Senate Minority Leader Jones introduces the Cost of Living Reduction Act

Measure will pull the plug on unfair income-based utility charge

Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) announces the introduction of the Cost of Living Reduction Act, Senate Bill 1326, which would repeal the unfair law authorizing an income-based charge on electrical bills. Click here for the bill’s fact sheet and here for the petition in support of the measure.

“The income-based utility charge is nothing but a socialist billing scheme concocted by Democrat politicians and special interests to exploit and rip off Californians,” said Leader Jones. “We already pay some of the highest utility bills in the nation and we cannot allow them to skyrocket even further. Customers should be charged based on usage, not income.”

“Senate Bill 1326, the Cost of Living Reduction Act, is a vital step toward safeguarding family budgets and ensuring the affordability of utility bills across California,” said Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa). “By advocating for a return to capped fixed charges, Senate Bill 1326 champions the principle that utility bills should be based on how much energy is used, not on a family's income. This approach not only makes energy costs more predictable and manageable for all families but also encourages responsible energy consumption.”

The Cost of Living Act repeals the problematic provisions of the Democrat Assembly Bill 205 (2022), which enables the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve new fixed charges for Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) customers based on income. This bill was never heard, vetted, or voted on in any policy committee and was rammed through the Legislature in a budget trailer bill by the Democrat supermajority at the last minute.

“AB 205 represents everything wrong with the one-party Democrat rule: rushed and flawed legislation detrimental to hardworking Californians,” continued Leader Jones.

Despite the supermajority pushing the bill forward, many Democrats who initially supported AB 205 are reversing course and now calling to stop the income-based charge.

“I’m encouraged that some of my Democrat colleagues are waking up to the harm their support of AB 205 will inflict on our state’s families,” Leader Jones asserted. “We must work across the aisle to pass the Cost of Living Reduction Act and assure Californians their Legislature serves the people, not special interests seeking to siphon their hard-earned dollars.”

Given that AB 205 mandates the implementation of the income-based fixed charge by July 1, 2024, Jones’s SB 1326 has an urgency clause to take effect immediately upon being signed into law.

SB 1326 is coauthored by Senators Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach), Roger W. Niello (R-Fair Oaks), Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta), and Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita). The measure is currently in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting referral to policy committee. Californians can voice their support for the Cost of Living Reduction Act by signing the petition here