Bill meant to cut down on pa­per re­ceipts is dead

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - News - BY BRYAN AN­DER­SON ban­der­[email protected]

A bill that would have re­quired cus­tomers to ask for pa­per re­ceipts if they wanted a physical copy has been killed for the year.

The pro­posal from Assem­bly­man Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, failed to make its way out a key bud­get com­mit­tee Fri­day af­ter­noon, fol­low­ing con­cerns from re­tail­ers and some law­mak­ers that it would be more dif­fi­cult for ad­ver­tis­ers to mar­ket their prod­ucts to cus­tomers through coupons.

Ting said his plan would have reduced pol­lu­tion, given that many people throw away their re­ceipts af­ter they are handed them. He was also con­cerned about exposure to cer­tain chem­i­cals that could be de­tected on re­ceipts.

“Try­ing to en­cour­age people to use fewer re­ceipts made a lot of sense,” Ting said.

“Unfortunat­ely, we weren’t suc­cess­ful this year, but we’ll take a hard look at com­ing back for next year . ... If I don’t want the coupons, I don’t think I should be forced to take some­thing I don’t want. Gen­er­ally, I don’t want the re­ceipts, so I don’t think I should be forced to take the re­ceipts.”

Ting faced an up­hill bat­tle with strong op­po­si­tion from the Cal­i­for­nia Restau­rant As­so­ci­a­tion and the Cal­i­for­nia Re­tail­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

The re­tail­ers as­so­ci­a­tion wrote in a mes­sage on the bill in June that “ban­ning this access to costs sav­ings will harm those who use coupons to save money on es­sen­tial gro­cery and other items,” adding that Ting’s pro­posal could be con­sid­ered “a limit of com­mer­cial speech.” Other groups were con­cerned the bill could make it more dif­fi­cult to ad­dress theft and process re­turns.

Ting said he’s un­sure whether he’ll keep the ex­act word­ing of Assem­bly Bill 161 when he rein­tro­duces it next year.

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