California Container Fee Hits Snag

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he would not sign the California-senate-passed bill that would place a $60 fee on loaded containers handled by California ports. The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) reported the governor threatened to hold the bill and veto it if necessary unless the legislature approves a new state budget. NITL explained that under California law, any bill sitting on the governor's desk for more than 12 days automatically becomes law. The governor said he would veto any measures that were about to go into effect.

The bill's sponsor, State Senator Alan Lowenthal could be forced to withdraw the bill to avoid a veto. If the California legislature can pass a budget that satisfies the governor, Lowenthal could resubmit the bill for approval before the August 31st end of its session.

Three political entities have asked to be exempted from the fee provisions should the bill be signed into law. The US territory of Guam, the state of Alaska and the state of Hawaii have all said the fee would place a burden on trade with California.

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