Millions in Grade Separation Funding Restored in State Budget. Senator Becker Praises Passage

SACRAMENTO, CA — Yesterday, the California State Legislature approved the Budget Act of 2024, a package of legislation that closes the budget shortfall of over $45 billion, builds new reserves totaling over $22 billion, and sets California on a course for balanced budgets going forward.

This budget includes a restoration of $150 million into the California State Transportation Agency’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP), which was cut from the Governor’s proposed 2024-25 budget. The agreement to restore funding was reached as a result of intense negotiations by Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park), who is both the Chair of Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Energy, and the Environment and Chair of the Bay Area Caucus.

The restoration of funds includes $75 million for the 2025-2026 budget year and $75 million for the 2026-2027 budget year for top priority projects that were already approved to receive state funding from the TIRCP and that could lose federal matching funds. Projects that meet this criteria include the City of Burlingame Broadway Grade Separation Project, the City of Mountain View Caltrain Grade Separation Project, and the Connecting Palo Alto – Palo Alto Rail Grade Separation Project.

“With the enactment of this comprehensive, balanced budget, California will now hold up its end of the bargain to our community and allow work to continue on these grade separation projects, including California’s most dangerous train crossing in Burlingame,” said Becker. “I am pleased that this budget is delivering what it promised and that we can finally leverage millions in federal funds and make sure these projects make it across the finish line. These projects have critical safety and quality of life benefits for our community, including the elimination of trains sounding horns as they cross streets.”

The restoration of these funds came after a coalition of local leaders joined Senator Becker to call on the Legislature and Governor to restore funding to the TIRCP after it had been completely cut in the Administration’s May Revise. Its inclusion is a critical part of the budget agreement that closes the shortfall of over $45 billion in a responsible manner, rejects cuts to core programs, and builds new reserves totaling over $22 billion. The Governor is expected to sign the budget within the next several weeks.