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Profile for Infrastructure Week – Senator Jim Beall

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When it comes to advocating for California’s transportation infrastructure, the Santa Clara Valley is fortunate to have a home grown champion, with statewide influence. State Senator Jim Beall (D, 15) is that champion.

Senator Beall’s dedication to the people and welfare of California is inspiring and prolific. Over a 30-year career in public service span­ning from the San Jose City Council to the halls of the California State Capitol, improving public transportation options and road conditions throughout California has always been at the forefront of Senator Beall’s work.

Most recently, Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Account­ability Act of 2017 sponsored by Senator Beall, became the most comprehensive response to the State’s chronic underinvestment in infra­structure in decades. The Valley is already reaping the rewards of SB 1 funding with a total of more than $84 million going toward projects like the Eastridge Regional Connector to BART, the Mathilda Ave. interchange improvements in Sunnyvale, VTA’s Express Lanes program, and others. That doesn’t include the $730 million in SB 1 funds for the BART Silicon Valley Extension.

Another product of Senator Beall’s years of commitment to championing the funding and delivery of transportation improvements came in the form of SB 595, which went on to be approved by voters in nine San Francisco Bay Area counties in the form of Regional Measure 3.

RM 3 will provide $4.45 billion for a multi-modal program of highway and transit improvements in the toll bridge corridors across the Bay Area. This program includes the extensions of BART to Silicon Valley and Caltrain to downtown San Francisco; BART and Muni transit vehicle fleet expansions; highway interchange improvements in Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties; an expanded express lane network; increased ferry service; and upgrades to relieve congestion in the Dumbarton Bridge corridor.

These are significant examples from a long legislative career focused on creating and modify­ing funding programs to make an impact on our state’s transportation infrastructure.  Since 2014, local jurisdictions have been able to establish enhanced infrastructure financing districts to fund infrastructure projects through tax incre­ment financing, after Governor Brown signed Senator Beall’s SB 628 into law.

In 2015, Senator Beall authored SB 9, which modified California’s cap-and-trade Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program to better support the development of large, transformational capital improvements that significantly reduce vehicle miles traveled, congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions.

The following year, he authored SB 824 which made changes to the cap-and-trade Low Carbon Transit Operations Program to enhance flexibility in the use of these transit operating or capital assistance funds.

These infrastructure projects are vital to improving mobility throughout Santa Clara County and Silicon Valley. Senator Beall has shown extraordinary leadership and devotion to improving the quality of life in California through protecting and improving our transportation infrastructure, and during Infrastructure Week 2019, VTA salutes him.
 

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