$400 gas rebate could be in Californians' future under Democrat proposal

California Democrats on Thursday offered their proposal for a $400 rebate to offset the rising cost of gas. The rebate would be offered to all taxpayers in the state. 

"To put that in context, for most vehicles, for most Californians, this $400 rebate is the equivalent to a one-year gas tax holiday," said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris.

Petrie-Norris, who represents California’s 74th District including; Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Woods and parts of Irvine and Huntington Beach, was among the state lawmakers gathered on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento. 

The proposal seeks to use $9 billion of the state's $65 billion budget surplus to provide the rebate.

"Put money in the pockets of people and they will turn around according to their priorities and spend it on what matters," said Assemblyman Ken Cooley, (D -Rancho Cordova). 70% of the U.S. economy is fueled by consumer spending. 

Prices at the pump keep climbing well above $5 a gallon in many cases and consumers feel the pain. 

Residents complain about the cost of oil and how this impacts their overall budget and ability to purchase food at the grocery store and food for their pets. 

One local business owner who relies on his pest-control company's vans was not convinced the rebate would do much if prices stay high through the summer. 

So why is the rebate offered to people who don't even drive?

"The high price of gasoline across the world is impacting every family and that's what we should provide assistance to," said Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, (D-Davis). 

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, (D-Fullerton) added, "We know that Californians that are taxpayers are in our grocery stores. We know they are hit hard with inflation, high rent." 

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State Republicans responded by saying killing the state's 51-cent gas tax, something they unsuccessfully proposed earlier this week, is not outright dead. 

"There is gonna be another vote to suspend the gas tax very soon and I think millions of people across California are going to be watching to see how that goes," said Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, (R-Granite Bay).

However, Gov. Gavin Newsom has other ideas about rebates; how to implement them, but that has not yet been fully outlined. In other words, even with a super majority, they have no final proposal.