Jun 4 - CA - Phone Book Opt-out Bill Dies on the Senate Floor

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SB 920, a common-sense measure that would have helped reduce waste and taxpayer costs by making it easier for consumers to opt-out of receiving unwanted directories, died on the Senate Floor yesterday.

Currently, consumers can opt-out of receiving phone books by calling a number listed inside the phone books - however, many consumers do not know that this option exists. SB 920 by Senator Yee would required phone book publishers to print the opt-out phone number prominently on the front cover of the phone books.

Senator Yee gave a passionate speech, reasoning that bill increases consumers choice - if consumers want telephone directories delivered, they still had that choice under this bill. Otherwise, consumers should be able to ask not to get one. Plus, small businesses were not necessarily getting their money's worth out of ads in directories as more people move to using online directories or free telephone directory assistance, consumers are tossing the phone books in the garbage without using the printed books.

Even Senator Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield agreed with Yee, who said all the bill did was offer consumers a choice.

    "Talk about making a big deal over nothing. I'm ready to opt out." 

SB 920 had support from groups such as Californians Against Waste, California Resource Recovery Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California and Planning and Conservation League.