Californian lawmakers did not get enough votes on Monday to suspend the gas tax prices per gallon soaring across the nation.
Three San Diego Assemblymembers voted against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to suspend the gas tax. Two Republicans voted in support, while Democrat Brian Maienschein was absent.
The gas hike is used to funnel funds into roads and infrastructure expenses. According to the Legislative Analyst Office, the gas tax is set to raise $6.8 billion to pay for projects on highways and roads.
The price of gasoline in California is the second-highest in the country and has the highest gas tax with Senate Bill 1 at 51 cents per gallon.
The national average for a gallon of regular self-serve gasoline is $4.43 per gallon. As of Monday, San Diego county exceeds the national average by $1.33 at $5.76.
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley made a motion to suspend rules and allow a vote on a bill that would suspend the gas tax for six months. Under Kiley’s measure, the state would use general fund dollars to backfill the lost tax revenue.
There were 18 assembly members that voted in favor, while 40 voted against the proposal.
“The green arrows voted to suspend the tax. The red arrows welcomed $6 per gallon with open arms,” Kiley wrote in a tweet shortly after the vote.
Newsom had proposed to postpone the scheduled gas tax increase slated for July 1. During his State of the State address on March 8, he acknowledged the need to do more for drivers and suggested a rebate to provide some relief to Californians with the high gas prices.