Free Speech Coalition (FSC) Executive Director Diane Duke returned from a brief trip to Sacramento yesterday to announce that Assembly Bill 847 had been voted down in committee. The bill proposed a 20 percent tax on adult materials that, had it been passed, would have had major financial impact on adult businesses, from adult retailers to gentlemen’s clubs, as well as other businesses selling material considered “harmful” or explicit.
“The bill was clearly unconstitutional,” FSC lobbyist Ignacio Hernandez said. “We did the work that needed to be done to communicate to key legislators all the problems a tax on adult entertainment would bring to the state of California.”
AB 847 was introduced to legislators on June 23 by Assembly Member Mary Salas (D, San Diego), and proposed a 20 percent tax on adult material; revenues from the tax were to be earmarked for the Adult Venue Impact Fund, providing resources for local law enforcement agencies to deal with the “secondary effects” allegedly associated with adult entertainment businesses.
Since the bill was introduced, FSC Executive Director Diane Duke and Hernandez had been carefully strategizing arguments against the tax, culminating in yesterday’s testimony in front of the California Legislature.
“We are at the California State Capital day in and day out protecting the interest of the adult entertainment industry,” Duke said. “Our lobbyist, Ignacio Hernandez had done a great deal of the work to defeat the bill long before we stepped into the hearing room. Once in, we knew what points to stress to help the legislators make the right decision in defeating AB 847.”
The Free Speech Coalition is the national trade organization to the adult entertainment industry. Its mission is to lead, protect and support the growth and well-being of the adult entertainment community.