SACRAMENTO–Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) that will bring major reforms to San Diego’s regional transportation agency – a huge victory in the fight to make the scandal-plagued San Diego Association of Governments more transparent, accountable and representative.
“This is a good day for the silent majority in our region who have been ignored and paved over for far too long,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher said. “The old way of doing things isn’t good enough. AB 805 is an exciting first step toward changing the status quo.”
Assembly Bill 805 passed the Assembly 46-28 on Sept. 11 after passing the Senate 25-13 on Sept. 7.
News reports by Voice of San Diego uncovered the agency’s habit of misreporting critical financial information. Among other things, SANDAG deliberately used inflated revenue projections when trying to convince voters to approve a bond measure.
Authored by Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher, Assembly Bill 805 will, among other things, modify the voting structures of SANDAG, the Metropolitan Transit System and the North County Transit District to better reflect the populations they serve; create an Audit Committee that includes members of the public that oversees an independent auditor; require that SANDAG provide annual reports to the state about the region’s transit issues; permit MTS and NCTD to approach voters to raise revenue for better transit; require skilled and trained workers are employed on local transportation projects; and insist that regional transportation plans address greenhouse gas reduction rules and the needs of disadvantaged communities.