Opinion: California lawmakers choose month-long recess over enacting relief from gasoline cost

A California street sign is shown next to the price board at a gas station in San Francisco, on March 7, 2022.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

You can’t make this up department: Legislators’ vacation begins the same day another state gasoline tax hike takes effect.

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The pent-up desire of California motorists for some relief — any relief — from gasoline prices that are more than 70 percent higher than what was seen 18 months ago is tough to exaggerate. When regular gasoline costs $6.59 a gallon, many families must cut back on basic necessities, only starting with food.

But state lawmakers have never stopped sending the message that this isn’t their concern. Two weeks after reports that Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders had stalled on how to provide gas relief, the hits keep coming. CalMatters reported Tuesday that there was no way lawmakers would approve relief before July 1. That’s the day lawmakers’ month-long summer recess begins — and the day another state gas hike takes effect. What’s wrong with this picture? Just about everything.