the national average.

(c) Proposition 35, approved by voters in 2000, allows Caltrans, without limitation, to contract for architectural and engineering work. Currently, Caltrans only contracts for 10 percent of this work, while 90 percent is completed by permanent state staff, resulting in an inability to adjust staffing levels as workload fluctuates.

(d) Hiring permanent state staff with limited-term or one-time funding is fiscally imprudent and leads to structural funding deficiencies.

(e) According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, in the Capital Outlay Support Program Review report issued in May 2014, the Capital Outlay Support Program is overstaffed by approximately 3,500 full-time equivalent positions, at a cost of more than $500 million annually.

SEC. 2.  Section 14009 is added to the Government Code, to read:

14009.  The department may not use any nonrecurring funds, including, but not limited to, loan repayments, bond funds, or grant funds, to pay the salaries or benefits of any permanent civil service position within the department.

SEC. 3.  Article 2.6 (commencing with Section 14140) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 5 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:

Article  2.6. Architectural and Engineering Services

14140.  The department shall implement Article XXII of the California Constitution by contracting with qualified private entities for architectural and engineering services, as defined in Section 4529.10, with respect to public works of improvement undertaken by the department, as follows:

(a) A minimum of 15 percent of the total annual value of architectural and engineering services required by the department shall be contracted to qualified private entities for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2016.

(b) A minimum of 20 percent of the total annual value of architectural and engineering services required by the department shall be contracted to qualified private entities for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2017.

(c) A minimum of 25 percent of the total annual value of architectural and engineering services required by the department shall be contracted to qualified private entities for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2018.

(d) A minimum of 30 percent of the total annual value of architectural and engineering services required by the department shall be contracted to qualified private entities for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2019.

(e) A minimum of 35 percent of the total annual value of architectural and engineering services required by the department shall be contracted to qualified private entities for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2020.

(f) A minimum of 40 percent of the total annual value of architectural and engineering services required by the department shall be contracted to qualified private entities for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2021.

(g) A minimum of 45 percent of the total annual value of architectural and engineering services required by the department shall be contracted to qualified private entities for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2022.

(h) A minimum of 50 percent of the total annual value of architectural and engineering services required by the department shall be contracted to qualified private entities for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2023, and in subsequent fiscal years.

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