I am writing to give you an update regarding proposed toll road extensions that could go through San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and/or Rancho Mission Viejo.
Many constituents have asked me to sponsor “protective legislation” to protect South Orange County communities from the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA). I have reviewed this request for legislation and will ask the Office of Legislative Counsel to review it in light of the constitutional and legal questions it has raised. It is important that if such legislation is advanced, it stands a good chance of prevailing over any legal challenges that opponents may file.
As you know, I have strongly opposed the proposed toll road extensions as they could irreparably harm the quality of life of affected South County communities. There is now a bill, AB 382 by Assemblymember Rocky Chávez, which will be heard in the Senate Transportation Committee in the near future. An initial review of the bill suggests that it would bar TCA from issuing new debt or forming a new entity to build additional toll roads. It also appears that the bill would designate the Orange County Transportation Authority as the county’s sole traffic and transit planner. The City of San Clemente has expressed support for this legislation.
The recent introduction of AB 382 is an important development that I wanted to bring to your attention. I am hopeful that this bill and the important issues that it intends to address receive serious bipartisan consideration when discussed in the Senate Transportation Committee.
If I can be of assistance on other state-related issues, please let me know. It is an honor to represent the 36th Senate District.
PATRICIA C. BATES
Senator, 36th District