SACRAMENTO – Today the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee approved AB 162 on a 8-0 vote, a bill authored by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) to statutorily prohibit the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) from taxing text messages or any other technology classified as an “information service” by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The bill now moves forward to a full vote on the Assembly Floor.
“I am very encouraged by the bipartisan support this proposal received today,” Kiley said. “It is important that the Legislature deliver a strong message to the people of California that we want to keep their text messages tax-free.”
The bill’s 25 coauthors are the third most of any bill this year, making it one of the top three most popular bills in the Legislature according to CALmatters.
The CPUC’s proposal to add a surcharge to text messages was set to be considered in January 2019 before the FCC issued a declaratory ruling classifying text messages as an “information service.” While the CPUC has statutory authority over the regulation of telecommunications technology, this legislation will explicitly prohibit surcharges on information services under state law.
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley represents the 6th Assembly District, which includes the Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado County communities of Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Granite Bay, Lincoln, Loomis, Orangevale, Penryn, Rocklin, Roseville, and Sheridan.