LB Chamber Cheers Gov. Schwarzenegger's Veto of Cargo Container Fee SB 927
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(Sept. 24, 2006, 9:50 p.m.) -- The LB Area Chamber of Commerce, via Vice Chair for Public Policy & Gov't Affairs Council Chair Lori Lofstrom, issued the statement posted in full below on Sept. 22 regarding Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto of SB 927.
The bill would would have levied a fee on cargo containers at the ports of LB and L.A. to fund clean air programs (via the CA Air Resources Board), rail cargo programs (via the CA Transportation Comm'n) and port security at the two ports.
[begin LB Chamber text]
The Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to hear of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto of Chamber opposed legislation that would have imposed a $60 fee on containers moving through two of the nation's largest ports.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the source of imported goods that are sold across the nation, as such; the ramifications would have reverberated throughout not only the Long Beach economy, but the entire global market. This fee would have amounted to a tax that would have driven up the price of consumer goods for working Americans shopping in retail stores in virtually every state, not just California. This would have been a tax on consumers, not foreign entities.
Today the Governor showed that he is serious about keeping the Long Beach economy strong and healthy with his veto of the Chamber opposed SB 927. We concur with the Governor, in that this bill is laudable in its intentions; however, SB 927 is flawed in its construction, application, lack of accountability and failure to coordinate with other public and private financing sources while ignoring opportunities to leverage additional funding.
As the voice of business in Long Beach, the Chamber now looks to the future—we look forward to holding a dialogue with local, state, and international stakeholders in addressing environmental externalities at the nation’s largest port. The Long Beach business community is actively committed to finding meaningful solutions to congestion relief, improving security and reducing pollution at California’s ports.
SB 927 was supported by (among others) the City of Long Beach (via a 2005 City Council vote) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. At a September 20, 2006 press event, LB Mayor Bob Foster, along with the Coalition for Clean Air, LB Mothers of Children With Asthma and other clean air advocacy groups had urged the Governor sign the bill.
The Port of LB indicated on previous occasions (while he legislation was pending) that it was "neutral" on the measure. However, the legislation was opposed (as SB 760) by the CA Ass'n of Port Authorities...in which the Ports of LB and L.A. are both members. '
The CA Chamber of Commerce also opposed the bill, calling it a "job killer"...and with port-related industry interests had urged the Governor to veto the measure.
Related coverage on links below.
Add'l Reaction To Gov. Schwarzegger's Veto Of SB 927 (Container Fee At Ports of LB/LA For Clean Air Programs, Rail Cargo Projects, Port Security)
LB Mayor Foster: "Veto Solves Nothing"
Coalition For Clean Air: "Governor Schwarzenegger Let California Down"
Gov. Schwarzegger Vetoes SB 927, Sen. Lowenthal's Container Fee Bill (For Clean Air Programs, Rail Cargo Projects, Port Security); Sen. Lowenthal Says It's "Not The End Of The Fight, Only The Beginning"
LB Mayor Foster, Sen. Lowenthal, Councilwoman/AQMD Boardmember Reyes Uranga, L.A. Councilwoman Hahn & Multiple Clean Air Advocates Tell Gov, Schwarzenegger: Sign SB 927 (Container Fee For Clean Air, Rail Projects, Port Security)
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