By Assemblyman Kevin Kiley – March 26, 2022
The Supermajority arrived for Thursday’s Assembly Floor Session with a clear goal: to not only stop my bill to suspend the gas tax, but to thwart a vote from even happening. As to the latter objective, they failed.
Their ploy was to suddenly move my bill from “the desk,” where it’s been gathering dust, to a new committee just as session began. So when Laurie Davies asked to take up the bill from the desk, as we’d planned, the Speaker ruled her motion out of order.
This maneuver was easily countered: James Gallagher invoked Assembly Rule 7, allowing the bill to be pulled from committee and voted on by the whole Assembly. Stunningly, the Speaker simply ignored his motion.
When Gallagher appealed the decision, the Speaker interrupted him, wildly banged the gavel, and refused to hold a vote. Vince Fong then stood up, stating that the rules required a vote on Gallagher’s motion. The Speaker denied that point of order.
At this point, I stood up. I said the Speaker was “overtly breaking the rules in order to spare members a vote on a matter of profound importance to Californians.” With that, they finally gave up and held the vote.
Of course, they again voted to keep the gas tax, with several Members abstaining. I’ve never seen them so rattled. One reporter said it’s been “years” since Democrats at the Capitol were so “on their heels.”
This is why Newsom is now floating a “rebate” scheme to send out pre-paid debit cards. They are desperately trying to deflect, to take political cover. But we are fully on offense and not letting up the pressure.