Cozying up to the new administration might not be a good political look for most state Democrats—but if President Trump wants to make due on his campaign promise to direct up to $1 trillion towards new infrastructure projects, well, California lawmakers might just make an exception.
Gov. Brown has submitted a list of ten “high-priority” infrastructure projects to the White House to be considered for regulatory fast tracking. Projects on the gubernatorial wish list, as detailed by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, include emergency repairs for the Oroville Dam spillway; demolition of the defunct eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge; half a dozen highways slated for various types of widening, fixing, and upgrading; and, of course, Brown’s high-speed rail system.
The governor’s wish list comes in response to an executive order issued on January 24, in which the president invited state governors to submit their favored shovel-ready infrastructure projects to the White House Council of Environmental Quality for prioritized federal regulatory consideration. A boost in federal dollars would be welcomed: California faces a $136 billion backlog on highway and local road repairs, prompting Gov. Brown and Democratic leaders to agree to an April 6 deadline for a transportation funding deal.
Earlier this month, the White House passed along its own list of 50 “Emergency & National Security Projects” to be considered by the National Governors Association. Three of the 50 have California connections—two private water projects here and one region-spanning electricity transmission system that aims to connect wind farms in Wyoming to homes in Southern California.