In federal legislative matters, SCAG provides regional input to Congressional lawmakers, the Administration, and federal agency officials concerning the broad spectrum of issues encompassing SCAG’s core jurisdictions: transportation, land-use, environment, climate change, energy, sustainability, and water. As the nation’s largest Metropolitan Planning Organization serving over 18.9 million residents of Southern California, SCAG seeks to both apprise and advocate for its 191 member cities, 6 member counties, and other stakeholders/members on legislative actions in Washington DC that affect the region in these areas.
SCAG was integrally involved with its partner organizations throughout the region, state, and nation to pass the surface transportation authorization law, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015, or FAST Act, which in part authorized for the first time in U.S. history funding for a national freight program to more efficiently move freight throughout the country and enhance our nation’s competitiveness vis-à-vis the rest of the world. SCAG will continue its work to help develop and pass needed implementing legislation and regulatory/rulemaking authority to ensure a seamless integration of FAST Act policies into the existing transportation programs and architecture.
In state legislative matters, SCAG’s efforts are focused on stabilizing and enhancing transportation funding while preserving the authority and flexibility of local government and transportation entities to best utilize available resources to meet the needs of an ever-growing region. SCAG seeks to implement its Regional Council-adopted legislative priorities to advance policies beneficial to the region in areas such as project acceleration and streamlining, economic development and community reinvestment, Cap-and-Trade revenue allocation, surface transportation authorization implementation, climate change/greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and housing/affordable housing expansion.
SCAG also pursues legislation consistent with the agency’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. In all such legislative efforts, SCAG endeavors to create a collaborative, “bottom-up” approach with its constituent members and local stakeholder partners to achieve legislative policy results that are comprehensive and beneficial to the entire region.