Bills proposing new taxes on oil and soda in California were shelved for the year by a state Senate panel on Thursday, but the measures' authors say they plan to pursue approval of them in January.
The Senate Appropriations Committee also kept a hold on a proposed $2-per-pack cigarette tax, but the measure by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) has an urgency clause so it can still be taken up this summer.
“Right now we need to focus on passing the budget," said De León, the panel's chairman. "Immediately after that I will work very hard on getting the tobacco tax to the Senate floor because it’s not fair to the taxpayers to have to foot the bill for tobacco-related diseases that cost the state of California nearly $3 billion per year."
The committee also approved a De León bill that would charge ammunition purchasers a fee of up to $50 to conduct a background check determining whether they are prohibited from owning guns because of a criminal record or mental illness.