The California Legislature rejected a Republican-led effort Monday to suspend the state’s highest-in-the-nation fuel tax — even as residents face gas costs of above $5.50 a gallon.
Assembly Bill AB 1638 would have used revenue from the state’s General Fund to pay for highway improvements during a six-month suspension of the 51.1 cents a gallon tax. The bill failed on a party-line vote.
Gas prices have surged to record levels in California and other states because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent crude oil prices soaring.
“California Democrats have once again proven that they do not care enough about Californians to give them immediate relief from the highest fuel costs in the nation,” said Republican National Committee spokesperson Hallie Balch in a news release.
“Today they had the chance to match their actions to their words, but they did what we have come to expect from California Democrats: they disappointed Californians everywhere.”
On Monday, Republicans in the state Senate sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom calling for immediate action to cut gas prices.
Newsom Prefers Gas Tax Rebates Instead
Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to issue government rebates to residents to offset gas and diesel prices. The details are hazy, but a Newsom adviser said last week that the rebates would amount to billions of dollars.
Click on this San Joaquin Valley Sun link to see how Valley lawmakers voted.