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Gas Tax Increase Faces Opposition

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A bill to tie California´s gas tax to inflation has hit a roadblock in the Senate despite support from local government representatives who say spending on California´s highways isn´t keeping up with congestion and wear and tear.

The measure by Senator Tom Torlakson of Martinez got only 2 of the 7 votes it needed to clear the Senate Transportation Committee. 3 lawmakers opposed it and the rest of the panel´s 13 members didn´t vote.

Torlakson says his constituents are “begging” for relief from traffic jams.

But the committee´s chairman, Senator Kevin Murray of Culver City, says his constituents are more concerned about gasoline prices that are topping $2 a gallon.

Torlakson says he´s willing to rewrite the bill to time the increases to kick in when gas prices drop and when the economy improves.