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, energy, sustainability, and water. As the nation’s largest Metropolitan Planning Organization serving over 18 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, whether authorizing, appropriating, or policy legislation.
In 2012, SCAG was integrally involved with its partner organizations throughout the region, state, and nation to pass for the first time in seven years a new, two-year surface transportation authorization bill: the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act, bipartisan legislation directing the nation’s transportation and infrastructure programs and strategy through fiscal year 2014. SCAG will continue its work to help develop and pass needed implementing legislation and regulatory/rulemaking authority to ensure a seamless integration of MAP-21 policies into existing transportation programs and architecture. Likewise, SCAG, working through its national membership organizations and with state and local partners will seek to forge new authorizing legislation upon the expiration of MAP-21 to ensure the long-term stability and sustainability of the nation’s transportation system and infrastructure.
In state legislative matters, SCAG’s efforts are focused on stabilizing and enhancing funding for transportation purposes while preserving the authority and flexibility of local government and transportation entities to best utilize limited 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, MAP-21 implementation, and climate change/greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
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, among other legislative issues. 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.