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08 August 9, 1995 LegislativeAGENDA ITEM #9E RIVERSIDE COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION DATE: August 9, 1995 TO: Riverside County Transportation Commission FROM: Louise Givens, Assistant Director Intergovermental Programs SUBJECT: Legislative Report This item is a report of the Legislative Committee Meeting and is presented as recommendations for positions on current legislation and policy. This item is recommended to the Commission as an action to adopt legislative and policy positions as proposed by the Committee. :jw Attachment RIVERSIDE COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEETING (COMMISSIONERS ALEX CLIFFORD, KAY CENICEROS, TOM MULLEN) WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9, 1995 11:30 A.M. -1:30 P.M. NORCO CITY HALL, BOARD ROOM 2870 CLARK AVENUE NORCO, CALIFORNIA *NOTE: LOCATION CHANGE AGENDA 1. WELCOME 2. PUBLIC COMMENTS The item on the agenda is provided to allow members of the public the opportunity to offer input on issues to come before this committee. Public comments will be limited to three minutes for each person. Persons wishing to speak will provide their name and affiliation for the record. 3. SACRAMENTO REPORT AND BUDGET UPDATES This item is presented as a review of the Sacramento Legislative Report provided by Consultants Smith-Kempton. The report by staff and the consultant will review current activities in the Legislature and the status of the State Budget. Committee is asked to recommend forwarding to the Commission for receive and file. 4. STATE LEGISLATION 4A. RCTC SPONSORED LEGISLATION The current status of the legislation will be reviewed and the next steps in the progress of these bills. The Committee is asked to review the attached bill language and forward positions to the Commission of receive -and file for the first two bills and support the amendments to the third: 4A(1). SB 457 (KELLEY) - RAIL FUNDING This legislation has successfully advanced from the Senate to the Assembly and has passed out of the Assembly Transportation Committee. The bill is now scheduled for consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee before going to the floor. Legislative Committee Page 2 August 9, 1995 4A(2).AB 772 (AGU/AR) - SEC 16 FUNDING FOR TRANSIT (Cosponsored) This bill was heard in the Senate Transportation Committee on July 10th. A strong campaign of opposition was developed by the insurance agency for many of the state's elderly and handicapped transit providers. The author has asked that the bill be carried over in the face of a committee vote that could have killed the bill. Talks are now underway with representatives of the rural counties who made up a significant portion of the opposition. Further amendments to the bill will be developed in order to make the language more acceptable to those areas. The bill will be brought back to committee in upcoming committee sessions. 4A(3). AB 1795 (GRANLUND) - RIDESHAR/NG FUNDING EQUITY The ridesharing program bill has had increasing number of interest groups involved in recent weeks. The ongoing negotiations between Caltrans and regional transportation agencies and the association of California Councils of Governments (CALCOG) have failed to get a firm commitment from Caltrans on the guidelines for the program. After many months of talks, the effort continues. With the need to resolve the issue increasing at the change of the fiscal year on July 1st, we have asked the author to take action by writing to the Senate Transportation Committee Chairperson Quentin Kopp. The letter is attached for review. Staff is working with Smith-Kempton and CALCOG to draft amendments to the bill in order to codify the structure for the Rideshare Program. Updates will be provided as the meeting when the amendments should be available. The Committee is asked to comments on the amendments and forward a recommendation of support to the Commission. 5. OTHER SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATION 5A. SB 75 (POLANCO) - TDA FUNDS FOR NON-TRANSPORTA770N USE A bill was introduced in late July to specify the use of a portion of Los Angeles Counties' funds under the Transportation Development Act be diverted for use in resolving the financial crisis. The legislation called for use of the funds for other than transportation purpose. The legislation passed both sides of the General Assembly, but was vetoed by the Governor. -Staff has taken action on this issue as an urgency matter and forwarded a letter of opposition under Chairperson Clifford's signature. The legality of this effort has also been questioned by staff and a response on this issue from legal council will be presented at the meeting. Also included for consideration is a law suit filed by the Professional Engineers in California Govemment (PECG) to further clarify this issue. (See Item 6B below.) Legislative Committee Page 3 August 9, 1995 5B. SB 501(CALDERON) - VEHICLE RETIREMENT - AIR QUALITY Calderon's bill was carried over from a previous agenda at the Committee's request for additional research on positions held by others. The bill has been amended to address that opposition which related to adequacy and assurances of the program. The amendments will add flexibility of funds available for the program, prohibit the re -registration of vehicles previously retired by the program, increase control of access to Department of Motor Vehicles records and require smog inspections a licensed testing stations to determine the emissions levels of a vehicle for inclusion in the scrappage program. Staff recommends support of the amended version of the bill which was changed to address issues raised by the environmental community. 5C. SB 780 (LEONARD) - ALTERNATIVE FUELS Commercial and heavy-duty vehicles produce a disproportionate amount of air pollution in relation to their numbers in the vehicle population. This bill offers incentive programs to encourage replacement of high polluting commercial vehicles, rather than establish mandates. The legislation reinstates until the year 2001, a sales tax exemption for the incremental cost of replacing commercial vehicles with low -emission vehicles; provides until the year 2000, a tax credit of the differential cost of replacement with low - emission commercial vehicles; and provides until the year 2000, a 50% tax credit for the differential cost of low -emission vehicle refueling facilities. Staff recommends a support position be adopted by the Committee and forwarded to the Commission for action. 5D. SB 916 (HAYNES) - TOLL FACIUTY PRIVATE FINANCING A bill to expand from 4 to 6 projects which can be developed in California as private toll roads and has been previously opposed by the RCTC. The bill was scheduled for hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee in April, but was canceled at the author's request and has become a two year bill. The author has indicated an understanding of the RCTC position and a lack of readiness for the bill to continue at this time. Senator Haynes has indicated a willingness to discuss the issues prior to advancing the bill. The Committee is asked to accept these staff comments for receive and file. Legislative Committee Page 4 August 9, 1995 6. POLICY MATTERS 6A. "CONGESTION PRICING" POLICY This item is provided as a review of the Commission's "Congestion Pricing" Policy or Toll Facility policy adopted in February 1993. An amendment has been proposed to the policy and additional language may be added as a result of this Committee's recommendations. Staff recommends approval of the proposed amendments to be forwarded to the Commission. 6B. PECG LAW SUIT - USE OF TRANSPORTATION FUNDS The attached brief describes the law suit recently filed by the Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG). The suit seeks to establish the illegality of transfer of transportation funds in the State Budget to the General Fund to be used for non -transportation purposes. The suit further seeks the repayment to the State Highway Account and other transportation funds, amounts previously transferred and utilized for other than transportation uses. Staff requests that the Committee consider the issues in the suit and adopt a position of support for the effort. The Committee may also wish to consider whether to join in the suit after receiving an opinion from RCTC legal council, and recommend that further action by the Commission. 7. FEDERAL LEGISLATION A report will be provided on the trip to Washington, D.C. by Commissioner Tom Mullen and staff for work on the projects forwarded for consideration for funding by members of Congress and through various agency processes. The Committee may be asked to take action on positions related to the current proposals for the Federal Budget, the National Highway System (NHS) bill, transit funding and the AMTRAK reauthorization legislation. OVERVIEW: This item is provided as a review of the 1995 Legislative Program and for possible action related to legislative positions and the Sacramento Monthly Report. A report will be provided on the meeting of the Legislative Committee held in advance of the regular RCTC meeting, with possible recommendations for action .