Josh Newman’s primary loss in California on June 5 may have put an arrow through SB 1. However, it might not have been a fatal strike.
Last year California lawmakers passed SB 1, The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which called for an increase in taxes, including the state gas tax, to raise over $5 billion annually in new transportation revenues. Critics of the bill vowed to get in on the November 2018 ballot to let the public decide, and the removal of Newman, a Democrat, from office does not help those who support SB 1.
Republicans are claiming the loss of Newman signals a better chance the people of California will repeal SB 1, because conservative voters will be out in force to land more spots in Congress and the state legislature come November.
“It bodes very well for us to pull off the repeal,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California and leader of the recall SB 1 effort on the Newman defeat. “It shows that there is taxpayer revolt brewing in California that is seeing through the millions of dollars of misleading ads from Sacramento special interests.”
The repeal initiative needed 585,407 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot, and petitions have been turned totaling over 963,000 signatures. Election officials are finding 77% of the signatures they have checked are valid.