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Last minute exemption for carriers negotiated by CNPA into Assembly bill before heading to the governor

Knowing that its efforts to obtain an exemption in AB 5 for newspaper carriers and distributors came up short, CNPA nonetheless worked with State Senators Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles), and Jerry Hill (D-Palo Alto) to get a carrier exemption into a different bill before the deadline for amending legislation passed.

Those efforts paid off when Assemblywoman Gonzalez, the author of AB 5 reluctantly agreed to amend a separate bill, AB 170, to give carriers and distributors an exemption for one year.

The author’s reluctant acceptance meant she was not going to dedicate any effort to secure votes for its passage and indeed voted against the bill in the Assembly Labor Committee and when the bill came up for a vote on the floor.

CNPA staff, publishers and contract lobbyist Mike Belote worked into the wee hours of the morning to confirm votes and convince legislators to speak in support of the bill when it was presented on the floors of both houses.

Ultimately, AB 170 was passed by the Senate on a 38-1 vote and the Assembly on a 66-6 vote.

Many CNPA members ran editorials, CNPA op/eds and CNPA advertisements in support of AB 170. Members also directly contacted their legislators to urge their support of the bill. All these communications contributed to the success of AB 170 and staff is grateful for everyone’s efforts.

The carrier exemption is set to expire on Jan. 1, 2021.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has not taken an official position on the bill and has until Saturday, Sept. 28 to decide its fate.

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