CGA in the Press: Paper Receipt Ban

In a recent article written by the esteemed Capitol critic Dan Walters, the CALmatters columnist labeled Assembly Bill 161 (Ting-San Francisco) “just more pettifoggery” by the California Legislature, arguing that it appears “nothing is too inconsequential for those who sit around dreaming up new ways to regulate human behavior.”

While Walters has a point about the “low-hanging fruit” approach of banning items like receipts and straws, he also hits upon another truth going unacknowledged by the current debate around the environment:

If Ting and other legislators really want to do something about the waste stream, they should spend less time dreaming up new forms of pettifoggery and more time working on the state’s very troubled recycling programs.

With this context in mind, it’s not surprising that business groups and consumer privacy advocates have lined up in opposition to Assemblymember Ting’s effort. CGA is opposed to the bill, unless amended, because banning paper receipts would create challenges to verifying goods beings carried out of stores in reusable bags. This argument has gained traction in recent weeks as the Association seeks an exemption from Ting’s effort.

Quoted in CALmatters, CGA Director of Government Relations Aaron Moreno explained how the reusable bag precedent presents a unique case for grocers:

Unlike other retailers, we’re subject to this state law where we’ve actually encouraged people to bring in their own bags or not use bags. We need to have a way to tell whether someone has bought something.

Moreno has also been quoted in the Los Angeles Times and Politico’s PRO edition.

Assembly 161 advanced from the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and now heads to the Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection. According to CGA’s public affairs software, slightly more than a 25 percent of the assemblymember’s bills are enacted.