Gov. Brown vetoes no-tax-on-tampons bill, host of others

jerry-brown-signs-billsGov. Jerry Brown vetoed a package of bills on Tuesday that would have eliminated sales tax on tampons and diapers.

In total, Brown killed seven niche tax cuts totaling around $300 million in revenue, arguing the tax cuts should be done as part of the annual budget discussions, not individually without taking into account the broader implications.  

“As I said last year, tax breaks are the same as new spending — they both cost the general fund money,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “As such, they must be considered during budget deliberations so that all spending proposals are weighed against each other at the same time.”

“This is even more important when the state’s budget remains precariously balanced,” Brown added. Brown has repeatedly cautioned against new spending programs, believing that an economic downturn in near, which many say the state is not well-prepared for.


The governor’s fiscal caution was not well-received among many of the sponsors of the vetoed bills.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who sponsored the controversial bill to eliminate sales tax on feminine hygiene products, like tampons and sanitary napkins, quickly rebuffed Brown’s decision, calling it a “clear message to all women in California.”

“He told us periods are a luxury for women,” the Bell Gardens Democrat said in a statement. “Let me be clear; biologically periods are not luxuries and they are definitely not something women should be ashamed of. We have a long way to go in our journey for equity in California.”

Garcia is poised to become chair of the increasingly Democratic Legislative Women’s Caucus in 2017 and will likely resurrect this issue, but with much more political power at her disposal.

Another powerful female legislator, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, was equally disappointed over the veto of one of her bills, which would have killed sales tax on diapers.

The San Diego Democrat has enjoyed a recent string of legislative successes, including a bill expanding overtime pay for farmworkers signed into law on Monday, and was more accepting than Garcia.

Other bills

The total list of bills vetoed on Tuesday are:

  • AB717 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) – Sales and use taxes: exemption: diapers. A veto message can be found here.
  • AB724 by Assemblymember Bill Dodd (D-Napa) – Sales and use taxes: exemption: museum displays: Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum Education Foundation. A veto message can be found here.
  • AB1561 by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) – Sales and use taxes: exemption: sanitary napkins: tampons: menstrual sponges and menstrual cups. A veto message can be found here.
  • AB2127 by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) – Taxation: motor vehicle fuel: use fuel: alcohol fuels. A veto message can be found here.
  • AB2728 by Assemblymember Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) – Insurance: community development investments. A veto message can be found here.
  • SB898 by Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) – Sales and use taxes: exemption: animal blood. A veto message can be found here.
  • SB907 by Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) – Personal income taxes: gross income exclusion: mortgage debt forgiveness. A veto message can be found here

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