California math: 1 vote = $500 million in road work

In this Aug. 13, 2015 photo, the cash price for gasoline is shown on a changeable sign at a gas station in Seattle. Washington state recently approved a 16-year, $16 billion transportation plan that raises fuel taxes, vehicle fees and bonding. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — How much is one vote worth in the California state Senate?

A half-billion dollars, if linked to a gas-tax hike.

The key vote to raise Californians’ gas taxes and vehicle fees Thursday came from a little-known Republican lawmaker.

Sen. Anthony Cannella won a $400 million railroad extension into his Central Valley district in California’s agricultural heartland and $100 million for the University of California, Merced.

He was among several lawmakers who secured nearly $1 billion in transportation projects.

They say the promises won their votes to raise $54 billion for roads, bridges, and mass transit over 10 years.

The deal raises gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon while increasing diesel taxes and vehicle fees.

Cannella was the only Republican to support a plan criticized by his GOP colleagues.

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