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Local leaders demand funding to fix roads

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INDIO, Calif. - Crumbling roads in California with no money to fix them. Now a bipartisan group of local leaders want Sacramento lawmakers to work together to solve the problem.

With $750 million in cuts announced this month, it won't be an easy task.         

 "It's time we ask our legislators in Sacramento and the governor to work together put aside differences find solutions," said Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington.

Gathering at the Jefferson Street Interchange Project, Mayors, County Supervisors and Union leaders want action to fix the state's crumbling roads. 

"If we allow our roads to deteriorate no matter what we do we will not have enough funding," said Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Dennis Michael.  Michael is also the president of the League of California Cities.

Lack of funding already forced the California Transportation Commission to cut $750 million for future projects.  

"It's going to affect millions of people and affect millions of jobs," said Indio Mayor Glenn Miller.

But the money has to come from somewhere. Right now it it comes from the state's gas tax. With fuel efficient cars and low oil prices, it's not producing enough revenue to fill in the shortfall.

"We recognized the gas tax won't support the projects we need, so we need new thinking, out of the box thinking, new solutions," said Washington.

Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia said the Legislature is thinking out of the box but partisan gridlock gets in the way.

"As of yet we've seen no willingness to move this forward. Until we do, we will probably continue to see reductions," said Garcia. 

Garcia said we've already seen what can happen when our roads fail.  When the Tex Wash bridge collapsed over the summer, commerce  between California and Arizona ground to a halt.

Garcia believes Sacramento can get a deal worked out in time to put a referendum on the November ballot if Republicans and Democrats work together. 

"There's got to be a middle ground we can find," said Garcia.

The CV Link project was one of the projects in Riverside County that lost funding. However, because the state's portion was only $2 million of the $100 million dollar project, CVAG said it should be able to make-up the shortfall.  


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