September 1, 2009 (Sacramento) – Residents, business owners, charities and other organizations from around the state flooded the office of Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) with over 1,500 letters in support of AB 1506. The bill, authored by Anderson, would require California to accept its own IOUs as payment for taxes or fees owed to the state.
Thursday, the bill passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee by a unanimous vote. It now heads to the Assembly floor, where it is virtually assured of passage with 45 bipartisan coauthors –a majority of Assembly members.
On August 19, the chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee sent the bill to the suspense file, effectively tabling the measure. “It is your support that propelled this bill to victory in the Assembly Appropriations Committee,” Anderson wrote in a letter sent to constituents. “Wednesday, I presented Assemblyman Kevin De León, the chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee with your 1,500 letters of support for AB 1506. The letters were signed by taxpayers, labor unions, small businesses, charities, non-profits, local government agencies, healthcare facilities, business leaders and California State Controller John Chiang Assemblyman De León heard your message loud and clear.” (View a video of Anderson delivering the letters of support: http://www.arc.asm.ca.gov/member/77/ )
Anderson’s office says the measure will save the state money on interest payments it would otherwise incur for the IOUs, which California began issuing in July due to the budget deficit. “If AB 1506 had been in place in July, it could have saved the state over $18 million,” Anderson said. The measure would also save counties money by enabling them to use IOUs to pay back debts to the state.
Assuming the bill wins passage in the Assembly, it still needs approval by the State Senate before the Leigslature adjourns in mid-September. Anderson urges supporters to send letters to his office. You can find contact information for Anderson’s office, as well as your State Senators, in the Sound Off! Section of our Citizens Action Center.