Thursday, January 8, 2009

Budget Battles – A More Concrete Plan

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to press for unnecessary big-road-project exemptions to the California Environmental Quality Act. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why he vetoed a proposed budget fix advanced by the democratic leaders in the Legislature.

He’s trying to make something out of nothing.
Nonpartisan analysts at the Legislative Analyst's Office have identified problems with Schwarzenegger’s approach. For example, the efforts to roll back California’s environmental protections only would advance many projects by a few months. Other projects may be held back by Prop. 1B limits on spending bond money on project design.

The state’s best hope for economic stimulus may instead lie with investment in rehabilitation and safety improvement projects, such as bridge maintenance, drainage improvements and pothole repair, according to the analysts. Even better, these small-scale projects can be done at less cost, since there’s traditionally more competition for smaller projects.

Such spending could cause true economic stimulus, and offer statewide safety and environmental benefits.
Wouldn’t that be something?

Image courtesy State of California

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