Schiavo bill seeks to increase transparency on transportation investments

Politics and government
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News release 

Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, has announced the introduction of the Transportation Accountability Act, Assembly Bill 2086, which will create needed transparency and accountability in California’s transportation investments, paving the way for a more efficient and equitable transportation system, according to a news release from the assemblywoman’s office.  

The Greenlining Institute and TransForm are co-sponsors of the legislation. 

California is experiencing climate disasters with more and more regularity,” the release said. “The transportation sector is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in our state. Yet, legislation designed to address these emissions has been undermined by a lack of transparency about where California’s transportation budget goes and whether those investments are serving our climate goals.” 

The Transportation Accountability Act would require the state to set targets, track, and regularly report to the Legislature and the public how transportation dollars support state and federal mandates. 

“Our state’s transportation system impacts the daily lives of every Californian, as well as the state’s ambitious climate, equity, economic and safety goals,” Schiavo said in the release. “Yet the Legislature and public have no meaningful way of tracking the impacts of California’s transportation investments and how they are supporting or hampering progress toward our goals. The Transportation Accountability Act will lay the foundation for transforming the way California invests in transportation to ensure future transportation initiatives improve mobility and help us meet state and federal goals while advancing equity for all.”    

“Decades of inequitable transportation policies and investments have burdened communities of color and low-income communities with worse health and economic outcomes. But it doesn’t have to be this way,” Alvaro Sanchez, vice president of policy at The Greenlining Institute, said in the release. “Transportation investments have the potential to yield more economic opportunities by creating high-quality jobs, increasing options to get people to work, and improving local economic activity. Our communities deserve transparency and accountability to ensure we don’t replicate harms, and the state needs this information to target resources and maximize taxpayer dollars.” 

“Despite spending billions of dollars annually on transportation, California is failing to meet our own climate and safety goals,” Zack Deutsch-Gross, policy director at TransForm, said in the release. “The Transportation Accountability Act is an essential step to ensure everyone can safely and conveniently access what they need and enjoy fulfilling lives without the fear of climate catastrophe.” 

Schiavo added: “The Transportation Accountability Act helps ensure benefits promised to the Californians, state, local, and regional governments and the public are transparent and can be fulfilled. By understanding the impacts and gaps, the state can make more effective, responsible, and fair transportation investments for decades to come.” 

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