California's new transportation infrastructure fix, paid for by an increase in the state's gas tax, is opposed by a strong majority of voters in the state.
A poll out Friday from the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies finds that 58 percent of registered voters oppose the law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April. The findings could prove troublesome for Democrats in the Legislature running for re-election in 2018.
"If you're in a competitive district, it could become a campaign issue," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the IGS Poll.
Senate Bill 1, carried by Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), will provide $52.4 billion in the next 10 years to fix highways and local roads and fund public transportation. To do that, it would raise the state's gas tax by 12 cents, and add up to $175 on annual vehicle registration fees. The measure barely passed the Legislature, receiving the exact amount of votes (27 in the Senate, 54 in the Assembly) required to achieve the needed two-thirds supermajority.
The potential sting on the pocketbooks of Californians is a likely explanation of why 39 percent of the polls' respondents said they "strongly oppose" the new law.