Sen. Maldonado. If stimulus funds CA infrastructure a tax increase is not required

Governor Schwarzenegger and CA legislators. Wait a minute. As CA cities have requested $23 billion of the stimulus fund for identified infrastructure projects then we do not require any tax increase to balance the budget. As president Obama has the stimulus on the “fast track,” let’s see what funds come in before voting on our budget.

A colleague just sent me a breakdown of the proposed “stimulus” package requests by state and city. Obviously these are projects for which the applicant is ready to go if funding is authorized. The total stimulus requested by our state is $23,194,447,831. “Twenty three billion.”

If signed by president Obama, as approved by Congress, California cities might receive funding for 1,971 different projects. President Obama’s home state of IL. is requesting funding for 1,031 projects while West VA has only one listed project.
I am pleased to report that in an earlier post, sent to president Obama, I indicated that Mission Viejo is flush with cash and does not require any taxpayer funding in the stimulus. The good news, or so it says in the report I am reading, is that Mission Viejo is not included anywhere in California’s 1,971 identified projects.

With that update let’s take a peek at the city of Santa Ana who, according to the report, is hoping to receive around $150 million divided among 47 different projects covering water, energy, transit, public safety and the bulk in the form of CDBG grants for residential and industrial street projects.

There is $4.6 million for regional transportation center improvements, $1.8 million for public safety and $7 million in two projects related to energy at city buildings.  Thirty-nine of the CDBG projects address industrial and residential streets such as $11 million for Bristol Manor, $7.6 million for Madison Park, $5.5 million for Valley Adams and $4 million for French Park. The list includes $41 million for storm drains and $20 million for replacing the 1st Street bridge at the Santa Ana River.

As I scan the 20 page report for high ticket projects I found the city of Anaheim requesting $220 million to expand the Anaheim Convention Center. The city with the largest single request is LA who is seeking $2.1 billion for Solar LA. They also have requested $500 million for the Port of LA Green Jobs.

Further north the city of Oakland has requested $300 million for a new parking structure at Oakland Airport and $450 million for a new police administration building. Sacramento has requested $750 million for an Amtrak Tunnel and $500 million for housing.

Let me repeat myself. If CA cities receive federal stimulus funding for these infrastructure projects than we do not require a tax increase in Sacramento! We have waited this long for the state budget that is already past due. Any federal stimulus funding becomes a wild card that should not be ignored as you deliberate.

PS: Having opposed the stimulus and any tax increases in our state, I share the above report simply for discussion.

Larry Gilbert, Member, Americans for Prosperity

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