Home California Assemblyman Kevin Kiley’s Gas Tax Suspension Bill “Hijacked” in Committee

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley’s Gas Tax Suspension Bill “Hijacked” in Committee

by ECT

A bill that aimed to immediately suspend the state excise take on gas for six-months and save 50 cents per gallon at the pump was gutted and amended Monday to add a tax for oil companies.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, the bills author, said “the bill presents a very simple solution.” The bill was introduced in January. A shortfall in the gas tax over the six-month period would be replaced by the General Fund using surplus money.

The move to amend the bill came just prior to the vote where Democratic Assemblyman Alex Lee (D-San Jose) questioned the bill and said “there is no guarantee that suspending the gas tax nets any savings on the consumer”.

Lee then proposed amendments to Kiley’s bill which began with erasing everything in it.

Instead, the AB 1638 Amendments include:

  1. Strike all current contents of the bill
  2. Impose a new Vehicle Fuel Windfall Profits Tax on gasoline supplier gross receipts when the price of a gallon of gas is abnormally high compared to the price of a barrel of crude oil.
  3. Require the Franchise Tax Board to determine a tax rate that will recover any gasoline supplier’s profit margin that exceeds $0.30 per gallon.
  4. Require the CA Energy Commission to determine the components of the profit margin.
  5. Establish a new Vehicle Fuel Windfall Rebate Fund, and require that the windfall dollars be paid to that fund.
  6. Require the funds to be paid back to California gasoline purchasers via a rebate.
  7. Require FTB to establish how to distribute that rebate.
  8. Require that FTB and CEC consult with the federal Government

After the amendments, Kiley objected to the bill, however, Democrats voted to move it forward without changing the name of the author.

Kiley said that he was willing to put his name on his bill, but Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) would not put her name on this amended bill.

“If you think this alternative solution is a good idea, would you like to put your name on it as the author,” asked Kiley.

She replied, “you are the author of the bill Mr. Kiley.”

“I am offering you the opportunity to be the author of this bill, would you like to take that opportunity,” responded Kiley.

“No, I’ve not had a chance to dive in depth into this,” said Friedman who noted in the next committee she would.

“Would you like to put your name on it right now,” said Kiley.

“So here is the difference, we do have two proposals, I am willing to put my name on my proposal. Mr. Fong is willing to put his name on it, Assemblywoman Nguyen is willing to put her name on it. Assemblywoman Davies is willing to put her name on it. Yet, your proposal is so odious that you are not even willing to attach your name to it,” said Kiley.

He then asked Assemblyman Alex Lee (D-San Jose) if he would put his name on it which was met with silence.

“I think that about says it all, we are willing to own our proposal, you are not even willing to put your name on yours,” stated Kiley.


Statements After the Hearing

Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher (R-Yuba City):

“Only Assembly Democrats would think you can bring down gas prices by increasing the gas tax. Today’s stunt in the Transportation Committee shows just how far Democrats will go to delay and avoid giving Californians any relief from high gas prices. Californians are hurting now, and Democrats’ charade will only extend the pain.”

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin)

“I introduced this bill to do something very simple: provide tax relief for California families who are struggling to afford the rising cost of gas. Despite bipartisan support for suspending the gas tax in many other states, today the Supermajority killed an effort to save families 50 cents per gallon at the pump and instead replaced it with yet another tax increase. It’s hard to imagine a Legislature that is more out of touch with the needs of its constituents.”

Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Kern County)

My frustrated remarks tonight as Democrats on the Assembly Transportation Committee literally hijacked a bill by Assembly Republicans to provide immediate gas tax relief, and now is calling for a tax increase on energy producers.

Only in California does the Democrat-controlled Legislature take a tax relief bill and replace it with one that increases taxes. It is completely asinine.

The affordability crisis in California is real. Californians need immediate relief.

Ignoring Californians’ financial pain, Sacramento Democrats exploited their one-party rule power to prevent drivers from receiving immediate relief – 51 cent reduction per gallon – when filling up their cars.

Californians are getting crushed by the rising cost of everything – groceries, utilities, housing and now, gasoline – all of them are causing serious financial burden on families.

Californians are demanding immediate action, and with Sacramento Democrats stopping this immediate relief, they are rightfully frustrated and upset.

Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield):

Democrats hijack a gas tax decrease bill, force gas tax increase amendments on the author Kevin Kiley and then refuse to put their name on it.
Senator Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore):

AB 1638, which would have temporarily halted the gas tax, was hijacked by democrats and changed to a bill to INCREASE gas taxes, yet those same democrats refused to put their names on the bill. For good measure they also cut Kevin Kiley’s mic off.

Today the bill to suspend the gas tax was to be heard in committee, likely because democrats have been getting blasted by their constituents. Instead, they tried to gut the bill and make it a gas tax INCREASE. Your pain at the pump is a joke to them.

For a look at the Bill: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB1638

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