Lawmakers on the California Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Development voted 9-2 on Aug. 19 to increase the state gas tax by 12 cents-per-gallon and increase vehicle registration fees by up to $100. The plan, sponsored by Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), would generate approximately $4 billion per year to address a backlog of state roadway maintenance and repair.
The bill will now go before the California Senate Appropriations Committee for approval before heading to the Senate floor for a final vote. Any legislation that includes a tax increase must receive two-thirds support in both chambers in order to pass. Currently, the full Senate has 26 Democratic lawmakers and 14 Republican lawmakers, meaning that votes from both parties will be required to pass this bill if it goes before the full Senate. If approved in the Senate, SBX 1.1 would be sent to the House for consideration.
The same day SBX 1.1 was passed by the Senate committee, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) joined several lawmakers and local leaders to emphasize the need for bipartisan support to find a transportation funding solution.
“In special session, I am hopeful that we can set aside rigid ideology and consider serious proposals that provide a new, fair funding stream,” said Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego).