Calif. lawmakers with the highest gasoline charges

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By Associated Press

Amid rising gas prices, California lawmakers spent nearly $40,000 more on fuel for their state-issued vehicles during the first seven months of 2008 than they did the year before. Taxpayers pick up the tab, thanks to a unique perk that gives lawmakers unchecked use of a state-issued gasoline charge card.

Of California's 120 lawmakers, 21 spent more than $3,000 on fuel during the first seven months of the year. Here are the biggest gas guzzlers, according to legislative records requested by The Associated Press:

— Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-Pleasanton, $5,139.84

— Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, $5,135.37…

— Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City, $4,612.95

— Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, D-Tracy, $4551.89

— Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, $4,336.99

— Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, $4,307.50

— Assemblyman Mike Villines, R-Clovis, $4,091.49

— Assemblyman Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, $4003.64

— Assemblyman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, $3,783.89

— Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, $3,558.68

— Assemblyman Bill Maze, R-Visalia, $3,481.09

— Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Temecula, $3,742

— Assemblyman John Benoit, R-Riverside, $3,333.71

— Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, D-Fremont, $3,291.44

— Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa, R-Willows, $3,288.39

— Sen. Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks, $3,212.21

— Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles, $3,199.66

— Assemblyman Rick Keene, R-Chico, $3,163.77

— Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, $3,160.87

— Assemblyman Chuck Devore, R-Irvine, $3,066.19

— Assemblyman Curren Price, D-Inglewood, $3,036.82

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…Reimbursed the Senate for $5,015.89, the amount spent on travel within his district.

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Total charged by California lawmakers to their state fuel cards:

2003: $253,442

2004: $242,428

2005: $308,070

2006: $362,926

2007: $305,400

First seven months of 2007: $175,788

First seven months of 2008: $215,397

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Source: Assembly and Senate rules committees.

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