ASSEMBLY 25 | A tweak in the state law that would allow Alameda County and Contra Costa County to again consider a transportation tax measure next year was approved last week by the State Senate.

The bill offered by Fremont Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski now sits on the governor’s desk for approval after the Legislature’s upper house approved AB 210, 25-12. It allows both counties to exceed the two percent sales tax limit laid out in state law on a one-time basis and for a potential transportation measure to be placed on the ballot sometime before 2020. However, many cities and local public officials are pushing hard for the exemption to be executed sooner than later.

Measure B1, a similar transportation sales tax measure was narrowly defeated last year to the consternation of officials and constituents in the more liberal parts of the East Bay. Despite garnering over 66 percent of the vote, Measure B1 failed to reach the requisite two-thirds majority for approval of tax measures by a mere 700 votes. Its demise was located in the Tri Valley where only one precinct in the entire area approved the tax.

Proponents of the transportation sales tax before and now say the East Bay’s aging roads and freeways need to be repaired and in some cases modernized to handle the flow of goods through the Bay Area and further influx of commuters.