Where is the equity? That is what East Bay legislators have been asking proponents of Regional Measure 3 (RM3) to increase our six state-owned bridge tolls by up to $3 per crossing. Unfortunately, the problem is even worse than most realize and the wrong people are being asked to foot the bill for the Bay Area’s transportation problems.
SB 595, currently under discussion in the Legislature, would require the nine Bay Area Counties to hold a referendum on RM3 next year. Massive investment in the Bay Area’s transportation infrastructure is critically needed but a hike in the bridge tolls would disproportionately put the burden of financing this investment on East Bay residents. As an East Bay legislator, this inequity is not something that I can support.
(SACRAMENTO) – This afternoon, AB 492, the Truth in Solicitation Act authored by Assemblymember Grayson (D-Concord) was signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. AB 492 protects consumers from deceptive solicitation practices by requiring private solicitation mailers to clearly disclose that they are not affiliated with the government.
Upon passage Assemblymember Grayson stated, “I want to thank Governor Brown for signing this bill into law. Our friends and family, especially our aging population most susceptible to scams, should not be subject to business practices that rely on misleading solicitations represented as government documents. This predatory behavior has no place in California, and I’m pleased that the Governor is joining with me in taking a stand for consumers across the state.”
Among the bill’s critics is Concord Assemblymember Tim Grayson, who wrote in an op-ed earlier this month that toll hikes stick it to bridge users while non-bridge users reap the benefits.
“Politically this makes sense: the fewer people made to pay and the more people who benefit, the more likely it is that the measure will pass,” writes Grayson. “[But] is it fair to place the burden so disproportionately on one segment of our region?”
State lawmakers approved a bill that will ask voters to OK a $3 toll hike on all Bay Area bridges except on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Last week the state Legislature passed SB 595, which will now ask voters in all nine Bay Area counties to decide on whether to phase in the rate increase. For some local commuters, that could add up to as much as $9 to cross the Bay, money which will then go toward beefing up the region's existing infrastructure and transit agencies.
Voters will now get the chance in either November or June of next year to pass the bill with a simple majority.
The bill has already faced pushback from local commuter advocates and Bay Area lawmakers, with California State Assembly members Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon), Tim Grayson (D-Concord) and Jim Frazier (D-Brentwood) voting no on the measure.
If you live in the Bay Area, you’ll be hearing a lot about Senate Bill 595 over the next year or so. If you’re a regular user of any of the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges — that’s all of them, except the Golden Gate Bridge — you’ll want to pay close attention.
Several Contra Costa County legislators — Assemblymember Tim Grayson and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier among them — opposed SB 595, saying that it’s 1) a regressive tax and 2) a ripoff for the residents of the East Bay.
(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblymember Timothy S. Grayson (D-Concord) issues the following statement after the California State Senate passed AB 879 which he authored.
(SACRAMENTO) – Tonight, the Assembly passed a package of bills aimed at addressing the housing shortage across California.
(Concord, CA) – Today, Assemblymember Timothy S. Grayson (D-Concord) released the following statement regarding Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ DACA announcement:
“Today’s DACA announcement is both heartless and cruel. Pursuing policies to unnecessarily punish innocent children does not make America great. Protecting Dreamers has bipartisan support, and our neighbors who were brought to this country as children and have grown up here must know that California stands shoulder to shoulder with them and is willing to lead the fight against inhumane and irrational immigration policies. I call upon Congress to use this sad day as the impetus to finally tackle our Nation’s immigration policies in a comprehensive and compassionate manner.”
(SACRAMENTO) – In light of recent news about UC admissions practices and weak financial oversight, Assemblymember Grayson (D-Concord) authored two bills to prioritize California student admissions and improve transparency at UC. Both bills, AB 1674 and AB 1655, respectively, passed the Senate Floor today with bipartisan support.
Upon passage of AB 1674 Assemblymember Grayson stated, “Today’s vote is another win for California students who dream of graduating high school and attending some of the highest quality institutions in their home state. This bill will make sure that admission at a UC campus is based on academic performance, not the revenue that the student could bring in. This vote shows again that it is time to hold UC accountable to its mission to serve Californian students.”