EVs, Carpool Lanes, and Affirmative Action: Where's the Connection?

Call it the factionalization of retribution politics in California. When Asian American Democrats dropped their support for an affirmative action measure for education, African American and Latino Dems responded, and new Volt owners lose.
April 9, 2014, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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The constitutional amendment was "(SCA 5) that would’ve let public university admissions officers consider race when selecting applicants, overturning parts of Proposition 209, the 1996 ballot measure that banned affirmative action in state institutions", writes The Nation's Steven Hsieh.

The amendment died last month after "Asian American Democrats were the subject of an advocacy campaign by opponents of affirmative action earlier this year, and their decision not to support the measure caused it to fail," write Laurel Rosenhall and Jeremy B. White in The Bee.

On Monday (April 06), several members of the Legislature’s black and Latino caucuses withheld their votes on a non-controversial bill, killing a measure by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi.

That noncontroversial bill, AB 2013 is directed toward consumers who recently purchased Chevy Volts and other plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that also have a gas tank and qualify to use carpool lanes with only one occupant and drive at no charge in California's Express Lanes (also called HOT lanes). Unlike pure electric vehicles, they are limited to 40,000 vehicle as we noted in a recent post

PHEVs have proven so popular that the 40,000 vehicle quota appears to have been reached. "This bill would increase the number of those identifiers that the DMV is authorized to issue to 85,000," per the legislative counsel's digest.

I bet the new Volt owners hadn't counted on this squabble to hold up their precious green stickers!
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Published on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 in The Sacramento Bee
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