Senate Republicans Put a Stop to Bad Policies and Taxes

While the majority party passed legislation that harms jobs and our pocketbooks, this legislative session could have been even worse.

Republican Senators effectively worked together on bills requiring a 2/3 vote in 2015-16 to deter bad policy that would have made California an even more difficult place to do business.

Without a 2/3 supermajority, the only option for liberal tax increases to become enacted is the ballot. The message a united Republican Caucus sends is that the $90 billion extension of Proposition 30 taxes has no chance in the legislature.

In their commitment to higher taxes, Governor Brown and the majority party introduced several proposals that would increase gas taxes. The most recent bill would take $7.4 billion annually from Californians’ pocketbooks through a 17-cents-per-gallon gas tax, as well as other taxes and fees. Meanwhile, over a year has passed since Senate Republicans proposed a plan to address California’s transportation needs without raising taxes and the majority party continues to ignore it, just as they have ignored the need to fix and maintain our roads and highways for years.

California is already considered the worst state in the nation for business by Chief Executive magazine and if Democrats held a supermajority this session, it would be even worse. For example, legal opposition to the job-crushing cap and trade tax scheme could have been imperiled.

Republicans also had other 2/3 victories. Senator Vidak amended a 2/3 vote bill, AB 2620 (Dababneh), to ensure that unused passenger rail bonds funds from the Clean Air Transportation Improvement Act of 1990 (Proposition 116) were not diverted to an increasingly expensive and financially unrealistic High-Speed Rail project.

In an effort to protect local control, Senate Republicans defeated a 2/3 vote bill (AB 2523 – Mullin) that would have imposed a de facto campaign contribution limit on local jurisdictions by politicians in our state Legislature.