Southern California ports fee bill pulled Tuesday
California State Sen. Alan Lowenthal on Tuesday pulled a bill he authored that would have assessed a $30-per-TEU fee on every container passing through the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to pay for security, traffic and environmental projects associated with goods movement.
The bill has long been opposed by business and goods movement leaders, who say it unfairly places the burden of paying for infrastructure projects on the shipping industry. In the last week, Waterfront Coalition Executive Director Robin Lanier said the legislation, Senate Bill 760, wouldn't stand up to a court challenge because it would unlawfully allow California to regulate international commerce.
In a statement Tuesday, Lowenthal said: 'I am holding SB 760 in the Assembly now in the hope we can work something out with the administration. I believe that I could move this bill to the governor this year. However, with the governor’s recent work on goods movement issues, I think a more collaborative proposal can be worked out, it will just take a few more months.
'I have always contended that the best solutions to a problem should involve all parties that would be affected. The problem is clear and solutions are within our reach. I am confident that given more time we will find the correct answers to this crisis.”
It was a bill that Lowenthal authored in 2004 that ultimately led to the formation of PierPass, the extended hours plan at Long Beach and Los Angeles. And Lowenthal has said in the past his legislation is sometimes intended to spur industry into action.
He said he will reintroduce the bill in 2006 after more discussion.