After Fight, Boaters Get Reprieve With California Legislature
By Mel Fabrikant Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 04:23 PM EDT
California Senate Bill 436 was passed Friday, September 13 by the state legislature. However, the section of the bill that would have opened up the Fund to non-boating purposes was dropped at the last minute as a result of boaters speaking up against the move. BoatUS acknowledged its government affairs email alert campaign drove several thousand comments to Senate and Assembly legislators.
However, California boaters are not out of the woods. BoatUS advises it will need to continue to work with RBOC to be engaged in the Capitol as portions of the bill still potentially allow a grant or loan of $1,000,000 from the Harbor and Watercraft Revolving Fund to pay for emergency measures to prevent flood damage and erosion to streets and property along Hueneme Beach.
“Taking these funds to support non-boating programs would set a dangerous precedent,” said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich. “We will continue to be engaged on this issue to protect the integrity and effectiveness of the Harbor and Watercraft Revolving Fund. Many of these state dollars are matched by federal funds, which make these dedicated boater taxes that much more valuable to all waterway users.”
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its over half-million members with government representation, services such as 24-hour on the water boat towing by Vessel Assist as well as roadside assistance for boat trailers and tow vehicles, feature-packed boat insurance programs, money-saving benefits that include marina and West Marine shopping discounts, and vital information that improves the boating, fishing and sailing lifestyle. Its member-funded BoatUS Foundation is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating.