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CAPITOL UPDATE #2 – January 19, 2023

 January 19, 2023

California Federation of Republican Women
Janet Price, President

        Submitted by the CFRW Legislative Analyst Committee        
Karen Contreras, Elaine Freeman, 
 Theresa Speake, and  Lou Ann Flaherty

The California Legislature has gotten off to a fast start with many bills introduced in December 2022.

AB 2 and AB 16 represent efforts to decrease motor vehicle fuel tax.

AB 2, Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Law: suspension of tax.

Existing law, the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Law, imposes a tax upon each gallon of motor vehicle fuel removed from a refinery or terminal rack in this state, entered into this state, or sold in this state, at a specified rate per gallon.

Existing unfair competition laws establish a statutory cause of action for unfair competition, including any unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue, or misleading advertising and acts prohibited by false advertisement laws.

This bill, if passed, would suspend the imposition of the tax on motor vehicle fuels for one year. The bill would require that all savings realized based on the suspension of the motor vehicle fuels tax by a person other than an end consumer, as defined, be passed on to the end consumer, and would make the violation of this requirement an unfair business practice, in violation of unfair competition laws, as provided.

The bill would require a seller of motor vehicle fuels to provide a receipt to a purchaser that indicates the amount of tax that would have otherwise applied to the transaction.

AB 16, Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Law: adjustment suspension.

(1) The Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Law, administered by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, imposes a tax upon each gallon of motor vehicle fuel removed from a refinery or terminal rack in this state, entered into this state, or sold in this state, at a specified rate per gallon.

Existing law requires the department to adjust the tax on July 1 each year by a percentage amount equal to the increase in the California Consumer Price Index, as calculated by the Department of Finance.

Article XIX of the California Constitution restricts the expenditure of revenues from the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax, Diesel Fuel Tax Law, and other taxes imposed by the state on fuels used in motor vehicles upon public streets and highways to street and highway and certain mass transit purposes.

This bill, if passed, would authorize the Governor to suspend an adjustment to the motor vehicle fuel tax, as described above, scheduled on or after July 1, 2024, upon making a determination that increasing the rate would impose an undue burden on low-income and middle-class families.

AB 75, Shoplifting: increased penalties for prior crimes.

Existing law, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, enacted as an initiative statute by Proposition 47, as approved by the electors in the November 4, 2014, statewide general election, makes the theft of property that does not exceed $950 in value petty theft and makes that crime punishable as a misdemeanor, with certain exceptions.

The initiative statute defines shoplifting as entering a commercial establishment with the intent to commit larceny while that establishment is open during regular hours, where the value of the property that is taken or intended to be taken does not exceed $950. The initiative statute requires that shoplifting be punished as a misdemeanor.

Existing law, as amended by Proposition 47, provides that a registered sex offender or a person with a prior conviction for certain serious or violent felonies, such as a sexually violent offense, who commits petty theft is subject to imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year or in the state prison for 16 months or 2 or 3 years.

This bill, if passed, would reinstate a provision of law that was repealed by Proposition 47 that provides that a person who has been convicted 3 or more times of petty theft, grand theft, or other specified crimes and who is subsequently convicted of petty theft is subject to imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in a county jail for 18 months or 2 or 3 years. T

he bill would also make this provision and the provision relating to a person with serious, violent, or sexual prior offenses applicable to a person whose prior or current conviction is for shoplifting.

This bill, if passed, would require the Secretary of State to place the provisions of the bill that amend the initiative statute on the ballot for the November 5, 2024, statewide general election.

This Bill was introduced by Republican Assemblyman Josh Hoover.

For more detail click here Legislative Process

To contact your U.S. Representatives, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121

Legislative Portal links- Express your support or opposition to a bill or directly to the Legislative committee currently reviewing it (as an individual, not as a member of RWF or CFRW)– click here, or the bill’s author- click here, enter your bill # and look for tab at top of the bill page labeled “Comments to Author”

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