Mark Kersey
Mark Kersey during the 2016 primary election, Photo by Chris Stone

State Senate candidate Mark Kersey, who has focused on infrastructure issues as a San Diego City Councilman, called Monday for replacement of the gas tax increase with a constitutional amendment to fund highway projects.

Kersey, a Republican candidate for the 38th Senate district seat being vacated by Sen. Joel Anderson due to term limits, outlined what he described as three “pillars” of infrastructure policy for California.

“The time for political rhetoric has passed when it comes to an inherently non-partisan issue like infrastructure,” said Kersey. “Business and labor agree that infrastructure is long-neglected and requires immediate attention. Policymakers in Sacramento need to temporarily put partisanship on the back burner and work on common-sense infrastructure fixes for our state.”

Kersey said that if the gas tax increase is repealed by voters, the legislature should prepare a constitutional amendment that would dedicate a portion of sales tax revenue from new vehicle sales to road, highway and bridge projects. He estimated this would yield $7 billion annually.

He called for an end to the bullet train project, recommending a ballot initiative seeking its repeal. “Given the billions in cost overruns and vast fiscal mismanagement, voters must be given the opportunity to reevaluate this project,” he said.

And he said California must receive its fair share of any national infrastructure program, calling for the next governor to “insist rather than resist” federal action.

Kersey, who is serving his last term on the council, was instrumental in developing the voter-approved Rebuild San Diego measure, which created long-term funding from existing taxes for street and infrastructure improvements.

He will face fellow Republican Brian Jones, who served two terms in the Assembly ending in 2016, in the statewide June primary.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.