The California senate bill that had caused the U.S. Yellow Pages community to break into a collective sweat has been defeated. According to a bulletin just issued by the Yellow Pages Association, California Senate Bill 920 was defeated yesterday by a vote of 12 in favor and 18 against.
The measure had passed out of committee in April. Since then, the industry has described defeating the measure as essential, suggesting that if they legislation did pass, it would impose impossible burdens on publishers. The bigger fear was that its passage would embolden other states to follow suit and target not only White but also Yellow Pages.
The bill, which would have imposed a strict opt-out regime on White Pages distribution, was the focus of an intense lobbying effort by the YPA and the Association of Directory Publishers, two trade groups that are ordinarily rivals. The two organizations worked with a local lobbyist, California Advocates, and relied on individual lobbying efforts by publishers and industry vendors in California.
The bill had called for, among other things, lifetime status for consumers who opt-out, detailed language on directory covers, inclusion of recycling information in a directory, mandatory publisher participation in a program or organization promoting recycling, and compliance with state newsprint recycled content law. Finally, the trade groups objected strongly to criminal penalties for violating the law.
You can read our previous post on this issue here.