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California Math: 1 Vote = $500 Million In Road Work

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – How much is one vote worth in the California state Senate? A half-billion dollars, if linked to a gas-tax hike. The key vote to raise Californians’ gas taxes and vehicle fees Thursday came from a little known Republican lawmaker. Sen. Anthony Cannella won a $400 million railroad extension into his Central Valley district in California’s agricultural heartland and $100 million for the University of California, Merced. He was among several lawmakers who secured nearly $1 billion in transportation projects. They say the promises won their votes to raise $54 billion for roads, bridges and mass transit over 10 years. The deal raises gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon while increasing diesel taxes and vehicle fees. Cannella was the only Republican to support a plan criticized by his GOP colleagues.