The Southern California Association of Governments maintains a State and Federal Legislative Program, which consists of the Regional Council's positions on policies and legislative initiatives related to SCAG’s core planning and policy areas—transportation, air quality, freight/goods movement, housing, environmental impact, sustainability, and economic recovery and job creation—that need the leadership and support of Congress and the California State legislature to resolve challenges facing the SCAG region.
SCAG’s legislative efforts are the product of a bottoms-up process whereby the Legislative/Communications & Membership Committee, comprised of elected officials from throughout the region, identifies and recommends specific legislative action for consideration by the Regional Council with respect to state and federal legislation affecting the SCAG region. The Regional Council takes formal legislative positions and directs the agency’s advocacy efforts on all legislative matters.
In federal legislative matters, SCAG has been integrally involved with its transportation stakeholder partners throughout the region, state, and nation to pass surface transportation authorization legislation this year. These efforts led to the passage of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), bipartisan legislation directing the nation’s transportation and infrastructure programs and strategy through fiscal year 2014. SCAG is continuing to work with its partners to develop and pass needed implementing legislation, technical corrections, and regulatory/rulemaking authority to ensure a seamless integration of MAP-21 initiatives with existing transportation programs and architecture. A summary of SCAG’s analysis of the enacted surface transportation authorization bill is available in the Legislative Library.
In the State Legislature, SCAG’s legislative efforts are to stabilize and enhance funding for transportation purposes while preserving the authority and flexibility of local government and transportation entities to best utilize the limited available resources to meet the needs of an ever-growing region. To this end, the agency is pursuing legislative efforts to support expanded use of Infrastructure Financing Districts and other innovative financing tools in the wake of community redevelopment elimination to provide needed investment in local infrastructure.
Legislation consistent with SCAG’s economic and growth strategy objectives to spur economic recovery by supporting measures such as the extension of the state’s successful film tax credit program and targeted tax incentives and beneficial regulatory treatment in the green technology industries, among other legislative issues.