California math: 1 vote = $500 million in road work
Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has released documents outlining proposed changes to square the state's new recreational pot law with its long-standing law on medical marijuana.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - How much is one vote worth in the California state Senate?
The Democratic plan, which received its first committee approval on a party-line vote Monday, would raise $52.4 billion over 10 years through a variety of tax proposals. It raises the base gasoline excise tax by 12 cents, creates a transportation improvement fee based on the value of a vehicle and raises diesel excise and sales taxes. "We strongly urge the Legislature to reject this historic tax hike in favor of our responsible plan that fixes our roads without raising taxes and fees".
Owners of electric vehicles, who do not use gasoline and would not pay the gas tax, would have to pay a $100 fee to help fix roads.
"We are trying to be reasonable", he said.
"This bill will provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for poor people who need work and it will stimulate the economy", said Sen. But Republicans focused on the economic impact of the plan on middle-class Californians.
The legislation would not affect existing state regulations requiring more efficient engines in trucks, which phases in through 2023, said Stanley Young, a spokesman for the Air Resources Board.
Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Roseville, said he would vote against the tax hike.
It's also doubtful any Republicans will vote "yes", although Sen. Jerry Brown and Democrat lawmakers in Sacramento unveiled a "landmark" solution for funding critical transportation infrastructure projects. "So, a gas and auto tax increase means we would be paying twice for the same service".
"The projects are transportation-worthy, no question about that, in an area that is highly congested with bad air quality and badly needed infrastructure fix", he said.
"The General Fund has gone up $36 billion over the last six years", Fong said.
The governor and Democratic leaders need every Democrat senator and all but one Democrat assembly member to vote "yes" on these bills to achieve the two-thirds supermajority needed to pass a tax or fee increase.
Its not going to be a bump-free ride for Gov. Edmund Gerald Brown Jr.in his drive to increase the gas tax to pay for road repairs.
Regressive tax and fee increases are not the path forward to a more prosperous and thriving California.
In a memo sent to Fong, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Office said California's cap-and-trade program will raise gas prices by an estimated 63 cents per gallon in 2021 and 73cents per gallon in 2031.
And no discussion of transportation spending would be complete without addressing the nation's biggest boondoggle: high-speed rail. These, they say, are examples of misspending.
Republicans have blasted the plan to ask for more money from taxpayers in a state that already has a high tax burden.
Stone, like many opponents of the bill, criticized the state for failing to spend funds allocated for transportation in the past on transportation. Yet new transportation projects are, essentially, held hostage to the budget process.
A constitutional amendment that ensures the money won't be spent on anything other than transportation projects was also approved by the Legislature last night. Our crumbling infrastructure is a threat to our economy and the mobility of our residents while costing frustrated motorists hundreds of extra dollars a year in vehicle repairs.
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