Lawmakers OK California tax, fee hike for roads

In California's one-party state - everything in the state, everything, is controlled by the Democratic Party and its union allies - the governor and legislature rushed through a massive tax hike on gas and diesel fuel along with higher auto registration fees with hardly anyone realizing it.

Lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly approved the bill Thursday night, sending it to Gov. This bill is the culmination of two years of hard negotiations and dozens of public hearings in every corner of our state, and it would not have been possible without his leadership and dedication. These, they say, are examples of misspending. According to GasBuddy, the average price per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Kern County on March 30, 2017, was $2.99 (36-cents of which is state taxes).

The California Legislature this week approved a $52.4 billion, 10-year gas tax and new annual vehicle fee increase meant to fix the state's roads and make other transit improvements.

Brown wants legislators to deliver the transportation funding bill before they adjourn Thursday for their spring vacation, but he needs to round up a few more votes to meet the two-thirds majority required to raise taxes.

"This tax is aimed at the poor, the poor that don't have lobbyists to come up here and try to sway your votes". "The Democratic party is the party of doing things, and tonight we did something to fix the roads in California", the governor said.

Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, said he had not made up his mind yet on the transportation plan.

In another sign that Brown and company were paying attention to the arguments against their package, it included a call for a 2018 ballot initiative to prohibit the legislature from diverting the new revenues to other uses.

The amendment is part of a plan to generate $5 billion a year from gasoline and vehicle taxes to fix roads.

"This so-called plan is the latest assault on working-class people the Democrats claim to represent and will make many hard-working Californians, including our seniors, choose between food and gas or medicine and gas".

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Glazer was the only Democrat to vote against the bill in the Senate.

Residents and some state leaders have said they oppose the tax, citing that Californians already face some of the highest taxes in the nation.

Commercial truck emissions are one of the largest sources of pollution in areas with the dirtiest air, but the giveaway to truckers would undermine future mandates to deal with them, said Adrian Martinez, an attorney for Earthjustice.

Brown's pleas capped a week of cajoling and prodding lawmakers.

In 2002, voters passed Proposition 42 confining the sales tax on gasoline to transportation purposes only. A $100 annual fee would have to be paid for drivers who own zero-emission vehicles beginning in 2020.

On Wednesday of the week of March 29, Governor Jerry Brown and California legislative leaders unveiled a $52 billion transportation bill.

"We have a long day ahead of us and so we're continuing our dialogues, which have been very fruitful as of now", de Leon told The Associated Press.

There is a good reason for the lack of trust between the people and their government when it comes to transportation spending.

Rudy Salas, an Assemblyman from Bakersfield, was the lone Democrat in the Assembly to vote against the bill. Democrats have the supermajorities, but are lobbying some reluctant members. After he cast his vote, a number of fellow Democrats swarmed around his desk, shaking their heads. The vote count was frozen three votes shy of passing for more than 10 tense minutes while lawmakers huddled on the floor, pressuring the trio to vote for the bill.

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