Gov. Jerry Brown marked California Coastal Cleanup Day by announcing he has signed legislation creating a voluntary check-off box on the state's income tax form for a fund supporting coastal conservation.
The fund has lots of company - 18 existing voluntary contribution funds support everything from cancer research to school supplies for homeless children - and is one of the least controversial measures Brown will sign this year.
In addition to a handful of Republican lawmakers, however, was one entity close to Brown that registered its opposition.
"This bill is of limited value as there is nothing currently preventing California taxpayers from contributing directly to this cause if they so choose," Brown's own Department of Finance said in a bill analysis. "It is not clear that a special preference should be given to the grants and programs supported by this tax check-off, as compared to other organizations also dedicated to preserving and enhancing California's coastal resources."
Because taxpayers who contribute to the fund are allowed to claim an itemized deduction in the following year, the department said the bill could result in lost revenue to the general fund of $10,000 annually.
Brown issued a statement touting the annual California Coastal Cleanup Day and Assembly Bill 754, by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance.
"The beauty and allure of California's coast is unrivaled," the Democratic governor said in a prepared statement, "and this bill gives taxpayers a simple way to help keep it that way."
PHOTO: A family prepares to cross a bridge over the Calaveras River in Stockton on their bicycles, while a sign marks a gathering place for volunteers picking up trash in the area on Sept. 21, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders