Assemblyman Fong discusses plan to improve transportation spending

Assemblyman Fong discusses plan to improve transportation spending

Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) says a promise is a promise and when it comes to California’s roads and highways that promise is not being kept.

During a Feb. 13 interview on “The Richard Beene Show,” Fong said that a bill he’s proposing will help fix California’s sagging infrastructure needs without raising taxes, but will instead focus the state’s fuel taxes, vehicle fees and sales taxes from vehicle purchases back toward transportation-related projects rather than the general fund.

“Every dollar that we pay into gas taxes and fees … every dollar that we pay for should go back toward transportation,” Fong said.

While Fong admits that he faces an uphill battle to get approval of AB 496, especially when he faces a super majority of Democrats in state government, he’s still optimistic that his plan would make sense to moderates in the Assembly.

“In the last six years the general fund has increased more than $36 billion and zero dollars of that $36 billion has gone to transportation,” said Fong, who adds his plan is the only infrastructure funding bill that doesn’t include tax increases or new taxes. “It has not gone to infrastructure, hasn’t gone to water infrastructure, hasn’t gone to transportation infrastructure, and if you talk to anyone in the legislature, and even if you talk to the governor, everyone says the No. 1 priority facing the state is fixing our transportation infrastructure and fixing our water infrastructure.”

During the interview, host Richard Beene asked if the money was taken out of the general fund if that would impact other programs, but Fong countered saying that the residents of the state pay taxes for fuel based on the assumption it would go toward paying to maintaining roads and freeways.

“A promise is a promise,” Fong said.

Listen to the full interview here:

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