A proposal from Gov. Gavin Newsom to encourage more housing development landed with a thud in a state legislative committee hearing on Tuesday, signaling a tough road ahead for one piece of the governor's ambitious housing agenda.
The plan, loosely articulated in Newsom's January budget proposal, would link new road repair funding that California cities receive from the state to the progress those cities are making on housing development.
Legislators on three committees that convened to review Newsom's housing plans (including Democrats typically aligned with the governor's goals) argued that the road repair money should not be contingent upon housing development.
"I’m taken aback right now," said Cecilia Aguilar-Curry, D-Winters. "Because going after [transportation] funding is not something that I think should be on the table."
The pot of money targeted by the governor was created in 2017, when the Legislature passed Senate Bill 1 to raise the gasoline tax and vehicle fees in order to fund transportation infrastructure improvements. More than a quarter of the $5.24 billion raised by the tax goes to cities for road fixes and maintenance.