Brown flunks in­fra­struc­ture safety

Imperial Valley Press - - OPINION -

We had to laugh when we saw a Cal­i­for­nia law­maker urg­ing his fel­low Democrats to back off con­fronta­tions with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump un­til af­ter he gives the state bil­lions of fed­eral dol­lars to fix the state’s crum­bling in­fra­struc­ture.

Where was this law­maker five, 10 or 15 years ago when it was be­com­ing ob­vi­ous the state had a prob­lem with its in­fra­struc­ture, and not just road­ways. As the dam­age at the Oroville Dam shows us, the state has been some­what neg­li­gent in keep­ing up with not just re­pairs, but as­sess­ments of the risks ag­ing in­fra­struc­ture poses.

Gov. Jerry Brown must share in that blame. He has been so fo­cused on the high-speed rail project he has prac­ti­cally ig­nored ev­ery­thing else. Not that the fast train may be fun to ride some­day, but even af­ter its com­ple­tion — which we may never see — it will do noth­ing to solve the state’s crum­bling in­fra­struc­ture needs.

There are things the gov­er­nor and state Leg­is­la­ture can do right now to help. First, high­way fund­ing that is be­ing di­verted to the state’s gen­eral fund can be re­stored. Taxes paid by trucks are not go­ing to fix our road­ways and that is mil­lions and mil­lions of dol­lars ev­ery year. The gov­er­nor can stop that al­most im­me­di­ately, then we can talk about other rev­enue ideas.

And, maybe bad-mouthing the pres­i­dent of the United States is not such a good idea when the first time we have a cri­sis, we go run­ning to that same pres­i­dent with our hands out.

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