New California Budget Proposal Provides Massive Funding Boost to Higher Education

On May 14, Gov. Newsom unveiled his record-breaking $267 billion budget proposal to tackle some of the greatest challenges facing the state of California, kicking off what’s been described as the most ambitious era of government spending in the state since the mid-20th century. The new proposed budget comes exactly one year to the day after the governor announced spending cuts to schools, homeless services and health care in light of the state’s $54 billion budget shortfall and the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to a booming stock market and greater than expected tax ...

President Biden Unveils Historic Infrastructure Proposal

The President unveiled details of his historic infrastructure plan this morning, proposing the largest infrastructure investment in U.S. history.

The President’s proposal, titled the American Jobs Plan, requests roughly $2 trillion in total federal funding and financing tools over the next eight years:

  • $621 billion for transportation infrastructure and resilience, including:
    • $115 billion for bridges, highways, roads and main streets
    • $20 billion for road safety
    • $85 billion for transit
    • $80 billion for Amtrak
    • $174 billion for electrifying vehicles
    • $25 billion for airports
U.S. DOT Announces Latest Round of INFRA Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has announced it is making $889 million available through its latest round of Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants. In its February 17 announcement, the DOT noted that the INFRA grants “will fund transportation projects of national and regional significance that are in line with the Biden Administration’s priorities, including creating good-paying jobs, improving safety, and applying transformative technology, and explicitly addressing climate change and racial equity.”

For the selection ...

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North Carolina Commission Recommends P3s as a Tool to Address Transportation Infrastructure Needs

State departments of transportation across the country currently find themselves at a cross-roads where traditional sources of infrastructure funding may not generate sufficient revenues for addressing aging transportation infrastructure. States generally rely on “user fee” revenues generated from fuel taxes, vehicle sales taxes and registration fees to support transportation infrastructure spending. The user fee funding model has come under scrutiny in light of recent trends, such as urbanization, electric vehicles, micro mobility and ride-sharing services. In ...

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Integrating Infrastructure and Community to Revitalize the L.A. River

Los Angeles County aims to integrate infrastructure planning with social and environmental needs in its recently released draft of the updated L.A. River Master Plan.

The plan is the first to cover the entire L.A. River and proposes a 51-mile connected open space to manage floodwaters while improving natural ecosystems and public wellbeing. Calculations based on information from the US Census Bureau indicate that 25% of Californians live within a 30-minute drive of the LA River and over one million people live within one mile.

The plan represents a combined effort by L.A. County ...

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Can Parking Benefit Districts Step In as Revenue Sources Dry Up?

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns and economic disruptions have severely affected the usual revenue sources that local governments have used to fund public improvements and transportation services – e.g., distributions of state and federal gas tax revenue, local sales taxes and property taxes. Local governments might consider creating parking benefit districts (“PBDs”), which can provide modest amounts of revenue. PBDs, along with other creative ways to raise revenue, can help fill in funding gaps for local improvements and services.

A PBD is a geographic ...

SolarWinds Cybersecurity Exploit: What Water Providers Need to Know and Do

In light of the major cybersecurity breach of the SolarWinds Orion software by malicious actors, the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC) recently issued a series of advisories providing guidance for water providers across the country on how to respond and react to this unprecedented cyberattack.

As highlighted in the WaterISAC advisory issued on December 16, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency has recommended that all water and wastewater utilities review the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA's) Emergency Directive ...

Austin Voters Approve Tax Measure to Help Fund $7.1B Project Connect Plan

On November 3rd, Austin voters approved a property tax increase to help fund the $7.1 billion Project Connect mass transit project. The initial investment, which is a portion of the “Project Connect System Plan,” includes 27 miles of rail service, 31 stations and a transit tunnel. Specific elements of the plan include:

  • Blue Line: An approximately 15-mile light rail line running from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), connecting through the downtown station and running north to Lamar Boulevard at Highway 183
  • Orange Line: A 21-mile light rail line running from North ...
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Tags: Texas
CEQA Amended to Expedite Transit and Sustainable Transportation Projects

Governor Newsom recently signed into law Senate Bill 288 (the “Sustainable Transportation COVID-19 Recovery Act”), which will temporarily add new exemptions to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) statute. The purpose of SB 288 is to fast track transit and sustainable transportation projects, provide a boost to public transit agencies affected by COVID-19, aid economic recovery by producing jobs, and reduce driving and GHG emissions. 

These statutory exemptions may help expedite environmental review of transportation projects that are specifically ...

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Governor Newsom Signs Major Housing and Transit CEQA Streamlining Bill

On August 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 2731, which is intended to support the potential redevelopment of the 70-acre Navy Old Town Campus in downtown San Diego. The site would include a LEED Gold certified transit hub, a public transit connection to the San Diego International Airport and adjacent transit-oriented development, including up to 10,000 new residential units. The bill was authored by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria and Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins. It authorizes the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to acquire a ...

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