Small Counties Receive Road Repair Extension with AB 323 Passage

AB 323 extends existing legislation that streamlines road repair procedures for the state’s rural counties.

The Assembly Bill was signed into law earlier in July and extends the small county exemption until 2020. The exemption lets the smaller counties bypass the California Environmental Quality Act so long as the roadwork was done to improve public safety.

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen of Modesto authored the first exemption in 2012’s AB 890 and now AB 323 is largely a mirror of AB 890. In championing the exemption, she said, “California has four times as many traffic fatalities on rural non-interstate roads compared to all other roads. To delay or halt repairs on those roads is to put public safety at risk.”

The legislation will affect over 20 California counties and received support from the Rural County Representatives of California. Their director of public affairs Justin Caporusso said “AB 323 will streamline the process for roadway improvement projects in California’s rural counties, ensuring a more cost effective and efficient process for improving public safety and meeting specific requirements.”

The bill was passed unanimously through both houses and there will be no lapse between AB 890 expiring and AB 323 coming into effect.

For further reading on AB 323, see here.

Image Credit: Flickr User esselnyc, via (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)



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