Capitol Alert

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The state Senate today defeated a Democratic effort to avoid a ballot box battle over the online sales tax they passed in June.

Amazon.com and other online retailers are poised to submit signatures that would force a June ballot referendum over the bill that requires them to collect sales tax on California transactions.

In response, Democrats have pushed forward with a second bill -- this one requiring a two-thirds vote -- that they believed would be immune from the referendum process because it takes effect immediately.

But a vote on Assembly Bill 155 in the Senate today drew no GOP support, and the effort appears to have washed out. The vote on the measure was 22-12, five votes short of the two-thirds majority needed. The Senate could take up the bill again on Wednesday.



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