Fair Funding Legislation Introduced
New Funding Strategy

State Assembly Member Adam Gray has introduced legislation to fund the California Fair Network with a portion of the State's share of sales tax generated on fairgrounds. Assembly Bill 2678 would generate an estimated $12 million annually by redirecting 30% of the state's share of sales taxes collected at California's 76 fairgrounds into the Fairs and Expositions fund administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

"We are so thankful for Assembly Member Gray's leadership," noted CFA Chair Cliff Munson. "AB 2678 connects fair funding with our statewide economic impact, proving once and for all that fairs generate revenue."

The bill as introduced would not raise taxes or take any revenue away from cities and counties. The funds generated would grow, or shrink, based on sales taxable activities on fairgrounds, and the State's General Fund would continue to be the largest single recipient of sales tax revenue from fairs.

AB 2678 is scheduled to be heard by committees in April, and all California Fairs are encouraged to send letters of support to Assembly Member Gray.

State Budget Set
Fair Infrastructure Funding

The Senate Sub-Committee 4, which oversees the budget section that currently contains $4 million in infrastructure funding for California fairs, will consider the proposal on April 7 at the State Capitol. 

"We plan on being at this hearing in full force," noted CFA Vice-Chair Carlene Moore. "We want to stress equal treatment for allocations and seek to increase the funding level."

California's fairgrounds have more than $300 million in needed infrastructure projects. The proposed State Budget (2016-17) contains $4 million in fairgrounds project funding, a reduction from the $7 million allocated in the 2015-16 State Budget.

Ongoing funding established in the 2015-16 State Budget continues in the current proposed budget. The proposal includes $3.1 million for the California Fair Network in the General Fund, consisting of $2.5 million for allocations to Class 1-4+ fairs and $600,000 for education.

Anti-Elephant Bill Returns
Senator Lara Targets Have Trunk Will Travel

State Senator Ricardo Lara has again introduced legislation that seeks to ban any tools that support human-elephant interaction. Senate Bill 1062 is similar to his 2015 legislation SB 716, which was approved by the legislature and vetoed by Governor Brown.

"We will continue to oppose this effort by Senator Lara and the animal activist community," noted WFA Ag Council Chair Judy Carrico. "We think that it would establish a very negative precedent for all animal management tools, and we supported Governor Brown's veto last year."

This bill will be heard on March 29 in the Senate Natural Resources and Water committee and CFA will testify in opposition.

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