Gas tax increase canceled as California state budget is approved

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“Voting near dawn to end a three-month impasse, the California Senate approved a deal that Democrats and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reached with a GOP holdout to resolve the state’s fiscal emergency,” according to the L.A. Times.

GOP State Senator Abel Maldonado got what he wanted, as California voters will be able to vote on a measure that will give our state an Open Primary.  And Maldonado insisted on the removal of the gas tax increase from the state budget.  Maldonado also forced the Democrats to accept a measure that will result in no pay increases for State Legislators in deficit years.

The bad news is that “The final version of the plan would raise the state sales tax by 1% and nearly double the vehicle license fee, to 1.15%. It would also reduce the dependent credit Californians are allowed to claim on their taxes. The package would increase personal income tax rates by 0.25%.”

What I found interesting is that the Democrats and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ended up cutting more items from the budget when they canceled the increase in the gas tax.  Interesting how they suddenly found items to cut.

If the Open Primary measure is approved by voters it will not take affect until 2012, so it won’t help Maldonado if he runs for statewide office in 2010.  There is a lot of opposition to Open Primaries in both parties – and even my friends in the Libertarian Party do not like it, as the net result will be no Libertarian candidates in the general elections.  However, we don’t have a chance of winning statewide or legislative seats anyway.  And an Open Primary would help get rid of hard right and hard left legislators.  Hard to argue against that.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.