Fong’s bill to fast track highway projects

Fong’s bill to fast track  highway  projectsSACRAMENTO — On Mon-day, Assemblyman Vince Fong, in his capacity as vice-chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, presided over a hearing of the 2017-18 legislative session, where his co-authored bill AB 28 passed with unanimous bipartisan support. AB 28 indefinitely extended the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) program, which allows for faster environmental review of highway projects.

“Californians experience the deterioration of our transportation system each and every day,” said Fong. “This commonsense measure will help repair roads without unnecessary delays and is an important step toward addressing our transportation infrastructure crisis.”

NEPA assignment was first authorized in 2006. The program has been successful in speeding up highway project approval and delivery at a lower cost to taxpayers.

In recognition of the program’s success, the legislature has twice extended it. AB 28 permanently extends the program, and authorizes its immediate restoration.

The program expired on Jan. 1, 2017, and that expiration has resulted in projects beginning to see major delays. AB 28 passed out of the Transportation Committee with unanimous support. The city of Bakersfield registered its support of the bill.

It will next be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Assemblyman Vince Fong represents the 34th Assembly District encompassing the majority of Kern County, including Ridgecrest.

Story First Published: 2017-02-03