We are nearing the end of the summer, which means that we are in the home stretch of the 2015 Legislative session. But this does not mean that things are slowing down in Sacramento. Democrats miss no opportunity to pass their pet projects, and the end of session is the perfect opportunity. You can expect to see plenty of efforts made to pass bills that will further hurt job creation in California and attempts to sneak unpopular legislation through at the last minute. Let me give you a preview of coming attractions.

To begin with, there are a number of “job killing” bills on the agenda in these final weeks. Senate Bill 32 would massively expand California’s cap-and-trade program, forcing businesses to pay even more for their carbon offsets. Senate Bill 350 would cut carbon even further by mandating in 15 years the following: a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use; more stringent energy efficient buildings; and require 50 percent of our electricity to come from so-called, but highly subsidized, renewable sources. 

These carbon reduction programs have been sold to the public as a way to save the earth from a “global warming disaster.” But these programs only promise to cut a tiny, tiny fraction of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at great expense only to those of us who live in California! There is absolutely no evidence that the billions of your dollars spent on these programs will reduce carbon enough to “cool the planet” and justify their expense.  In reality these proposals are an excuse to increase our taxes so politicians can use that money to create more new government programs and employees.

Additional new taxes are also being proposed by the majority party, especially in relation to roads. California has $59 billion worth of long-overdue maintenance on our roads and bridges. The Governor has called a special session of the legislature to find another way to fund these repairs. One Democrat Senator has proposed increasing taxes on gasoline by 12 cents per gallon and on diesel 22 cents per gallon, with those taxes increasing every year based on inflation. On top of this, there would be a $70 increase to everyone’s annual vehicle registration fee, and then an additional $100 annual tax for owners of zero-emission vehicles.

California’s gas taxes are already higher than almost any other state in the nation, & with the federal taxes we pay 70 cents on every gallon of gas we buy. How do they expect Californians to bear this additional burden when they fill up their tank or renew their vehicles? Those of us in the GOP in the Assembly have proposed a 9-point plan to fund $6 billion in road repairs using existing resources without raising one dime of new taxes. (Details available online & at my offices)

This broken process by the state legislature of the largest state in the union is on full display during the end of the legislative session. Slamming through tax increases, and failing to properly use the billions of tax dollars we have to address the needs of Californians like repairing highways and roads is evidence that our state capitol is not working for the people. As your lawmaker, I will vote to represent your needs in Sacramento, and make your voice heard. And I plan to do it without raising your taxes.

Grove represents the citizens of California’s 34th Assembly District, covering a majority of Kern County.