FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dave Heylen, V.P. Communications California Grocers Association
California Grocers Association
1415 L Street, Suite 450
Sacramento, CA 95814
A Victory for Fairness in Food Retailing and Inner City Consumers
SACRAMENTO, CA S (February 25, 2010) The California Legislature moved one step closer on Thursday to providing a short-term solution to the State’s Beverage Container Recycling Program crisis, thanks in large part to the California Grocers Association.
The State Assembly passed AB 8x 7 on a bipartisan 63-0 vote. The Senate passed the bill last week on a 30-6 vote. The legislation now moves to the Governor’s desk and will take effect immediately upon signature.
The key provisions of the bill include:
- A temporary acceleration of distributor payments into the fund.
- Temporary reductions in non-core expenditures.
- A requirement that program participants be given at least 90-days’ notice of future proportionate reductions.
- Language intended to prohibit future borrowing from the Beverage Container Recycling Fund (BCRF).
- Retroactive restoration of proportionate reductions between Jan. 1, 2010, and June 30, 2010.
“CGA met with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to stress the importance of approving this bill,” said CGA President Ronald Fong. “This measure is important not only because it restores the Program to solvency through June, but it sets important precedents for issues the grocery industry will seek on a permanent basis.”
If signed by the governor, CalRecycle estimates recyclers could see relief within 30 days. Fong said he is optimistic the Governor will sign the legislation.
“This is only the beginning though,” Fong said. “CGA is seeking through legislation a long-term legislative fix that will restore and improve this landmark program.”
Major issues to be addressed in the long term include prioritization of fund expenditures, addressing citing issues that often prevent willing grocers from facilitating recycling operations, and updating the antiquated convenience zone system that hampers competition and convenience.
“CGA wishes to thank its members for their strong support and involvement in educating lawmakers to the importance of passing this short-term solution,” Fong said.
The California Grocers Association is a non-profit trade association representing the food industry since 1898. CGA represents approximately 500 retail members operating over 6,000 food stores in California and Nevada, and approximately 200 grocery supplier companies. Retail membership includes chain and independent supermarkets, convenience stores and mass merchandisers.