- Associated Press - Thursday, April 6, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - 10:40 p.m.

California lawmakers have approved a plan to raise gas and vehicle taxes to generate $5 billion a year for road repairs.

Lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly approved the bill Thursday night, sending it to Gov. Jerry Brown. The Democratic governor negotiated the bill, promoted it around the state and is expected to sign it.

All Republicans in the Assembly and all but one in the Senate voted against the tax increase. They say the state already has enough money but Democrats who control the state government have spent it poorly.

The measure raises gas taxes by 12 cents per gallon. Vehicle fees will rise between $25 and $175 depending on the value of the vehicle

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7:15

The state Senate has approved a $5-billion-a-year plan to boost California’s gas and vehicle taxes to pay for major road repairs.

The Senate’s 27-11 vote Thursday evening sends the measure to the Assembly, which planned to take it up immediately.

The vote came after Gov. Jerry Brown and top legislative leaders worked to pressure undecided lawmakers in search of the two-thirds majority required to raise taxes.

Approval in the Assembly would cap a years-long push by Brown to secure new revenue to fix California’s crumbling roads and address an estimated $137 billion of deferred maintenance on state highways and local streets.

Most Republicans said California residents already face some of the highest taxes in the nation. They prefer to use existing money to fix roads.

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7 p.m.

The California Assembly has passed a measure that aims to ensure funds generated from a proposed tax and fee hike will be used only for transportation.

The proposed constitutional amendment cleared the required two-thirds threshold Thursday evening. If the Senate signs off, it will go before voters in the 2018 election.

The amendment is part of a plan to generate $5 billion a year from gasoline and vehicle taxes to repair roads. That bill was scheduled for Senate and Assembly votes later Thursday.

Bay Area Assemblywoman Catharine Baker was the only Republican to support it. All Democrats voted for the plan except southern California Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva. The Orange County Democrat did not vote.

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6 p.m.

The California Senate is debating a plan to raise taxes and fees by $5 billion to pay for road repairs.

The decision to begin debate after a three-hour delay on Thursday is an indication legislative leaders believe they have enough votes for the measure to clear the Assembly and Senate.

Gov. Jerry Brown, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon spent the day pressuring undecided lawmakers to get behind the bill. It must be approved by two thirds of lawmakers to reach Brown’s desk.

SB1 would raise gasoline taxes by 12 cents a gallon and diesel taxes by 20 cents. It would impose a new vehicle fee ranging from $25 to $175 depending on the vehicle’s value.

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11 a.m.

Democratic legislative leaders are hopeful but making no promises as they prepare to vote on a $5 billion-a-year boost in California’s gas and vehicle taxes to pay for road repairs.

Senate leader Kevin de Leon says talks are fluid but “very fruitful as of now.”

He and other leaders including Gov. Jerry Brown are hurrying to line up the two-thirds votes needed to pass the tax increases. Democrats have the supermajorities, but are lobbying some reluctant members.

Republicans say the state already has enough money but Democrats who control state government have spent it poorly.

Votes are planned on the bill Thursday afternoon before lawmakers adjourn for their weeklong spring break.

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