High gas prices are taking their toll across the country with California experiencing the highest prices on average. In an article in Cal Matters, a plan to help Californians survive these growing prices is slowly emerging. To offset the cost the California government is planning to provide debit cards for gas purchases, free or reduced-price public transportation, and any attempt to postpone gas tax increases.
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas in California is $5.91, which is $1.67 per gallon more than the national average of $4.24. A gallon of gas in California is $0.68 more than its closest rival in Nevada where a gallon of gas averages $5.23. The cheapest gas can be found in Missouri where a gallon of gas is only $3.78 or $2.13 less than California.
In an effort to support Californians, Governor Gavin Newsom is calling for the distribution of funds to residents with registered vehicles to help curb the impact of these unusually high gas prices. The California government would distribute $400 debit cards to Californians with registered vehicles with a limit of two rebates per person. According to Cal Matters, the debit cards would not arrive until July with a total cost of $9 Billion to the state of California. The California governor is also attempting to postpone increased taxes of gasoline and diesel that was expected to bring the state more than $1 Billion is revenue.
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This relief does not just stop with car owners as legislators want to also assist those who utilize public transportation. California plans to set aside $750 million to support local bus and rail agencies that will provide free public transportation for up to three months. This support will benefit about three million Californians who utilize public transportation.
California isn’t the only government working to curb the impact of increased gas prices. Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA-05) introduced a bill earlier this month that proposes paying people $100 a month whenever the average price of gasoline is above $4.00.
As gas prices continue to rise these relief bills will only become more critical when it comes to cutting the cost of living to affordable levels.