California, Los Angeles, and the Stimulus

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With news out of Washington that the Obama administration’s federal stimulus plan isn’t going to be passed anytime in the next couple of weeks, our state and local political leaders now have the time to re-think their stimulus lists while the political drama unfolds in Washington, D.C.

At the state level, CALPIRG took its shot at Caltrans’ project wish list in a report released just before the new year.  CALPIRG notes that while California’s list of projects awaiting federal stimulus money is better than those in many other states, a clear one-third of the requested funds go towards road capacity enhancement projects compared to 37% for transit projects.  CALPIRG urges Caltrans to revise its list to be more like Massachusetts which is only requesting highway funds for fix-it-first projects.

To read the full Caltrans’ stimulus list, click here.

The city’s list of projects for the stimulus has come under similar fire from local advocates who note that most of the local dollars would be spent on road repaving and very little on alternative transportation projects. 

To read the city’s list, click here.

Caltrans executives have stressed that any project lists that are made public should be taken with a grain of salt, because they are drafts and not final.  With the politics in Washington threatening to delay the stimulus package for another month, both Caltrans and city officials still have time to check their lists twice.

Of course, just because the city or state submit a project list, it
doesn’t mean those projects will ultimately be funded.  That’s why it’s
important to focus advocacy efforts on local, state and federal politicians.

Photo: Barack Obama/Flickr

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