With gas prices hovering at their highest prices in years and no real relief in sight, Americans are desperate for any form of financial help to ease the pain they’re feeling at the pump. Now, lawmakers seem to be trying to think of any way to possibly help those who are struggling the hardest with the increase in prices.

While gas prices have started to trickle down again from the average prices they were at the beginning of March, when they jumped due to the Russia-Ukraine War, they are still averaging $4.24 per gallon, according to AAA, with the highest prices in the country being seen in California, where residents are paying as much as $5.91 per gallon. As a result of the high prices, lawmakers both at state and federal levels have proposed a host of new plans to try and give Americans some relief, though nothing has been signed into law.

Here’s a look at the different proposed plans so far.

The Gas Rebate Act

Proposed by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), John Larson (D-Conn.) and Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.), this bill would provide both individual and joint tax filers a monthly energy rebate of $100 per person, and it would kick in for the duration of 2022 as long as the average price of gas topped $4 a gallon during any given month.

Dependents would also receive $100 each, meaning that families could receive up to $300 a month in rebate checks. The refund would be available to people earning less than $75,000 annually would receive the full $100 rebate while the checks would be phased out for people earning up to $80,000. Joint filers who earn less than $150,000 would also qualify, with the payment phased out at those making up to $160,000.

Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax

Another proposal at the federal level comes from Reps Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse(D-R.I.), which provides a quarterly rebate to consumers based on a tax paid by oil and gas companies. That proposal would charge a per-barrel tax equal to 50% of the difference between the current price of a barrel of oil and the pre-pandemic average price between 2015 and 2019. The money collected from that tax, in turn, would be redistributed to individual filers earning under $75,000 annually and married joint filers earning under $150,000.

Minnesota Rebate Check Instead Of Gas Tax Holiday

In a spending proposal for his state, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz revealed he would like to give $500 direct payments to adults making less than $164,400 a year and $1,000 per couple making less than $273,470 to help residents with climbing gas prices. The proposal is in lieu of one by the state’s House Democrats, who proposed waiving the state’s 28-cent-per-gallon gas tax over the summer.

California Gas Rebate

Those in the state with the highest prices per gallon could see relief in the form of a payment that is $400 per vehicle with a cap of two vehicles. The proposal, which is through Governor Gavin Newsom, is pending approval from state lawmakers, but if it passes, checks would arrive to state residents as soon as July, meaning that if prices continue to soar with the summer months, it could be a major relief during the time of year where families often travel.

Were it not for gas stations, US retail sales would have decreased in February, government data said
Were it not for gas stations, US retail sales would have decreased in February, government data said AFP / Jim WATSON