By John Moorlach | The California Legislature is obsessing over relatively minor problems with the state Board of Equalization while ignoring Caltrans boondoggles costing taxpayers billions of dollars. At the same time, in November drivers will be run over by a $5.2 billion a year tax increase.
The Professional Engineers in California Government union has been salivating to fill vacancies at Caltrans and add 400 to 500 positions in the next fiscal year.
But in May 2014, the Legislative Analyst’s Office reported that Caltrans was overstaffed by 3,500 engineers, costing more than $500 million a year. A year later, the state auditor found abuses at Caltrans that included one employee playing golf for 55 days, as his supervisors approved his time sheets.
In response to the LAO’s report, I wrote Senate Bill X1-9 to bring Caltrans into parity with transportation agencies in most other states, eventually requiring it to contract out 50 percent of architectural and engineering services. Not only did the engineers’ union kill that bill, but it wants more.