This week Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron announced her bill, AB 1398, to require transparency from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) when spending taxpayer funds. The bill will require SANDAG to hold a series of public meetings and earn the approval of two-thirds of voters before making substantial changes to its spending plan.
“Unfortunately, SANDAG cannot be trusted to look out for people in all parts of our diverse county,” said Waldron. “Our community deserves confidence that their tax money is being used appropriately and that SANDAG is keeping its promises to voters. No agency should be able to operate in the dark.”
In 2004, SANDAG passed a half-cent sales tax extension for highway and transit projects across the county. SANDAG has known for years that there would not be enough funding to pay for the projects that were supposed to be funded by that tax extension.
Because of the funding shortfall, some SANDAG leaders have proposed canceling promised road projects and redirecting that money to transit, forcing many North County taxpayers to fund projects that will not benefit them. AB 1398 will ensure that any attempt to redistribute road and transit funding is transparent and has broad support.