Californians Will Vote on Repealing Gas Tax That Funds ‘Pre-Apprenticeships’
This November, California voters will decide whether to repeal the Road Repair and Accountability Act, which imposes a gas tax and vehicle fees to fund repairs on the state’s roads, bridges and public transit.
Polls have shown that most Californians oppose repealing the gas tax, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The law, signed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown last year, includes a $25 million provision to get more women and other disadvantaged Californians into pre-apprenticeship programs in the building trades.
The idea is to give low-income women a pathway to high-paying union jobs in construction. Pre-apprenticeship programs are designed to give people the tools they need to get accepted into trade apprenticeship schools. And by doing so, the programs ultimately reduce the number of people receiving public assistance while moving more people into the workforce.
Several other states — among them Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota and West Virginia — have used pre-apprenticeship programs to put women into careers in construction. But California’s plan is unusual in its size and scope. It employs a multi-curriculum approach, exposing students to a variety of trades, from metalworking to pipefitting to plumbing, and it requires that the programs work directly with local unions.
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