In Sacramento, State Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones and members of the California Senate Republican Caucus have sent an urgent letter to Governor Gavin Newsom requesting that he join the Republicans and 23 Democrat lawmakers to repeal, or substantially amend, Assembly Bill 204, a new state law that authorizes the California Public Utilities Commission to create a fixed-charge billing system for electricity bills based on your household income.
The income-based fixed charge was pushed by Democrats in the California Legislature in the last legislative session. Efforts to repeal it failed.
It is called the Hard Work Utility Tax.
The law is currently in front of the California Public Utilities Commission, which has until July 1st 2024 to give final approval and implement it. The CPUC has already approved new electricity rate hikes that will go into effect in the summer of 2024.
Under the law you would pay for the electricity you use, and you would pay a monthly fixed usage rate based on your income.
If you earn more money, you will pay a higher fixed usage rate. For people with a good income, that fixed rate charge on their electric bill could be as high as 85 dollars a month.
Of course, the public utility companies, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, would have to know how much money you make in order to charge you based on your income. Someone would have to keep track of your income, and your partner’s income, and if that income changes, your fixed usage rate would change.
The money raised through this fixed rate charge on your electric bill is supposed to be spent on improve the efficiency of the state power grid.
Technician works in a bucket high up on a power pole.
Photo from Alpha Media Portland OR