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Defending a veto

October 12, 2008

Re "A triple whammy," editorial, Oct. 4

Your editorial about the governor's veto of SB 974 was misleading. The governor supports the bill's concept, which would levy a fee on each loaded container from the major ports. However, the bill had flaws: It ignored the needs of the San Joaquin Valley, which was shut out of serious consideration for funds yet bears much of the negative effects; the narrowly focused uses of revenues were not in line with strategic priorities of the state's goods movement plan; and it missed the opportunity to leverage and encourage public-private partnerships. It also added a burden on businesses while not ensuring accountability for expenditures.

The governor has supported substantial infrastructure improvements for Southern California. He championed Proposition 1B, which provides $1.65 billion for goods movement projects in Southern California. Most of the $1 billion in bond money slated for air quality improvements will be used at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Another $400 million is for projects in the San Diego area.

Dale E. Bonner

Sacramento

The writer is secretary of the state Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

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