On May 5, 2006, California lawmakers approved a series of bills that would place a record $37.3 billion public works spending plan before voters in November, reviving the earlier proposal that failed to pass the Legislature earlier this year when lawmakers and the governor could not reach a compromise.
The proposal asks voters to approve four separate bond measures: $19.9 billion for roads and transit projects; $10.4 billion for school and university buildings; $4.1 billion for flood control; and $2.85 billion for affordable housing projects.
Both legislative chambers also approved measures that will streamline the environmental review process on levees and bridges and create four new public-private partnerships on public infrastructure projects.
A measure that would have expanded the design-build construction process on state projects bogged down in the Assembly, however, 28-28, with 41 votes needed for passage. The measure, however, can still be brought up for reconsideration.
Both houses also approved a bill allocating $500 million from state reserves for immediate levee repairs and a constitutional amendment to protect Proposition 42 gas tax money for road projects.
The proposal will greatly impact public works infrastructure in the coming years, and we will be providing a detailed analysis of the numerous ballot measures over the coming weeks.