By Adam Regele
A problematic Assembly bill that imposes onerous rules on the use of paper receipts will be acted upon in the Senate Appropriations Committee when legislators return from summer recess later this month.
The California Chamber of Commerce has taken an “oppose unless amended” position on the bill.
The bill, AB 1347 (Ting; D-San Francisco), is the author’s third attempt to prohibit any person or entity from printing a paper receipt in California unless expressly asked for by the consumer regardless of whether that entity has that technological capability or uses the paper receipt to prevent retail theft. Further, the bill bans BPA thermal paper by 2024 and BPS thermal paper by 2025.
The CalChamber is concerned that AB 1347 forces businesses to provide consumers with the option not to get a receipt even when many businesses utilize paper receipts upon exit to decrease theft. A growing number of businesses now require checking receipts as consumers exit their stores to help stymie growing retail theft — a problem that increases consumer good costs on all consumers.
Ultimately, this provision not only prevents non-member-based retailers from utilizing paper receipts to deter retail theft, but also greatly complicates retail returns and creates challenges for completing transactions in full-service restaurant settings by slowing queue lines. Many retailers offer generous return policies with a receipt. By allowing consumers to opt-out, the bill will cause logistical challenges for those customers who pay in cash, opt for no receipt, and then wish to return a product.
The CalChamber is urging legislators to amend AB 1347 so that the above provision is eliminated. The CalChamber already proposed amendments that would align banning BPA/BPS thermal paper by the dates articulated in the bill, which is when adequate supplies of BPA- and BPS-free paper will be available, so long as the “opt-out” provision is removed.
“Without these amendments, this bill is detrimental to consumers, difficult for businesses to comply with and will exacerbate retail theft in California,” the CalChamber said.