California’s State Building and Construction Trades Council (SBCTC) and the California Labor Federation (CLF) say they strongly oppose Proposition 6 on the November ballot.
The proposed initiative would repeal California’s Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act passed last year that has enabled California to increase its annual investment in roads, bridges, highways, transit systems, bike paths and pedestrian facilities by $5.2 billion annually through a small increase of 12 cents a gallon in the state tax on gasoline.
“This measure would jeopardize more than 6,500 transportation improvement projects currently underway or planned throughout the state – making our local roads less safe, more congested and more deteriorated,” SBCTC president Robbie Hunter said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Steve Smith from the CLF called Prop 6 “one of the most important issues voters will decide this fall,” noting that it “would also set the terrible precedent of repealing much-needed revenue that protects our families and creates good-paying jobs.”
Funding from SB 1, which would be lost if Prop 6 passes, will support the repair, repaving and reconstruction of more than 84,000 lane miles on nearly 19,000 miles of roadway over 10 years. SB 1 also invests in public transit and helps fund the replacement of 556 state and local bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
The labor groups say that more than 300 organizations oppose Prop 6 – including the California Professional Firefighters, California Association of Highway Patrolmen, American Society of Civil Engineers, Emergency responders and paramedics, California League of Conservation Voters, League of California Cities, as well as many unions
The measure was put on the ballot after a petition campaign funded by Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego City Council member who authored a 2012 San Diego measure that imposed a six-year freeze on pay levels used to determine pension benefits for city workers.
DeMaio also backed Prop 32, which would have restricted unions from engaging in political activities. Republican John Cox, Donald Trump’s favored candidate for California governor, has made repealing the gas tax a centerpiece of his campaign, in what some analysts say is an attempt to get anti-tax Republicans to the polls to support an otherwise lackluster and unknown businessman, The San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council says in its e-letter.