Bill To End Gender Disparity In Retail Pricing Is Withdrawn After Pushback From Industry Lobbyists
by Jazmine Ulloa, Los Angeles Times
Consumers won’t be able to challenge the so-called “pink tax” in California — at least not this year.
On Tuesday, state Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) withdrew his bill banning businesses from charging customers different prices for similar goods on the basis of gender, allowing stores to continue to charge more for products marketed for women and girls.
Hueso had said the legislation was meant to expand existing laws to protect vulnerable consumers. But the bill drew strong industry opposition from retailers and manufacturers who argued its conditions were ambiguous and would open the way to a wave of frivolous lawsuits.
Hueso pulled his bill out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which was expected to vote on the measure Tuesday after the Senate approved the legislation in May.
Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California, which sponsored the bill, said proposed amendments from opponents would have stripped the legislation of its penalties and mandated consumers to show conclusive proof of discrimination.
“It loaded the decks so that it was unenforceable,” said Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California. “We are very angry that what we find is another example where corporate interests dominate the majority.”