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Bipartisan Road Repair Deal Now Considered Unlikely

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

The California state Senate meets on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

As the California Legislature enters its final days of work, the chances of a bipartisan transportation funding deal appear to be growing slimmer.

Gov. Jerry Brown called for new transportation funding in his Inaugural address back in January: “I’m calling on Republicans and Democrats alike to come together and tackle the challenge.”

But it wasn’t until late last week that the governor finally proposed a funding plan. It would raise $3.6 billion through a variety of sources, including higher gas taxes and vehicle fees. And raising that revenue would take a two-thirds supermajority in each chamber.

But it’s becoming clear the votes aren’t there. Not all Democrats are on board, and key Republicans aren’t either:

“Now, we’ve got four days left, and really, I’m not that motivated to get it done this week,“ Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), told Capital Public Radio Tuesday. “This is a special session, it can go into next year, it can go into after-session. It’s more important for me to get it right than it is to rush to get something done so we can slap each other on the back.”

Democratic leaders and the governor appear to be working on an alternative transportation funding plan. It would raise significantly less money – but only require a majority vote.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio