News & Media
Vol. 8, No. 1January 21, 2010
In This Issue …
- Governor Schwarzenegger Proposes to Raid Transit Funds Again
- CFTE Announces California Transit Initiatives Training Workshop
- Walla Walla WA-Valley Transit Faces 50% Service Cut
- Six Stops to Success
- Putting Your Transportation Message in Service
Governor Schwarzenegger Proposes to Raid Transit Funds
BALLOT INITIATIVE CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY
Earlier this month, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released his 2010-11 State Budget proposal. Once again, the Governor proposes raiding funds from the Public Transportation Account (PTA) to fill non-transit holes in the General Fund. This comes after last year's ruling by the Third District Court of Appeals stating that such diversions from the PTA violated a series of statutory and constitutional amendments enacted by voters via four statewide initiatives dating back to 1990. Instead of diverting money from the PTA, the proposal would remove the funding stream that is supposed to flow into the PTA in the first place, effectively eliminating state funding for transit.
According to the California Transit Association (CTA), under current law there is approximately $1.5 billion at stake in the 2010-11 budget. More than $3.5 billion in transit funding has been illegally diverted over the previous three years, and last year budget crafters eliminated the State Transit Assistance (STA) program, which, since its creation in the early 1970s, had been the only ongoing source of state funding for day-to-day transit operations.
Foreseeing that even success in the courts might not halt the funding grabs, CTA has partnered with the League of California Cities and the California Alliance for Jobs on a statewide ballot initiative that would prevent further raids on state funding for a variety of local services, including public safety, libraries and parks, in addition to public transit. The campaign on behalf of the measure is currently collecting signatures with an eye toward qualifying for the November, 2010 ballot.
California Transit Initiatives Training Workshop
JOIN US IN SACRAMENTO ON MARCH 9, 2010
On March 9, 2010, join transit advocates, agency representatives, community officials and ballot measure campaign professionals from around the state to get the latest information on transportation ballot measures--from election trends to tools for success. This workshop is an abridged version of the biannual Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference tailored to meet the needs of communities in California.
Sessions will provide case studies from successful campaigns, address how to use media and communication strategies to get the transit message out, and explain how to build a strong, supportive coalition. Interested in the November 2010 statewide measure to close loopholes and prevent the state from raiding transit funds? A special afternoon session will provide an overview of this initiative and detail ways to get involved!
Registration for the workshop will open shortly at www.CFTE.org
Valley Transit Faces 50% Service Cut
VOTERS ASKED TO PRESERVE TRANSIT SERVICE
Last fall, the Walla Walla Valley Transit Board decided to place a sales tax increase before voters in a Special Election on the February 9, 2010 ballot. The citizens of Walla Walla, Washington will be asked to vote on a sales tax increase of 0.03% to fund valley transit.
After 19 years of operation, Valley Transit lost half its regular funding with the elimination of the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax in 2000. Since then, the system has been running on declining local sales tax revenue, with help from state and federal funds, and its reserves. As a result, Valley Transit is facing substantial deficits for 2010 and beyond. Without additional revenues, service will need to be cut 50%, which would eliminate most or all fixed routes. In an effort to generate additional funding, the Valley Transit board has tripled fares from 25 cents to 75 cents. Even with this increase, fare revenues will likely bring in less than 8% of annual expenditures, and must be supplemented by other sources, primarily sales tax revenue.
For Ballot Measure info visit: www.cfte.org
Six Stops to Success
PUTTING YOUR TRANSPORTATION MESSAGE IN SERVICE
The free, six-part webinar training series continues on February 19, 2010 with Building a Winning Coalition. Even if your community is not looking to go to the ballot in 2010, it is never too early to begin laying the groundwork! Six Stops to Success will continue with webinars once a month through May. All webinars are scheduled on Fridays at 1:00pm Eastern Time.