For Immediate Release: February 22, 2010
For More Information Contact:
Carol Chamberlain – Office: (916) 319-2069
Cell: (916) 804-5355
Solorio-Backed Bill Will Create 6,000 New Orange County Transportation Jobs
Bill Passes Legislature and Awaits Governor’s Signature
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Legislature passed Solorio-sponsored legislation (AB 11 X8) that allows the California Transportation Commission to sign $410 million in agreements with local transportation agencies allowing them to seek state reimbursement later for projects they jumpstart today. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) asked Assemblyman Solorio to work on the bill in the Assembly while senators Bob Huff and Lou Correa advocated for AB 11 X8 in the Senate. The bill passed with broad, bipartisan support.
“This legislation means California’s shaky relationship with Wall Street is not going to delay funding for Orange County transportation projects ready and waiting to get started,” Assemblyman Solorio says.
The State’s current inability to sell bonds has delayed construction of several OCTA “shovel-ready” transportation projects. While OCTA has local funding to advance these projects, current law prevents them from proceeding without the State committing to pay its share. Now, if OCTA wishes to front the funding, the California Transportation Commission will have legal authority to issue a “letter of no prejudice,” which will allow OCTA to be eligible for reimbursement later, once the bonds are sold.
“OCTA stands ready to nearly triple the state’s investment in infrastructure and deliver $410 million in projects that will create more than 6,000 jobs as a result of the Legislature’s action today,” says Jerry Amante, OCTA’s chairman of the board of directors. “We are thrilled to partner with the state to keep projects moving and jumpstart the economy, and we appreciate the Legislature and Governor’s efforts to fast-track this bill.”
Bob Balgenorth, president of the California Building and Construction Trades Council agrees. “Our workers are willing, able and ready. It has been a tough few years for building trades workers, and the pain continues today. But now we have Assemblymember Solorio and other members in the Legislature acting boldly to stop the bleeding. This bill sets in place a course of action that will get us back to work.”
California voters approved Proposition 116 in 1990, which authorized $1.99 billion in bond funding for public transit infrastructure. In Orange County, projects totaling $410 million have cleared their environmental phase and are pending allocation of that funding. These projects are ready to begin construction this year.
“This legislation is one creative idea among many that is going to get California back on its feet,” Solorio says. “It all comes down to having confidence in the future and being proactive to create jobs. Obviously, OCTA believes in California.”
In February 2009, the City of Irvine partnered with OCTA to reallocate its $121.3 million in unused Proposition 116 funding to intercity/commuter rail projects in Orange County. The chart below highlights the eligible projects and the number of jobs that they will create.
State Assemblyman Jose Solorio is the Chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee and serves on the Assembly Education, Transportation, and Appropriations committees. He represents the Sixty-Ninth Assembly District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Santa Ana. For more information about Assemblyman Solorio, visit www.assembly.ca.gov/solorio.
Capitol Office: State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849 • Sacramento, CA 94249-0069
Phone: (916) 319-2069 • Fax:(916) 319-2169
District Office: 2400 East Katella Avenue, Suite 640 • Anaheim, CA 92806
Phone: (714) 939-8469 • Fax:(714) 939-8986
Web Site: www.assembly.ca.gov/solorio