Lawmakers make final push for gas tax hike

The governor and lawmakers are working against a self-imposed Thursday deadline to approve a $5 billion a year increase in the gas tax and vehicle fees. (April 5, 2017)

The governor and lawmakers are working against a self-imposed Thursday deadline to approve a $5 billion a year increase in the gas tax and vehicle fees. 
 
Governor Jerry Brown joined a rally of construction workers on the capitol steps on Wednesday. They are pushing lawmakers to get on board with his plan. 
 
"This is a fee," said Governor Jerry Brown. "A fee for the privilege of driving on our roads that the paid for and we gotta keep for them...otherwise they are not gonna work for us. It's just that simple." 
 
Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes disagrees.
 
"As of last evening, talking to a handful of Democratic members the votes are not there," said Assemblymember Mayes. "Because both Republicans and Democrats alike, a handful of Democrats alike, understand that this is bad for Californians. 
 
ABC10 caught up with Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas who insists he hears your concerns about what the money will actually be used for. Why are we back in this dire position?
 
"Well the reason we are back here is because of the recession and a budget gimmick from 2009," said Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas. "And it was so bad that it took us this amount of time to get out of those bad decisions."
 
The assemblymember said they are making better decisions now. The governor is calling for a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the money cannot be used for anything but transportation projects.
 
"And we are at the crisis point right now. The American Council of Engineers gives our roads a D or F rating for most our state highway systems. California is not a D or F kind of state, and we want A+ investment," said Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas. "That's what this package is about. This something where you will see actual physical improvements to the state of California if we can get there. I look forward to coming back and sharing the good news about what we have brought for Sacramento and the rest of the state."

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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