East County News Service
December 6, 2022 (Sacramento) -- Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) announced today the introduction of three bills immediately after being sworn into office yesterday.
“Two of the biggest issues California is facing are skyrocketing homelessness and soaring unaffordable gas prices. On the campaign trail, I promised voters that I would tackle both issues on day one of my next Senate term. Yesterday, I followed through on my promises and introduced three bills: one to compassionately clear encampments and two to lower gas prices $1 per gallon by suspending the state’s gas taxes and fees.”
Jones’s Senate Bill 31 will clear encampments by:
1. Prohibiting encampments near sensitive community areas: schools, parks, libraries, and day care centers to help protect children;
2. Requiring a 72-hour warning before an encampment sweep. This will give homeless individuals a chance to find alternatives and services before their encampment is cleared; and
3. Requiring enforcement officers to provide information about sleeping alternatives, homeless and mental health services, and/or homeless shelters in the area. This will help connect homeless individuals to desperately needed services as encampments are compassionately cleared.
“We cannot simply continue allowing people to live in our parks and libraries or in front of schools and day care centers,” stated Senator Jones. “It’s inhumane and unhealthy for the homeless individuals, and it’s unfair and often dangerous for the neighbors, families, and children in these sensitive areas. Our measure will help end the public camping in these areas while also compassionately assisting the homeless to get treatment for their physical and mental health needs and find a more suitable place to stay.”
Jones’s Senate Bill 32 and Special Session Senate Billx1 1 suspend the state’s gas taxes and fees to lower gas prices by $1 per gallon for one year. His goal is to bring immediate relief to Californians at the pump when many are struggling to afford high gas prices.
“Suspending the gas tax has bipartisan support across the country. Several Democrat and Republican states have suspended their gas tax. Earlier this year, President Biden announced his support for states to suspend their gas tax. California is behind the nation in bringing relief to overly taxed Californians by suspending our gas tax.”
Governor Gavin Newsom has convened a legislative special session this week to impose fees on big oil companies that he contends have engaged in price gouging, after the companies refused to testify at a California Energy Commission session.
But Jones criticizes that approach. “ Governor Newsom’s Special Session to raise gas taxes is tone-deaf to Californians’ economic struggles,” Jones contends. “Now is not the time to be experimenting with an unproven tax increase scheme that puts politics before people. My measures will bring immediate relief at the pump.”
According to the Legislative Analyst, in 2022-23, the state gasoline excise tax is set at 53.9 cents per gallon, and the tax is expected to raise $7.4 billion from gasoline purchases for vehicles using public roads. So, while suspending the tax would put money in consumers pocket, it would also mean less money available for road repairs or upgrades.
SB 31 is principal coauthored by Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) and coauthored by Senators Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), Roger Niello (R-Fair Oaks), Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach), Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta), and Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita). SB 32 and SBx1 1 are coauthored by the entire California State Senate Republican Caucus.
Click here for the SB 31 fact sheet, here for the SB 32 fact sheet, and here for the SBX1 1 fact sheet. All three measures are in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting assignment to a policy committee for a hearing.
Senator Brian W. Jones was reelected to the California State Senate in 2022 representing the 40th Senate District which includes Alpine, Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Lakeside, Mira Mesa, Pine Valley, Poway, Rainbow, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, San Marcos, Santee, Scripps Ranch, Valley Center, Torrey Hills, University City, and North City of San Diego communities.