A revised version of Gov. Kay Ivey's proposed massive gas tax hike was released Wednesday, as Republican legislative leaders scrambled to line up the votes needed for passage. The increase remains 10 cents per gallon. But that tax automatically rises up to a penny, every other year. The annual fee for electric cars was dropped to $200, from $250 in the previous version of the bill. Hybrid owners will pay $100 each year under the plan, down from $125. House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) met with Democrats, amid reports many Republicans were opposed to the hike, or undecided. Both sides say the vote count is close. Ivey has pitched the plan as a way for the state to pay for needed road and bridge repairs, but up to $150 million is allocated for upgrades at the state port in Mobile.
The House Transportation Committee has scheduled a hearing and vote on the proposal for Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
Legislative leaders are rushing the plan through a special session called by Ivey, because it sidesteps the supermajority procedural vote required in the regular session. Former state Rep. Paul DeMarco (R-Homewood) criticized the process. "To rush this through, I think that's why people don't have trust in government," DeMarco said.
You can read the entire bill here: