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Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order Authorizing Theft of Voter-Approved Gas Tax Money

Order violates Prop. 69, while eliminating highway expansion and repair projects

By Katy Grimes, October 7, 2019 3:15 pm

Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Through an Executive Order, California Governor Gavin Newsom has redirected gas tax money to fund railway systems and other projects. The gas tax revenue would have repaired and upgraded the state’s broken highways and roads.

Californians pay the highest gas prices in the nation, most of which is taxes.

Of vital concern, Newsom’s latest road plan for California eliminates two important highway expansion projects on vital freight corridors in Central California.

Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-19-19 September 20, directing the already controversial gas tax money away from fixing local highways in favor of rail projects.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) recently explained that in the 2020 Transportation Plan are two projects that would have increased stretches of Highway 99 from four to six lanes in the Central Valley. Patterson says that a Cal Trans’ report even notes the “bottleneck” created at these sections along this major freight corridor.

Potholes filled with sandbags in Compton (photo by CSSRC)

“Instead of building capacity on our highways to move people and freight, Governor Newsom is funding his pet rail projects throughout the state,” Patterson said. “This theft of funds meant to improve our roadways is a glimpse into the future of transportation in our state and Newsom continues to execute his September 2019 Climate Change Executive Order. The Central Valley is just the beginning. Other road projects will likely be next.”

“This is theft of our gas taxes by Executive Order. Governor Newsom is intentionally starving us out of our roads. Voters approved SB 1 with the promise that our crumbling highways would get the attention they deserve. Instead of building capacity, our gas tax funds are being siphoned off to fund Newsom’s favored pet-projects,” Patterson said. “Governor Newsom’s promise not to forget about the Central Valley is full of hot air, just like his climate plan.”

Gov. Newsom’s office issued a press statement to explain the plan, just ahead of Climate Week:

Transportation Systems: The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) is directed to invest its annual portfolio of $5 billion toward construction, operations and maintenance to help reverse the trend of increased fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transportation sector. CalSTA, in consultation with the Department of Finance, is also directed to align transportation spending, programming and mitigation with the state’s climate goals to achieve the objectives of the state’s Climate Change Scoping Plan, where feasible. Specifically the Governor is ordering a focus for transportation investments near housing, and on managing congestion through innovative strategies that encourage alternatives to driving.

CBS47 said, “It calls for leveraging billion in annual state transportation funds to reduce greenhouse gases and emissions.”

Assemblyman Patterson says, “One of the very first things Governor Newsom decides to do, is put forward an executive order and his people at Caltrans have decided they are going to terminate addition north and south freeway lanes on Highway 99 in Tulare and Madera County. I’m almost speechless with response to this,” CBS47 reported. “When you pay for gas and you pay a gas tax, a railroad is not a highway. This is bait and switch. This is saying one thing and doing something else. I just think all who represent California both Democrats and Republicans have better step up and stand up and say Mr. Governor you can’t do this.”

California’s roads and highways are a disaster waiting to happen, thanks to decades of neglect by the state.

California’s largest state budget ever — $215 billion — is larded with a record number of local pork-barrel projects injected by individual legislators, often in exchange for “horse trading”  votes on passage of certain pieces of legislation – including transportation and resources spending, as the Globe outlined in June. The $230,650,000 million of extra spending in Resources and Transportation can make your head swim. So why did the governor need to take gas tax revenue if there is plenty of money for pork projects?

In his State of the State address, Newsom focused on affordable housing goals: “He also called out how the Legislature has expedited judicial review on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for wealthy professional sports teams owners – the most recent exemption was done by then-Senator Darrell Steinberg for Sacramento’s Golden 1 Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings. “It’s time we do the same thing for housing,” Newsom said. Then he said that home builders and labor leaders are working together to forge a compromise to accelerate production. ‘If we want a California for All, we have to build housing for all.’”

Just last week, Newsom vowed to accelerate the deadline for communities to meet their mandated short-term housing goals to two years from three. “Our state’s affordability crisis is undermining the California Dream and the foundations of our economic well-being,” said Newsom, “Families should be able to live near where they work. They shouldn’t live in constant fear of eviction or spend their whole paycheck to keep a roof overhead,” the Sacramento Bee reported.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson. (Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

He vowed to “spend $1.75 billion to entice communities to build more.”

Newsom threatened to take money from gas tax bill, Senate Bill 1 by Sen. Pres. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), and ‘redirect’ those funds if cities and counties don’t meet his new housing goals.

SB1, was sold to the people based on its name, as was the gas tax repeal initiative: the “Road Repair and Accountability Act.” The tax money, voters believed, was to fund repairs for the state’s aging roads and highways and bridges.

“This legislative package invests $54 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and puts more dollars toward transit and safety,” RebuildingCA.gov detailing SB 1 says. “These funds will be split equally between state and local investments.”

“California’s state-maintained transportation infrastructure will receive roughly half of SB 1 revenue: $26 billion. The other half will go to local roads, transit agencies and an expansion of the state’s growing network of pedestrian and cycle routes. Each year, this new funding will be used to tackle deferred maintenance needs both on the state highway system and the local road system, including:

Maintenance and Rehabilitation of the State Highway System: $1.8 billion

Maintaining and Repairing the State’s Bridges and Culverts: $400 million

Repairs to Local Streets and Roads: $1.5 billion

Matching Funds for Local Agencies: $200 million

Bike and Pedestrian Projects: $100 million

Freeway Service Patrol: $25 million

New Funding to Transit Agencies: over $750 million

Trade Corridor Enhancement Program: $300 million

Solutions for Congested Corridors Program: $250 million

Local Planning Grants: $25 million

Transportation-Related Research at state universities: $7 million

Workforce Training Programs: $5 million

Proposition 69 Violation

Proposition 69 election results

In 2018, Californians also overwhelmingly passed California Proposition 69, the Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox and Appropriations Limit Exemption Amendment. Prop. 69 requires that revenue from the diesel sales tax and Transportation Improvement Fee enacted by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 be used for transportation-related purposes; and exempt revenue generated by SB 1’s tax increases and fee schedules from the state appropriations limit.

CBS47 said they contacted Caltrans about its report to delete the widening projects on Highway 99. A spokesperson said she hadn’t seen the report. California State Transportation Agency released a statement regarding this report:

“The state is confronting the climate crisis head on. In doing so, Caltrans will use available transportation dollars to prioritize projects that manage congestion and reduce vehicle miles traveled in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Those who claim the state is canceling projects funded by gas tax dollars are incorrect. Aligning climate goals with transportation goals requires new thinking, not obstructionism. With the long lead time to plan, design, and construct transportation projects, we must act now to achieve our climate goals.”

CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY DAVID S. KIM

Lastly, in what appears to target mostly Republican districts, Gov. Newsom also said in the press statement, “Moving away from internal combustion engines is critical to reduce carbon emissions and to address major pollution issues across the state, especially in the Central Valley and Inland Empire.”

“CARB shall strengthen existing or adopt new regulations to achieve greenhouse gas reductions within the transportation sector.”

“This is worse than a shell game or bait-and-switch,” Patterson said on his Facebook page. “It is taxpayer theft by executive order. Promise voters that road taxes will fix our highways and streets, then siphon off $5 billion for his Climate Change plan – a new scheme to get us to give up our cars.”

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83 thoughts on “Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order Authorizing Theft of Voter-Approved Gas Tax Money

  1. This shouldn’t surprise anyone after all Newsom did try to steal $331 million from homeowners in California and the courts had to order him to return it. Speaks volumes about Newsom’s character none of it good.

      1. There’s one going on right now to Re-call Pretty Boy. Sign it and get him out. The same is happening in Oregon. They’re turning in petitions for next Monday’s deadline. It looks like it has a good shot at getting on the ballot
        We have to do the same here. We can no longer afford the luxury of a far-left radical democrat Governor and his pet legislature.

      2. I totally agree, this governor is all about his pet projects and not a pet people that he supposed to represent the people that voted him in to office what a shame. Governor Newsom needs to be recalled.

    1. Well, the Democrats voted this fool in, when a vote for the Right would have gotten a team who would NOT have done this kind of grafting/theft Newsom is doing. They voted in the Gas Tax to make this grafting/theft happen, put Newsom in the driver’s seat. The Right fought that tooth-and-nail too. Maybe Democrats should vote for who will do the best job rather than blindly support their Party, i.e., the Party of grafting, theft, pork-barrel projects, and ignoring their constituency.

      1. How do some politicians become millionaires? Well, they have pork barrel projects, i.e. “Bullet train” where they can choose which contractor is willing to kick down large some’s of money to allow them to become the builder of the project! Simple as that. Period!!!

        1. I strongly suspect that is the source of the “OBAMA” wealth, America’s Idi Amin.
          Kickbacks that he received from his election bundlers lucrative taxpayer financed ‘GREEN ENERGY’ contracts which then went bankrupt generated millions for the Obama crime family, while VP Biden had his own family scams operating in China and Russia.
          Yes, the swamp certainly needs to be drained, and post haste.

      1. Yes. Jerry Brown left California with a surplus what gives #Newsom the right to use the gas tax funds for his own project. Bye bye #Newsom

    2. If people would have voted no on the gas tax this is a non issue….

      Why would any sane person vote for higher taxes or bonds?

    3. Actually that was Gov. Brown
      “State government received $410 million and initially set aside $331 million to educate homeowners and give them legal help. But instead, then-Gov. Jerry Brown (2012) and the Legislature spent most of the money paying off state debts from housing bonds.”

    4. Who profits? Those who profit should pay for the infrastructure. Utilities do, corporations do, even churches do. Again, who profits?

    1. Is it time to start referring to high speed rail as Newsome’s Folly? He had a chance to stop it, but now seems to be doubling down on replacing roads with even more rail projects.

  2. California voters are getting exactly the government they voted for. Elections have consequences and an electorate that’s indifferent, ignorant or unable to make rational decisions will soon be swamped in poverty, crime and a very bleak future.

    1. Seriously, what are the voter’s thinking of?
      Think about it, they are voting for higher taxes.
      Why, because all the taxes they already pay have given them so much.
      Idiots.

    2. Not ever Californian voted for him. We have an influx of illigals voting also. We need to split the state at the SFGG Bridge. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA and Southern California. I cant even begin to tell you what its like to TAKE THE TIME TO VOTE ONLY TO HAVE BABYMAN NEWSOM …CHANGE IT TO SERVE HIMSELF. This State isnt going to hell, its there!

      1. Isn’t there still an issue in regards to billions of dollars missing of federal funding for rail and other projects?
        Someone needs to be held accountable for that before spending more taxpayers money. In my opinion.

  3. Why not ask Newsom about him selling his signature on reference letters to colleges in California for $2,500 a pop? For kids he never met in his life. He did it numerous times while mayor of San Fran.

  4. If you’re still living in California and Paying the Criminal Democrat Tyrants…. YOU DESERVE WHAT YOU GET…

    IT’S NOT LIKE THIS HAPPENED OVERNIGHT !

    1. This is just another example of democratic policy and the old, bait and switch game. We California’s must recall this govern and give the state back to republican rule. This guy is a must go. Recall Newsome Now

  5. Kalifornia has so many problems. All caused by our biggest problem, the political dictatorship in this state. I am all in on a rail system. If it is run by the private sector without our tax dollars. Private toll roads may also be a solution?

    Kali Democrats have always had a way of misappropriating earmarked funds. It’s in the party’s DNA. They also become extremely rich in doing it. Of course, Newsome will get what he wants with the full backing of his Sorosian eunuchs in the state legislature.

  6. California is going to be used in 2020 as a poster child to guarantee republicans retake the house and add senate seats. The state is crumbling, and taxpayers are fleeing. The population is steady only because the poor are replacing them.
    This state has turned its political power over to special interests, gangs, homeless, illegal aliens, and drugs. Regular citizens have no voice. The entire state is financed by the liberals in Silicon Valley. Google now tells you what your social consciousness is.

  7. This news should make Californians even madder as they pull into a gas station and pay over $4 per gallon. If Newsom was truly concerned about pollution from so many cars on the road and so called climate change, why then did he OK drivers licenses for illegals so we have millions of more cars on our roads?

  8. Sad that voters keep voting to tax everything that sounds too too good, approve new foolish bonds, elect raging naive inexperienced politicians, reward the failed education and social welfare kabals.

  9. The one and only thing that will stop this travesty of justice is to recall Governor Newsom and STOP HIM NOW ! PLEASE SIGN THE *** GOVERNOR NEWSON RECALL PAPERS *** ===== ranaf.org Please do it now… this is our very last chance to stop this corruption. There are sites everywhere – look up your county and make a difference. Sitting back and thinking that this will be done by others will cause it to fail. If you really care – sign the RECALL now! Please ! !

  10. Thank You for this reporting. I could not find this information anywhere else. Please send the link to this article to everyone.

    This Journalism.

  11. This is the WORST Governor in the history of CA. A completely dishonest and corrupt politician. He needs to be recalled and his bad policies reversed. Vote this slime out!

  12. I Will sit outside the San Diego courthouse soon with table and chair and hopefully get 1,000 signatures. Newsome act amounts to theft and he should be arrested. This guy is a CRIMINAL.

  13. CO2 is not pollution!! Sheesh! I agree with above that he’s the worst Gov in my lifetime. But recall is going nowhere, face it. This reduce CO2 thing has gotten way out of hand. Let’s try to educate the “sheeple” more. How? I don’t know. Suggestions?

  14. Just give it back to Mexico already! I packed up and left that run down State 4 years ago, and it was 4 years too late. Lived in San Diego, which turned into nothing but taco, upholstery, tire and car repair shops – with all speaking Spanish. You have to admit, if you have lived there for any amount of years, it is no longer the beautiful state it was. LA and SF are a cesspool of needles and human feces. Sickening. But those with money will still tuff it out, and you can bet the Hollywood elites are not affected one bit. Anyway – good luck! Keep those cars aligned!

  15. I would like to know if we, the taxpayers, can take him to court and sue the state with how they are abusing the gas tax law. The wording was specific…..repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and highways…….not combating greenhouse gases. I do believe if he wants to combat greenhouse gas, then he needs to submit another bill for us to vote on……again, we are at the point to where those who are supposed to represent us are instead trying to rule us…….that didn’t go so well for those rulers over 200 years ago………………

  16. Old news and nothing is going to be done about a thief in office. Politicians are all crooks and the Populus is screwed. what do you expect from the Pelosi ” crooks are us” clan. DemoRats need to be fed rat poison.

  17. Maybe they voters will finally wake up and realize that a democrat is always going to lie and do exactly what they want. They are not for the people, they are for themselves!

  18. I blame the idiot voters for NOT repealing the gas tax. The state should not get any more taxes UNTIL they prove they will in fact fix our roads. Time to repeal the gas tax next election.

  19. The new wisdom is that the population will expand forever and the number of cars will expand forever along with the population and enough roads for them all cannot ever be built unless all of California is paved over. Better to build more public transportation to replace all the cars and still get people to where they need to go. I agree, especially after driving from San Diego to L.A. today. It was horribly congested all the way. There can never be enough lanes.

  20. This is the reason I cannot support any tax increases. The politicians cannot be trusted. This game has been played by them over and over on us so many times – and we still fall for it. Every time the words roads, clean water, firemen or nurses are used to tug at our heartstrings we vote for a tax increase only to later discover that the funds are being diverted to some politicians favorite project.

  21. This is the reason I cannot support any more tax increases. Politicians cannot be trusted. This game has been played by them over and over on us so many times – and we still fall for it. Every time the words roads, clean water, firemen or nurses are used to tug at our heartstrings we vote for a tax increase only to later discover that the funds are being diverted to some politicians favorite project.

  22. The gas tax was passed by California State Legislature & signed by Newsom. The vote on the ballot was to repeal the gas tax they imposed. If you voted yes, you did not want the tax. If you voted no, it was a vote FOR the tax. See what they did?

  23. The gas tax was passed by California State Legislature & signed by Newsom. The vote on the ballot was to repeal the gas tax they imposed. If you voted yes, you did not want the tax. If you voted no, it was a vote FOR the tax. It was intentionally confusing.

  24. And they want to impeach Trump! Newsom is the one who needs to be impeached, he does what ever he wants and not what the people want

  25. With the recent fires throughout the state,sections of land are now cleared of houses,businesses,schools,wildlife trees,grasses,etc Please lok up a new version of State Of Ca & the pet project of Nerdsom being the high-speed bullet train,showing the corridor for the most expensive train line in the world! See what alot of people see??? The fires from past few years,along with the most recent,line-up exactly together! Coincidence? Q says there are no coincidences!! Nerdsom has learned his lying,thieving ways from dear Auntie Knucklehead Nancy!! (Pelosi)
    Just wanted everyone infuriated by this lying thieving son of a bitch to be on the same sheet of music! Know what I mean? I say forget the recall efforts- IMPEACH THE BASTARD NOW!!! PUT HIS ASS IN JAIL OR UNDER HOUSE ARREST,AT THE VERY LEAST! If that doesn’t happen soon,I fear for the safety of the ‘merry little band of thieving’ Legislatures & Gov! The criminals have Their guns,the mentally disturbed do,as well!

  26. This bonehead has got to be removed from office IMMEDIATELY his decisions are NOT what Californians want and the rail project has been thought thru for many years and it’s been too expensive and taking gas taxes from one point to another to better serve Gavin is a bonehead idea! His decisions are not good ideas or well planned – He does not work for the Californians he needs to be taken out of office IMMEDIATELY!!

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