This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Gov. Jerry Brown told the Times Wednesday that a decision by President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change would be "tragic."
- Legislators at the state Capitol will winnow down the hundreds of bills pending by Friday afternoon, quietly killing some of them which have been sitting in what's called the "suspense file."
- African Americans in the California Democratic Party want an apology made to Rep. Maxine Water (D-Los Angeles) after her microphone was cut off at last weekend's convention.
Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) is seeking an initiative to repeal gas tax and vehicle fee increases signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown that will raise $5.2 billion annually for road repairs and mass transit.
Allen filed papers with the state attorney general Thursday to prepare a ballot title and summary so he can work to collect 365,000 signatures from registered voters in 150 days to put the measure on the ballot.
He noted that the bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will raise taxes on a gallon of gas by 12 cents on Nov. 1, while adding 20 cents per gallon to the tax on diesel. It also will create new vehicle fees.
“Jerry Brown’s decision to push through the largest gas tax increase in California’s history without the approval of voters demonstrated a complete disregard for ordinary Californians,” Allen said. “This ballot initiative will correct Brown’s failure and allow the people of California to decide for themselves if they want to raise their taxes.”
Others, including the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., also have been discussing possible initiatives to repeal the gas tax.
If Allen collects enough signatures, the initiative would be placed on the November 2018 ballot.
The gas tax and vehicle fee increases are supported by a group of labor, business and local governments called the Fix Our Roads Coalition, which said in a statement: "It's hard to view this Initiative as anything more than the same old obstructionist politics that Californians are tired of.”