Still no relief for California drivers

 

President Joe Biden is reportedly considering a federal gas tax holiday to provide relief to drivers struggling with high gas prices.

“Yes, I’m considering it,” Biden said Monday, according to the Associated Press. “I hope to have a decision based on the data — I’m looking for by the end of the week.”

That would be nice.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether it happens or not. But it brings to mind the inaction of Sacramento.

All the way back in January, Gov. Gavin Newsom called for a halt to the regularly scheduled annual gas tax increase set to kick in on July 1.

“We’re going to backfill it in terms of the tax itself to transportation projects so that there’s no direct impact to investments,” Newsom said at the  time. “But there will be a direct impact by avoiding that inflation adjustment that comes in July … to increase the gas tax.”

Well, that never materialized, as the state Legislature failed to pass legislation on time to help avoid the gas tax hike.

In the months since Newsom’s January call for gas tax relief, there’s been plenty of talk in Sacramento but no decisive action.

Back in March, a bill from Asm. Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, which would have suspended the state’s 51 cent per gallon gas tax was taken up by the Assembly’s transportation committee.

What followed was classic Sacramento, as Democrats on the committee promptly gutted the bill and swapped in its place a proposed tax on gas suppliers.

It was an absurd turn of events that understandably bothered Republicans.

“I’m a little appalled and shocked that you all are so appalled and shocked by this,” Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, who chairs the committee, said. “This is exactly our process.”

And Sacramento’s process is exactly what’s stalled any relief to the millions of Californians dealing with high gas …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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