California State Senate Passes Gas Tax; Bill Heads to Assembly

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SACRAMENTO — The state Senate has approved a $5-billion-a-year plan to boost California’s gas and vehicle taxes to pay for major road repairs.

The Senate’s 27-11 vote Thursday evening sends the measure to the Assembly, which planned to take it up immediately.

The vote came after Gov. Jerry Brown and top legislative leaders worked to pressure undecided lawmakers in search of the two-thirds majority required to raise taxes.

Approval in the Assembly would cap a years-long push by Brown to secure new revenue to fix California’s crumbling roads and address an estimated $137 billion of deferred maintenance on state highways and local streets.

Most Republicans said California residents already face some of the highest taxes in the nation. They prefer to use existing money to fix roads.

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