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Report ID: 22-116   
Type: Regular - External Affairs
Meeting Body: Board of Directors - Regular Meeting
Meeting Date: 6/22/2022 Final action: 6/22/2022
Recommended Action: Consider receiving the Monthly Legislative Report and approval of legislative positions.
Attachments: 1. STAFF REPORT, 2. Att. 1 - Federal Update, 3. Att. 2 - State Update, 4. Att. 3 - State Matrix, 5. Att. 4 - 2022 Federal Advocacy Program, 6. Att. 5 - 2022 State Advocacy Program, 7. Public Comment - Letter from Seamless Bay Area, 8. Master Minute Order

TO:                     AC Transit Board of Directors                                          

FROM:                                             Michael A. Hursh, General Manager

SUBJECT:                     Monthly Legislative Report                     

 

ACTION ITEM


RECOMMENDED ACTION(S):

 

Title

Consider receiving the Monthly Legislative Report and approval of legislative positions.

Body

 

STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE:

 

Goal - Strong Public and Policymaker Support

Initiative - Financial Efficiency and Revenue Maximization

 

The Monthly Legislative Report helps the District track state, regional and federal legislation to ensure alignment with the District’s Strategic Plan and the specific goal of having strong public and policy maker support. Policy decisions at all levels of government can positively or negatively affect District operations and revenues and as such, are important to track and influence as needed.

 

BUDGETARY/FISCAL IMPACT:

 

There is no budgetary or fiscal impact associated with this report.

 

BACKGROUND/RATIONALE:

 

Federal Update

As Congress and the State Legislature approach their summer recesses, the Department of Legislative Affairs & Community Relations is working to arrange briefings for members of our state and federal delegations.  Briefings provide a valuable opportunity for the District to deepen its relationship with legislative offices, update our elected officials on our current service and future needs, demonstrate our value to the community, and request continued support for our essential service. 

 

In late May the District applied for $16.3 million in grants to modernize our Training & Education Center in Hayward and purchase new zero-emission buses from the Federal Transit Administration’s Fiscal Year 2022 Low or No emission Vehicle Program as well as the Bus & Bus Facilities Program. The total cost of this infrastructure and bus purchase project is approximately $32 million.  All members of AC Transit’s federal delegation- Representatives Lee, DeSaulnier, Swalwell and Khanna plus Senators Feinstein and Padilla- submitted letters in support of the combined grant application.

 

State Update

Governor Newsom and leaders in the state legislature continue their budget negotiations, including the proposal to provide $750 million for fare free transit for three months.  At the time of this writing the Assembly had yet to introduce its own budget proposal.  The state’s 2022-23 budget must be passed by the legislature no later than June 15.  The Governor must sign the new budget by July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

 

On May 18, staff from External Affairs, Marketing & Communications joined the General Manager and Directors Peeples and McCalley at the California Transit Association’s (CTA) annual Spring Legislative Conference in Sacramento.  In addition to receiving updates on high-priority legislation and regulations, attendees benefitted from in-depth conversations about bringing riders back, free fares, transition to zero-emission technologies and more. 

 

On the same day, the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) held its annual legislative gathering at the State Capitol.  At the event, Claudia Burgos, AC Transit Director of Legislative Affairs & Community Relations, participated in an in-depth breakout session about climate adaption and resilience, detailing how AC Transit is leading the way to a zero-emission future through clean transit and green jobs.

 

Adoption of Legislative Positions

Staff recommends the Board adopt a SUPPORT position on the following bill:

 

H.R. 6989 - Housing for All Act of 2022.  This bill, authored by Representative Barbara Lee, would invest nearly $532 billion over ten years to address the nation’s homelessness and affordable housing crises.  A provision in the bill would require a report to Congress on transit-oriented development and how to better connect housing to transit.  Staff recommends the board SUPPORT this bill.

 

Updates on priority legislation:

1. AB 2622 (Mullin): Extend existing sales and use tax exemption for zero-emission technology transit buses sold to public agencies.  An agreement was reached to extend the sunset date by two years, to January 1, 2026.  AB 2622 will now be considered in the Senate.

2. Reimbursement to transit agencies for non-medical transportation. CTA is pursuing this item as a budget request with Assemblymember Christopher Ward from San Diego.

3. AB 455 (Wicks): Dedicated transit lanes on the Bay Bridge.  The deadline to hear this bill in the Senate Transportation Committee is July 1, 2022.

 

ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES:

 

This report is provided to inform the Board of monthly legislative activities. Ensuring favorable legislation is adopted by policymakers helps further the District’s goal of having strong public and policymaker support.

 

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:

 

There were no alternatives considered as this report provides an update of monthly legislative activities.

 

PRIOR RELEVANT BOARD ACTION/POLICIES:

 

Staff Report No. 21-541: 2022 Federal and State Advocacy Programs

 

ATTACHMENTS:

 

1.                     Federal Update

2.                     State Update

3.                     State Matrix

4.                     2022 Federal Advocacy Program

5.                     2022 State Advocacy Program

 

Prepared by:

Steven C. Jones, External Affairs Representative

 

Approved/Reviewed by:

Beverly Greene, Executive Director of External Affairs, Marketing & Communications

Claudia Burgos, Director of Legislative Affairs & Community Relations