NATSO, CIOMA Voice Opposition to California Bill Seeking Commercial Rest Areas


Ira Wexler/NATSO

NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings last week sharply criticized California Assemblyman Ben Hueso's measure AB 2485 that would allow the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) to seek federal waivers to develop commercial rest areas.

In a letter published in the San Diego Tribune, Mullings said Assemblyman Hueso is jeopardizing 12,852 businesses that operate along the interstate employing more than 188,000 and risking $64 million in local tax revenues.

"Under Hueso’s plan, the state and their rest area concessions contractor would be the winners," Mullings said. "The business people who paid top dollar for their properties at the exit interchanges would be the big losers as the traffic is siphoned away from the exits to the shoulder of the interstate."

In a separate letter addressed to Assemblyman Hueso (D), NATSO, along with the California Independent Oil Marketers Association and the Partnership to Save Highway Communities, voiced opposition to AB 2485, saying it would destroy small business owners who have diligently invested in and operated their enterprises to meet the needs of the traveling public.

Federal statutes prevent the Department of Transportation from rescinding the restriction or granting exceptions to the federal law prohibiting states from establishing commercial rest areas. Therefore, even if this law were to pass in the California General Assembly, federal law would have to be changed before California could proceed.


This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW). NNW, NATSO's electronic newsletter, is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Every Monday it is emailed to NATSO members. 

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