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    Assemblywoman Oropeza Seeks Gas Tax Increase: Five Cents Per Gallon More

    (February 26, 2004) -- With gasoline pump prices already well over $2.00 a gallon in Long Beach, Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza (D., LB-Carson) has introduced a bill to increase CA's gas tax by five cents per gallon.

    Saying CA's transportation infrastructure is facing collapse, the newly named chair of the Assembly's Transportation Committee formally announced plans on Feb. 25 to review the state gasoline tax.

    "Our highways are too congested, our roads are too bumpy and our governorís plans to divert billions in what voters said should be dedicated funding for state transportation projects are too short sighted," Oropeza told about 250 members of the CA Transportation Foundation (CTF) during their annual meeting in Sacramento.

    "Liz Hill, the stateís non-partisan Legislative Analyst, last week called for a 6-cent hike and I believe we need to examine this issue...Therefore I've introduced a bill calling for a 5-cent per gallon hike," Oropeza said in a written release. "Over the next several weeks we will thoroughly review plans to shore up our highways. Stable transportation funding is the key to a strong economy."

    The CTF, addressed by Assemblywoman Oropeza, says on its web site that the group originated in 1988 when several Caltrans department managers "thought it important to establish a nonprofit entity to fund the employee recognition and career development activities which were not or could not be funded using tax revenue." The group says it has developed programs in response to the needs of agencies and persons involved in CA transportation including employee assistance, conference travel assistance, student scholarships, conference administrative support, career development, awards/recognition, worker memorials and event support.

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