SB541, a bill that would
raise the fuel tax in California each year to adjust it for inflation,
was defeated 4-3 in the Senate Transportation Committee April 1, according
to the legislative information Web site. However, the committee has decided
to reconsider the bill and vote on it again, according to a spokeswoman
at the Legislature.
If the bill passes in
the Transportation Committee this time, it still has several hurdles to
jump. It will also have to pass the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee,
and, under the California Constitution, it must pass the full chamber,
as well as the House, by a two-thirds vote.
Torlakson, D-Martinez, the bill's primary sponsor, told The San Diego
Union-Tribunethe bill would help the state's ailing transportation
budget. A Senate analysis quoted by the newspaper indicated that if the
tax had been adjusted for inflation since it was put in place in 1957,
it would now be 32.5 cents a gallon, not its current level of 18.4 cents.
Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Northridge, told the newspaper more money was not
problem is that the ample revenues the state receives are not being used
to build highways," he said.
support is considered necessary to have enough votes to pass the bill, The