PHOENIX - Legislation that would raise gasoline and other taxes to fund California transportation infrastructure is a step closer to passage after a committee vote Tuesday, in a sign of life for transportation after the legislature failed to pass a funding bill last session.

Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, passed through the California Senate Transportation Committee by an 8-3 vote Tuesday. The bill, which is very similar to legislation that almost passed last year before the clock ran out on the legislative session, would increase the per-gallon gas tax by 12 cents in phases over three years along with hiking the diesel excise tax and imposing a fee on zero emission vehicles in an effort to close California's estimated $6 billion annual unfunded road maintenance gap. The bill would raise an estimated more than $5 billion annually.

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