SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — California gas prices set a new statewide record Friday hitting $6.06 per gallon of regular unleaded, according to AAA.
“The governor and the administration are ready to go,” H.D. Palmer said.
Department of Finance spokesman Palmer said on Friday that Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to stick with his plan of sending $400 direct payments to California car owners and talks continue with legislative leaders.
“We’ve been ready to go for the last six or so weeks to get this moving. Our main concern, the governor’s main concern, is to move as quickly as possible to get it to the people who need it those most,” Palmer said.
Palmer said Newsom’s plan is the fastest, relying on the Department of Motor Vehicles and a third-party vendor to help process the payments. He said, if passed, it could take the DMV between 30-60 days to put together the data needed and payments would soon follow.
Legislative leaders have proposed a plan of their own to send direct payments to California taxpayers based on income and family size, but Newsom’s administration said it could take until after Labor Day to get payments out by relying on the state’s Franchise Tax Board.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate pro Tem Toni Atkins released a statement on the issue on Friday.
“The prices Californians are seeing at gas stations throughout our state are staggering, and a reminder that so many people continue to need help stretching household budgets during these unprecedented times. The urgency being felt is real and valid, and we are working to resolve the differences between our gas rebate proposal and the governor’s, with a final agreement to be included in conjunction with the June 15 budget. Our goal is to provide meaningful relief to individuals and families, and we have every confidence that we will meet that goal.”
“To see the governor and the democrats have made really no progress on providing any relief whether it be a gas tax suspension or a rebate, it’s just terrible governance,” Assembly Member James Gallagher, D-Yuba City, said.
Republican Assembly Minority leader Gallagher has been pushing for a suspension of the state’s 51-cent gas tax since the start of the year.
He said his party next week will attempt to once again force a vote on it as an inflation-related increase to the state’s gas tax is set to go into effect July 1.