Governor Brown Appears at Rally, Tries to Secure Votes for Gas Tax Bill

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SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown appeared at a rally with legislative Democrats on Wednesday to push for his gas and diesel tax to pay for road repairs.

Facing mounting opposition from environmentalists and anti-tax groups, the Democratic governor joined a rally of construction workers on the Capitol steps imploring undecided lawmakers to get on board.

"It will cost the average guy $10 a month, but it's worth it, even those who pay a little more, it's worth it," Brown said.

The tax would generate about $5.2 billion a year over 10 years.

But Republicans say the state can fund road repairs with existing funds — an idea Democrats say would require cuts to education and social services that they're unwilling to make.

And the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer's Association said the governor's plan is a regressive tax that hurts the middle class.

To win support from truckers, who face a big increase in taxes, Brown and legislative leaders agreed to restrict future regulations on greenhouse gas emissions related to commercial trucks, according to the Associated Press.

Clean air activists are rescinding their earlier approval of the bill that has some clean air aspects to it.

An association representing the state's 35 air pollution control districts sent a letter to lawmakers saying the bill could impede regulations that indirectly affect truckers, such as restrictions on emissions at ports, warehouses, railyards and airports.

Brown and top Democratic lawmakers, who support the plan, were working against a self-imposed deadline of Thursday to win approval of the measure.

Opponents are trying to slow a floor vote scheduled for Thursday morning in the California Senate.