California gas rebate: Lawmakers show little movement while gas prices spike

State lawmakers are at a standstill on how to provide gas relief to drivers in California.

Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a plan in March that would give a $400 rebate in the form of a debit card per registered vehicle owner, and up to $800 for drivers with more than one vehicle. 

However, Democrats in the legislature did not want to tie relief to car ownership, and instead proposed a plan that would give relief to people who earn up to $125,000 or joint filers up to $250,000, and the relief would be $200 for each person.

The stalemate continues however while gas prices spiked to record highs over Memorial Day Weekend with the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County jumping 2.8 cents Saturday to $6.126. Meanwhile, the Orange County average price jumped 3.4 cents to a record $6.101.


Senate President pro-Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) sent the following statement to Fox 11:

"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."

Republicans like Assemblymember Kevin Kiley have a different proposal, instead wanting to suspend the gas tax. 

"The easiest, simplest, most meaningful and immediate thing we can do is to suspend the state gas tax. That's 51 cents a gallon right there that we can take off immediately. I don't care what bill passes, or who gets the credit, I just want to bring relief to Californians. This should not be something we have to discuss. Red and blue states across the country have decided to do the right thing for the people they represent and yet here in California, our state government has done just the opposite, the gas tax is actually going to go up here pretty soon," said Kiley. 

The current gas tax is 51.1 cents per gallon, and is supposed to increase by around 3 cents per gallon when the increase kicks in on July 1.