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AB-1640 Transportation funding: low-income communities.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/18/2017 04:00 AM
AB1640:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1640


Introduced by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bloom and Chiu)

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Sections 14529 and 65082 of, and to add Section 65083 to, the Government Code, relating to transportation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1640, as introduced, Eduardo Garcia. Transportation funding: low-income communities.
Existing law establishes the state transportation improvement program process, pursuant to which the California Transportation Commission generally programs and allocates available state and federal funds for transportation capital improvement projects, other than state highway rehabilitation and repair projects, over a multiyear period based on estimates of funds expected to be available. Existing law provides funding for these interregional and regional transportation capital improvement projects through the state transportation improvement program process, with 25% of funds available for interregional projects selected by the Department of Transportation through preparation of an interregional transportation improvement program and 75% for regional projects selected by transportation planning agencies through preparation of a regional transportation improvement program. Existing law requires each transportation planning agency, on a biennial basis, to prepare and submit to the commission a regional transportation improvement program containing transportation capital projects identified for funding through the next cycle of the 5-year state transportation improvement program.
This bill would require, beginning January 1, 2020, each regional transportation improvement program to allocate a minimum of 25% of available funds to projects or programs that provide direct, meaningful, and assured benefits to low-income individuals who live in certain identified communities or to riders of transit service that connects low-income residents to critical amenities and services. The bill would require the department, in consultation with residents of low-income communities and specified state agencies, to adopt guidelines for this allocation no later than January 1, 2018, to define and map low-income communities that are disadvantaged with respect to transportation, to identify communities that would benefit from the allocation requirements, and to specify criteria for determining whether certain investments benefit low-income residents of the identified communities. The bill would require the department to provide financial support, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to low-income residents of low-income communities for specified purposes generally relating to enabling their participation in the development of these guidelines and the selection of transportation projects and programs.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 14529 of the Government Code is amended to read:

14529.
 (a) The state transportation improvement program shall include a listing of all capital improvement projects that are expected to receive an allocation of state transportation funds under Section 164 of the Streets and Highways Code, including revenues from transportation bond acts, from the commission during the following five fiscal years. It shall include, and be limited to, the projects to be funded with the following:
(1) Interregional improvement funds.
(2) Regional improvement funds.
(b) For each project, the program shall specify the allocation or expenditure amount and the allocation or expenditure year for each of the following project components:
(1) Completion of all permits and environmental studies.
(2) Preparation of plans, specifications, and estimates.
(3) The acquisition of rights-of-way, including, but not limited to, support activities.
(4) Construction and construction management and engineering, including surveys and inspection.
(c) Funding for right-of-way acquisition and construction for a project may be included in the program only if the commission makes a finding that the sponsoring agency will complete the environmental process and can proceed with right-of-way acquisition or construction within the five-year period. No allocation for right-of-way acquisition or construction shall be made until the completion of the environmental studies and the selection of a preferred alternative.
(d) The commission shall adopt and submit to the Legislature and the Governor, not later than April 1 of each even-numbered year thereafter, a state transportation improvement program. The program shall cover a period of five years, beginning July 1 of the year it is adopted, and shall be a statement of intent by the commission for the allocation or expenditure of funds during those five years. The program shall include projects which are expected to receive funds prior to July 1 of the year of adoption, but for which the commission has not yet allocated funds.
(e) The projects included in the adopted state transportation improvement program shall be limited to those projects submitted or recommended pursuant to Sections 14526 and 14527. The total amount programmed in each fiscal year for each program category shall not exceed the amount specified in the fund estimate adopted under Section 14525.
(f) The state transportation improvement program is a resource management document to assist the state and local entities to plan and implement transportation improvements and to utilize available resources in a cost-effective manner. It is a document for each county and each region to declare their intent to use available state and federal funds in a timely and cost-effective manner.
(g) Prior to the adoption of the state transportation improvement program, the commission shall hold not less than one hearing in northern California and one hearing in southern California to reconcile any objections by any county or regional agency to the department’s program or the department’s objections to any regional program.
(h) The commission shall incorporate projects that are included in the regional transportation improvement program and are to be funded with regional improvement funds, unless the commission finds that the regional transportation improvement program is not consistent with the guidelines adopted by the commission or commission, is not a cost-effective expenditure of state funds, funds, or is not consistent with the requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 65083, in which case the commission may reject the regional transportation improvement program in its entirety. The finding shall be based on an objective analysis, including, but not limited to, travel forecast, cost, and air quality. The commission shall hold a public hearing in the affected county or region prior to rejecting the program, or not later than 60 days after rejecting the program. When a regional transportation improvement program is rejected, the regional entity may submit a new regional transportation improvement program for inclusion in the state transportation improvement program. The commission shall not reject a regional transportation improvement program unless, not later than 60 days after the date it received the program, it provided notice to the affected agency that specified the factual basis for its proposed action.
(i) A project may be funded with more than one of the program categories listed in Section 164 of the Streets and Highways Code.
(j) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no local or regional matching funds shall be required for projects that are included in the state transportation improvement program.
(k) The commission may include a project recommended by a regional transportation planning agency or county transportation commission pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 14527, if the commission makes a finding, based on an objective analysis, that the recommended project is more cost-effective than a project submitted by the department pursuant to Section 14526.

SEC. 2.

 Section 65082 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65082.
 (a) (1) A five-year regional transportation improvement program shall be prepared, adopted, and submitted to the California Transportation Commission on or before December 15 of each odd-numbered year thereafter, updated every two years, pursuant to Sections 65080 and 65080.5 65080, 65080.5, and 65083 and the guidelines adopted pursuant to Section 14530.1, to include regional transportation improvement projects and programs proposed to be funded, in whole or in part, in the state transportation improvement program.
(2) Major projects shall include current costs updated as of November 1 of the year of submittal and escalated to the appropriate year, and be listed by relative priority, taking into account need, delivery milestone dates, and the availability of funding.
(b) Except for those counties that do not prepare a congestion management program pursuant to Section 65088.3, congestion management programs adopted pursuant to Section 65089 shall be incorporated into the regional transportation improvement program submitted to the commission by December 15 of each odd-numbered year.
(c) Local projects not included in a congestion management program shall not be included in the regional transportation improvement program. Projects and programs adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be consistent with the capital improvement program adopted pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 65089, and the guidelines adopted pursuant to Section 14530.1.
(d) Other projects may be included in the regional transportation improvement program if listed separately.
(e) Unless a county not containing urbanized areas of over 50,000 population notifies the Department of Transportation by July 1 that it intends to prepare a regional transportation improvement program for that county, the department shall, in consultation with the affected local agencies, prepare the program for all counties for which it prepares a regional transportation plan.
(f) The requirements for incorporating a congestion management program into a regional transportation improvement program specified in this section do not apply in those counties that do not prepare a congestion management program in accordance with Section 65088.3.
(g) The regional transportation improvement program may include a reserve of county shares for providing funds in order to match federal funds.

SEC. 3.

 Section 65083 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65083.
 (a) Beginning January 1, 2020, a regional transportation improvement program adopted pursuant to Section 65082 shall allocate a minimum of 25 percent of the available funds to projects or programs that provide direct, meaningful, and assured benefits to low-income individuals who live in communities identified pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) or to riders of transit service, of which at least 65 percent of its ridership is composed of low-income riders, that connects low-income residents to critical amenities and services.
(b) The department, through an inclusive and transparent public process, and in consultation with residents of low-income communities, the State Air Resources Board, the Strategic Growth Council, and the State Department of Public Health, shall adopt guidelines for the allocation of funds pursuant to subdivision (a) no later than June 30, 2018, that do all of the following:
(1) Define and map urban and rural low-income communities in California that are disadvantaged with respect to transportation.
(2) Identify the communities that would benefit from the requirements of subdivision (a). In identifying these communities, the department shall use factors including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Inadequate access to high-quality transit.
(B) Lack of sidewalks, crossing facilities, or bicycle infrastructure.
(C) Low rates of automobile ownership.
(D) Proximity to a freeway, major arterial, or goods movements corridors.
(E) Lack of shelters, benches, or pedestrian lighting at transit stops, employment centers, schools, medical facilities, grocery stores, and other community services.
(F) Risk of physical or economic displacement.
(G) Health and air pollution impacts of the transportation system.
(3) (A) Specify criteria for determining whether investments in transportation projects and programs benefit low-income residents of the communities identified pursuant to paragraph (2). In developing these criteria, the department shall consider the funding guidelines adopted by the State Air Resources Board in connection with the implementation of Section 39713 of the Health and Safety Code. In determining whether an investment or project will benefit those residents, the department shall address the mobility and health and safety needs of low-income residents who are disadvantaged with respect to transportation, as identified by those residents through a robust public participation process.
(B) The guidelines shall provide a basis for identifying projects and programs located within a low-income community that meet the community’s greatest needs and distinguishing them from others that, while located in that community, do not meet its greatest needs. The guidelines shall also ensure that projects and programs avoid harms to the residents of low-income communities, including the risk of health and safety harms and of physical and economic displacement.
(c) The department shall require congestion management agencies and regional planning agencies to report to the department information regarding the transportation project and program benefits provided to disadvantaged community residents. The department shall report this information to the California Transportation Commission and the department shall include this information in its annual report to the Legislature.
(d) The department shall provide financial support, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to low-income residents of low-income communities for all of the following purposes:
(1) To assist those residents in engaging in the development of the guidelines adopted pursuant to subdivision (b).
(2) To provide those residents with planning support and other technical assistance in identifying their priorities for local projects and programs that meet their needs by reducing their disadvantage with respect to transportation.
(3) To provide those residents with support in developing and implementing a participatory budget process.
(e) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Department” means the Department of Transportation.
(2) “Low-income community” means a census tract with median household incomes at or below 80 percent of the statewide median household income.
(3) “Low-income rider” means a transit rider living in a household with an income at or below 80 percent of the statewide median income.