Legislative Update - June 7, 2016
Legislation Moves to the Senate
Hello California Fairs,
We knew that it would be a busy legislative year, as the second in a two-year cycle, and it has truly lived up to the expectation.
First of all – Congratulations! AB 2678 (Gray), redirecting a portion of sales tax generated at fairgrounds back into fairs, passed out of the Assembly and into the Senate. It was a long road, filled with suspensions due to budget impacts, a double referral to both the Assembly Committees on Rev. & Tax as well as Agriculture, and then on to Assembly Appropriations, where it was suspended again. Finally, AB 2678 hit the Assembly floor on June 2. Throughout the process there was minimal opportunity for testimony. Your legislative staff and WFA team were at the Capitol providing insight whenever possible. In large part due to your engagement and support, we are proud to say that AB 2678 passed in the Assembly receiving 75 AYE votes (out of 80 Assembly members)!
During the bill’s journey through its house of origin, it picked up several amendments. Some of these amendments are standard, such as adding a 5-year sunset clause to any legislation that takes money out of the general fund. There are other amendments that take away from the bill’s purpose -- such as the exclusion of L.A. County along with its four fairs and labor language regarding overtime pay. The bill’s passage into the Senate gives us time to evaluate the practical effect of the amendment language and receive input from members before we negotiate acceptable alternatives or drop the bill altogether.
Also of note, several legislators spoke up in support of fairgrounds and the overall idea of funding through a sales tax reallocation. We are so proud of our members, CFA and its Sustainable Funding Focus Group (led by now-Colorado State Fair Manager Sarah Cummings) for generating this concept.