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Toni Atkins Discusses Chargers Stadium, Special Legislative Sessions

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Toni Atkins Discusses Chargers Stadium, Special Legislative Sessions
Toni Atkins Discusses Chargers Stadium, Special Legislative Sessions
Toni Atkins Discusses Chargers Stadium, Special Legislative Sessions GUESTS: Toni Atkins, speaker, California Assembly

It's turning out to be a busy summer for Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.

The San Diego lawmaker sat in on the city's stadium presentation to NFL officials last week and she's also playing a pivotal role in two special legislative sessions called by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Keeping Chargers

Atkins, who represents the 78th Assembly District in San Diego, said she attended last week's meeting to ensure the NFL knows the state is ready to act if it needs to.

"I want to make sure there's a possibility to keep the Chargers here," Atkins told KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday. "My role is to make sure the NFL knows there is state awareness."

In response to a possible legal challenge against the city's environmental impact report, Atkins said Assembly Bill 900 would provide a 270-day court process. The bill expedites review of challenges against environmental impact reports.

California's broken roads

The special legislative sessions focus on fixing how California pays for roads, highways and bridges and how to close a projected $1 billion shortfall in the state's health program for low income individuals known as Medi-Cal.

But it's not just state-owned roads that need work — Atkins said local roads statewide have about a $78 billion deficit.

Atkins said the special session will bring ideas on how to fix roads with California's dwindling gas tax reserves. Because California has more than 200,000 electric vehicles on the road — less drivers are paying the gas tax.

"There needs to be a new funding formula," Atkins said. "Whether it is a fee attached to your insurance, a fee attached to diesel — I'm open to what the fee should be."

No mayoral run

Atkins, who is termed out in 2016, said she's not considering a run for the mayor's office.

"My focus is geared toward San Diego but from Sacramento," she said.