State Senator Noreen Evans says an oil severance tax is long overdue.
Evans: "The state of California is
the only oil-producing state in the nation that does not have this
tax. California is way behind the eight-ball on this."
Evans says the state's higher education and parks systems have each endured deep budget cuts and have great need for the measure's projected $2 billion a year in revenue.
Republican Senator Jean Fuller says this is not the time for a new tax on a specific industry after voters approved Proposition 30 last fall.
Fuller: "We've been given a
reprieve by the taxpayers with these new taxes. Let's use
them efficiently and wisely - and maybe tighten our belt just a
little bit for the moment."
As a tax measure, the bill would need two-thirds votes in both chambers and Governor Jerry Brown's signature. Brown and some moderate Democratic lawmakers have said they're reluctant to raise more taxes right now.