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Amid high gas prices, California lawmakers propose $400 rebates for all taxpayers

With gas prices in California surging, several Democratic lawmakers are hoping that a $400 rebate sent to all taxpayers in the state will help with sticker shock at the pump.

In his State of the State address last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said there would soon be relief for those who have been financially hit by high gas prices. Food and housing costs are also on the rise, and Republican lawmakers have proposed temporarily suspending the state's 51-cents-a-gallon gas tax. Instead, a group of 10 Democratic and independent assemblymembers have proposed $400 rebates.

In a letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, the lawmakers shared an outline of their proposal with Newsom, saying it should be considered during state budget negotiations later this spring. The proposed rebate would "cover the current 51-cents-per-gallon gas tax for one full year, 52 trips to the pump for most vehicles," the lawmakers said. They argued a rebate is "a better approach than suspending the gas tax — which would severely impact funding for important transportation projects and offers no guarantee that oil companies would pass on the savings to consumers."

Republican leaders have said they support the proposal, but still want to see the gas tax suspended, the Times reports.