BUDGET & SPENDING

LA Times: Taxpayer activists criticize California’s purchase of new cars

The Ford Fusions are reserved for members of the state Senate and replace fleet vehicles that have as little as 12,400 miles on their odometers. Some were bought shortly before nearly 40 Senate staff members were laid off because of a budget shortfall in the upper legislative chamber.

“The excesses and absurdities never seem to end with government,” said Lew Uhler, president of the California-based National Tax Limitation Committee. “Infuriation never ends with the way that they operate.”

The 20 new cars, most purchased by the state Department of General Services and leased to the Senate, are part of a normal process of swapping out older cars in the state Senate motor pool with more eco-friendly vehicles, state officials said. The newest eight cars, 2015 Fusion Hybrids, were purchased Sept. 9 for $23,935 each and placed in the Senate motor pool, where they are assigned to senators while they are in Sacramento.

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