California drivers have seen record-breaking gas prices over the last few weeks. Currently, the average is about $5.88 per gallon in the state, making it the highest in the nation. Earlier this month, California Governor Gavin Newsom stated he was working on a proposal “to put money back in the pockets of Californians to address rising gas prices.”
In that same speech, Newsom also stated he will not accept calls to increase oil drilling, stating he wants California to be free “once and for all from the grasp of petro-dictators.”
Now he’s keeping his word. In a statement released today from the governor’s office, the proposal will allow Californians who own vehicles to receive up to $800 from the state.
“The tax refund will take the form of $400 debit cards for registered vehicle owners, and individuals will be eligible to receive up to two payments,” he continued in the statement. “The proposal provides up to two $400 rebates per vehicle, for owners to support families with more than one vehicle in use. Eligibility will be based on vehicle registration, not tax records, in order to include seniors who receive Social Security Disability income and low-income non-tax filers.”
That’s not all. For citizens that do not own vehicles, Newsom wants to find a solution for them as well, stating that $500 million will go “to support active transportation programs, like walking and biking projects.”
The proposal also includes $750 million in grants to transit agencies to ensure free transit for Californians for 3 months. His administration highlights that 3 million Californians rely on public transportation per day. This means riders will no longer be required to pay a fare.
Negotiations of the proposal begin in the next coming days. If approved, the Newsom administration states the first payments could go out as soon as July. You can find the governor’s full statement and proposal here.