Leadership Group’s More Than 368 Companies Thrilled SB 797 Passes California State Assembly

SAN JOSE, CA – SB 797 hit the California State Assembly floor this morning and passed to the delight of the more than 368 member organizations of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. It now goes back to the senate where it will probably be heard in the transportation or local government committees for a concurrence hearing then head to the senate floor for a vote prior to landing on the Governor’s desk.

The Leadership Group is sponsoring the bill introduced by Senator Hill, Beall, Wieckowski and Weiner which would allow voters in the three Caltrain Counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco to hold their own joint election to permanently fund the operations, maintenance and expansion of the widely popular Caltrain commuter rail service through a 1/8 cent sales tax.

“SB 797 is vital to keeping the economic engine of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area rolling well into the future,” said President and CEO Carl Guardino, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and a Brown appointee to the California Transportation Commission. “It is so vital to the Silicon Valley that within a mere 24 hours more than 100 of our member companies signed a letter to Senator Jerry Hill calling for the passage of SB 797 to address the crippling congestion in the Highway 101/Caltrain Corridor.” Click here to read the letter sent to Senator Hill.  

In the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Annual “Silicon Valley Poll,” completed May 3-9 of this year with 1,200 likely voters, 74 percent said they “Support” a potential measure to greatly increase Caltrain capacity with only 23 percent saying “NO” and 3 percent with “No Opinion.” 

The Highway 101 Corridor, in which Caltrain Commuter Rail Service runs, has become one of the most congested corridors in the United States. It’s also an economic engine that helps drive our state’s success. The 50-mile stretch of Caltrain between downtown San Jose and downtown San Francisco is home to the following:

* 1.6 million jobs 

* 54 percent of all patents filed from California 

* 20 percent of California’s GDP * 13 percent of California’s Sales Tax revenue 

Today, the popular Caltrain Commuter Rail Service runs at 125 percent of capacity. 

A ballot initiative will only move forward if there is a two-third vote of approval by the Caltrain Joint Powers Board, a majority vote of each of the transit districts in the three “Caltrain Counties” (SFMTA, SMCTD, SCVTA) and a vote of approval from the Boards of Supervisors representing San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Finally, any ballot measure must also be approved by two-thirds of the voters in the three Caltrain Counties.

If you are interested in an interview or an update on SB 797 and what comes next, please contact Kimberly Ellis, Kellis@svlg.org/408-501-7853 or Nancy Sanchez, Nsanchez@svlg.org/(408) 501-7879.

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On September 1st, 2017, posted in: Press Releases by