East Bay State Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) broke from his Senate Democratic Caucus Thursday after casting a no vote against Gov. Jerry Brown's $52 billion transportation bill.
Senate Bill 1, backed by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Brown, would raise taxes on gasoline and vehicle registration fees to fund $52 billion in transportation improvements over 10 years.
The bill was passed by the state Senate, 27-11, and heads to the Assembly Thursday night.
Glazer laid the decision at the feet of his constituents in the moderate Seventh State Senate District. "This transportation package did not have the support of my district, for good reasons," Glazer said in a statement Thursday evening, "Sentiment in my district ran two-to-one opposing these new gas taxes and car registration fees. My constituents have told me loud and clear that they want any new taxes to be spent more wisely and effectively."
In the past, Glazer has been an opponent of the state's High Speed Rail project, which he knocked in his statement, saying billions allocated for it would, instead, be better spent on the state's transportation infrastructure.
He also expressed disappointment with late amendments to the bill that be believe may adversely effect the environment and for the legislation failing to steer new funding to local transportation agencies.
Glazer's vote was not entirely surprising. Last week, Brown, de Leon and Democratic legislators unveiled SB 1 in Glazer's district. He did not attend and a sign at the event pointedly asked Glazer's help in fixing his district's potholes.