For Riverside’s Four Newest Cities, Help is Finally on the Way

A state Senate bill aimed at restoring lost funding to Riverside County’s newest cities cleared the state Assembly Thursday and is now headed to the governor’s desk. The bill’s passage is a culmination of years-long efforts to restore some $15 million in vehicle licensing fees that were diverted from newer cities in 2011.

Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside) and Assembly Member Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona) issued a joint statement Thursday.

We thank our colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting SB 130 and recognizing how important this funding is for our cities’ residents. For too long, Sacramento has failed to provide our region with its fair share. SB 130 is a critical measure of fairness and equity which ensures Riverside County’s four newest cities will once again have the resources they need to keep our neighborhoods and families safe.

This is a major victory that will provide these four cities with the funding they deserve and, in the case of Jurupa Valley, desperately need. There is no reason why these particular cities should be excluded from receiving an equitable share of state revenue which every other California city receives. We look forward to receiving the Governor’s signature on this measure and finally delivering a fair share of resources to our cities.

The bill passed the Assembly 72-1. It received 34-0 approval in the state Senate on April 27. Unlike previous bills to restore the lost funds, it is expected to be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The governor expressed his willingness to sign this latest bill in exchange for Roth’s support for a $52.4 billion transportation package that includes an increase in the gas tax and new fees on vehicles.

The decision to divert VLF revenues in 2011 affected all city budgets, but Riverside’s newest cities -- Eastvale, Wildomar, Menifee, and Jurupa Valley -- were hit hardest, with some talking possible disincorporation as a result. Under Senate Bill 130, Jurupa Valley is expected to get $6 million; Menifee $4 million; Eastvale $3 million; and $2 million for Wildomar.