Assembly Member Jim Frazier Named 2015 Legislator of the Year

Frazier head shotFor his strong support of investing in innovative transportation infrastructure systems in California, ACEC California is pleased to announce that we have selected Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) as our 2015 Legislator of the Year.

“Assembly Member Frazier knows well the importance of efficient and effective transportation systems in California,” said Bruce Presser, ACEC California President. “From ensuring that local governments are empowered to more effectively manage their roadways through express ways, to supporting a comprehensive statewide transportation infrastructure investment, Assembly Member Frazier is not afraid to stand up for his values. “

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SB 16 Paves Way For Transportation Funding

TransportationFunding-2_jpg_800x1000_q100Senator Jim Beall, chairman of the Transportation Committee has put forth a plan to restore the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Under Senate Bill 16, everyone who uses the roads will share in paying for the cost of essential repairs. The bill is projected to raise $3 billion or more annually over its five-year life, which allows time for the state to work out a long-term funding solution.

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Time for California to take the road less traveled?

Like the roads and bridges we drive on, our state’s transportation financing policy is in a state of collapse.
In Washington, D.C., legislators went down to the wire to temporarily rescue the Highway Trust Fund, the primary source for financing this country’s highway and mass transit improvements. The rescue is only a stop-gap measure; the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money again by next June.  The Highway Trust Fund supports fifty percent of California’s Highway Capital Program. 

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The Key to Good Planning is Balance

As a statewide organization representing more than 800 private engineering and land surveying firms and some 18,000 professionals, ACEC California is often asked to engage in efforts related to new zoning regulations and regional and urban planning.
There are a lot of legislative attempts to bring clarity to planning processes but because of the sheer weight of legislation already on the books, it takes an extremely well-crafted bill to make the grade.  A bill, now before the Assembly, which aims to protect agricultural land, may be well intentioned but doesn’t make the grade.

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California Should Not Restrict Private Sector Work

ACEC California has long believed that the public favors a state government that can promptly and efficiently achieve its goals and serve its citizens while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
The State of California already has in place an overly complex procurement process for hiring private sector firms in all aspects of its business, including engineering and land surveying services.  So it seems counterproductive and unnecessary to add any further complexity to the process without clear public benefit.  

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QBS. It’s the Law

If you needed major surgery and had to choose a surgeon, would you make that choice based on the lowest cost?  Probably not.   Most people, when making a medical decision, consider the degree of specialization, reputation and expertise, and sometimes even the “bedside manner” of the doctor first, before considering the cost. 

That’s a wise decision.  Making major decisions based on cost alone doesn’t guarantee value. When bidders know that cost is the predominant differentiator in a bidding situation they could be tempted to cut corners to win business opening the door to potential safety, quality and environmental issues with the project.

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