California’s citizens are busy collecting signatures and submitting ballot proposals so that they can change the laws created by the Democratic Party-dominated state legislature.

Groups had been hard at work to repeal the onerous gas tax that has been in place since last November. They managed to collect enough signatures, which will mean the proposition to repeal will be on the ballot in time for the state’s gubernatorial election this November.

The approval of SB1 by lawmakers last year led to a 12-cent and 20-cent hike on regular and diesel fuel, respectively, and increased vehicle registration fees $25 to $175.

Needing only around 584,000 signatures, the grassroots effort collected nearly 900,000, according to Carl DeMaio, the frontman of the repeal effort.

Some might say the initiative was fueled by outrage overspending in Sacramento and mistrust over what’s been done with the previous gas tax hikes.

The tax and added fees equate to billions of dollars in state revenue that will go towards fixing aging highways, bridges, roads and other transit

…DeMaio, who is also a conservative radio host and former San Diego City Council member, wants state lawmakers to use the gas taxes already in place, taxes which he claims have been diverted to other areas.

DeMaio said that according to the latest audit by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, just 20 percent of existing gas tax revenue goes into road projects.

The gas tax has inspired another ballot measure proposal, which is also backed by soda companies.

The proposal, which is currently gathering signatures for the November ballot, would increase the threshold for passing any new tax or tax hike to two-thirds of voters or an elected body — a change that supporters say is necessary after several recent court decisions weakened previous voter-approved initiatives to protect taxpayers. It would also require the money from those taxes to be spent on specific purposes.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other beverage companies have already contributed millions of dollars to the effort, as they face a wave of public health-driven soda taxes in cities across the country that appear to be hobbling sales. Increasingly subjected to new taxes by local politicians trying to close municipal budget deficits, more major industries, including oil, are prepared to jump in.

More and more cities are joining the federal lawsuit against California’s “Sanctuary State” rules that prohibit local law enforcement agencies from aiding Immigration and Customs agents by detaining criminals for later deportation. The parents of two young people killed by immigrants are leading an effort to repeal this policy (SB54).

The initiative, which likely would not appear on the ballot until 2020, goes a step further to require state and local law enforcement to notify federal authorities when they have an undocumented immigrant in custody.

The measure would also impose criminal penalties and fines on government officials who obstruct federal immigration enforcement, prohibit the Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing licenses for undocumented immigrants and require voters to provide proof of citizenship to register.

If the scale of signature collection for the gas tax repeal is any indication, the touted “Blue Wave” may be awfully red . . . even in California.


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