California Proposition 1B, Highway and Port Safety and Air Quality Bond Act (2006)
Proposition 1B authorized the State of California to sell $19.925 billion of general obligation bonds to fund transportation projects "to relieve congestion, improve the movement of goods, improve air quality, and enhance the safety and security of the transportation system."
Text of measure
The ballot title was:
The question on the ballot was:
- "Should the state sell $19.9 billion in general obligation bonds to fund state and local transportation projects aimed at relieving congestion, improving movement of goods, improving air quality, and enhancing safety and security of the transportation system?"
The official summary provided to describe Proposition 1B said:
- Makes safety improvements and repairs to state highways; upgrades freeways to reduce congestion; repairs local streets and roads; upgrades highways along major transportation corridors.
- Improves seismic safety of local bridges.
- Expands public transit.
- Helps complete the state's network of car pool lanes.
- Reduces air pollution.
- Improves anti-terrorism security at shipping ports.
- Provides for a bond issue not to exceed nineteen billion nine hundred twenty-five million dollars ($19,925,000,000).
- Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds.
- See also: Fiscal impact statement
The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- State costs of about $38.9 billion over 30 years to pay off both the principal ($19.9 billion) and interest ($19.0 billion) costs of the bonds. Payments of about $1.3 billion per year.
- Additional unknown state and local government costs to operate and maintain transportation infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, and buses and railcars) funded with bonds. A portion of these costs would be offset by revenues generated by the improvements, such as fares and tolls.
|Voting on Transportation|
|Not on ballot|
The official voter guide arguments in favor of Proposition 1B were signed by:
- Marian Bergeson, chair, California Transportation Commission
- Alan C. Lloyd, Former Chair, California Air Resources Board
- Allan Zaremberg, President, California Chamber of Commerce
- Larry McCarthy, President, California Taxpayers Association
- Thomas V. McKernan, President, Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA)
- Michael Brown, Commissioner, California Highway Patrol
Arguments in favor
The arguments in favor of Proposition 1B presented in the official voter guide were:
- "California has the most congested highways in the nation—we spend 500,000 hours stuck in traffic every day. It’s clear that the time to rebuild California’s roads, highways, and transportation systems is now."
- "Proposition 1B puts backlogged transportation projects on the fast track, reducing congestion and improving highway safety."
- "While Proposition 1A protects the gas tax funds we already pay at the pump, Proposition 1B is just as important because it provides funding now to jump-start repairs of our aging highways and to start building the transportation projects we know we’ll need in the future."
- "Proposition 1B includes funding to reduce air pollution by replacing old polluting school buses, expanding mass transit, and expanding carpool and HOV lanes. And, by reducing congestion on our freeways and roads, Proposition 1B will also help reduce car emissions—one of the leading sources of air pollution."
- "Proposition 1B includes important accountability measures like annual audits and reports to ensure funds are spent on intended projects."
- "Proposition 1B lets us begin building roads now and pay for them as we use them—with current tax revenues and without raising taxes. It is like a mortgage on a house that lets you live in your home while you pay for it."
Donors to the campaign for the measure:
- Rebuilding California, Yes on Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D and 1E: $9,235,090
- Californians to Improve Traffic Now/Yes on 1A and 1B: $8,363,947
- Citizens for a More Liveable California: $596,000
- Citizens for a More Liveable California: $30,000
- CMTE for California's Future: $29,500
- Total: $18,254,537
The official voter guide arguments opposing Proposition 1B were signed by:
Arguments in favor
The arguments opposing Proposition 1B presented in the official voter guide were:
- "$32 billion. That is what our children and grandchildren will pay to settle the debt associated with this bond. All this for funding costly programs at the expense of desperately needed highway construction. Make no mistake: every Member of the Legislature who voted against this bond measure supports restoring our state’s crumbling transportation system. We support dedicating every dollar you pay in gas taxes to our highways. And, we support building for California’s future wisely. However, this measure fails to achieve these important goals in a fiscally responsible manner."
- "Improved transportation is a critical issue for our state, but equally important is that each additional borrowed dollar we spend worsens our budget deficit and could cause significant consequences for hard-working California families."
- "A fiscally responsible solution would be a “pay as you go” approach to funding much-needed transportation projects. This approach will pay for infrastructure improvements from the general fund (taxes you already pay) and allow California to borrow less money to meet its annual obligations."
- "By setting aside a portion of the budget each year for infrastructure, we will be able to better meet our state’s complex needs and not saddle our children and grandchildren with backbreaking debt."
Path to the ballot
The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 1B on the ballot via Senate Bill 1266 of the 2005–2006 Regular Session (Chapter 25, Statutes of 2006).
|Votes in legislature to refer to ballot|
- Official Proposition 1B voter guide
- PDF of the mailed November 7, 2006 voter guide for Proposition 1B
- Proposition 1B on the Smart Voter Guide (dead link)
- Analysis of Proposition 1A (dead link) from the Institute of Governmental Studies
- Guide to Proposition 1B from the California Voter Foundation
- Summary of donors to and against 1B from Cal-Access
- Donors for and against Proposition 1B from Follow The Money
- Official declaration of the November 7, 2006 ballot proposition election results