710 Formal Tunnel Demise SB 7 Passes Assembly Transportation Committee Local Nonprofits Offer Testimony in Sacramento
Sacramento, California – Today, SB 7, authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D–La Cañada Flintridge), passed the Assembly Transportation Committee. SB 7 will allow the purchase of surplus properties occupied by nonprofits at their current use value and prohibit Caltrans from implementing the tunnel or surface freeway options for the 710 gap closure. The bill is also a potential legislative fix for the state to return surplus freeway stubs back to local cities in the freeway corridor.
“The formal end of the 710 has been 60 years in the making and I am very excited to see it one step closer to happening. I am particularly pleased to be following through on the commitment I made two years ago when negotiating the end to the 710 tunnel threat. The hope then was that the EIR certification would move us all in a new and collaborative direction that would take the freeway off the table and protect the nonprofits in the corridor. Today, that reality is within reach,” commented Senator Portantino.
Senator Portantino has been a leading legislative opponent of the 710 freeway for 20 years. Upon being elected to the Senate in 2016, he sat down with the Brown administration to define the current course of action. Earlier in the year, he hosted a press conference for the release of the final EIR, which laid out the path. The Arlington Garden and the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House are positively impacted by SB 7 and had representatives in Sacramento offering their support for the bill.
“The Pasadena Ronald McDonald House and Arlington Garden are two nonprofits that are very interested in seeing SB 7 pass. We are grateful to Senator Portantino for his support of our mission and those of the other nonprofits in our community. SB 7 is critical to the future success of all of us in Caltrans-owned properties,” added Megan Foker, Board Co-Chair of the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House and Michelle Matthews, Executive Director of the Arlington Garden.
*Attached image from left to right: Senator Portantino, Megan Foker, Board Co-Chair of the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House and Michelle Matthews, Executive Director of the Arlington Garden