New Bill Would Ban Businesses From Refusing Cash

May 12, 2020

KALW Radio

Businesses in California are taking new precautions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Some are no longer accepting cash. But a bill at the state Capitol would ban this practice.Not even a pandemic can stop Californians from getting their taco fix. But at Zocalo, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Sacramento, there’s a new routine when it comes to ordering.

“Payment is something that creates a lot of touch points for both the guests and our employees.”

Eric Acosta is assistant general manager.

“To solve those problems, we went strictly to touchless payment. You’re able to add gratuity, make adjustments to your payment, simply through your phone or device.”

He says that trend could be here to stay even after California starts to lift its stay at home order.

“Even though we’re hoping to open up our doors, that doesn’t mean we’re going back to the normal that we previously knew—it’s more so establishing a new normal.”

But a bill in the Legislature—introduced back in February—would prohibit businesses from going cashless.
 
Democratic state Senator Jerry Hill authored the proposal. He says banning cash payments has the biggest impact on low-income Californians. That includes many who have worked throughout the pandemic:

“Most of the essential workers are low wage, and have a high chance of being near or below the poverty line. And cash transactions are really necessary to buy essential goods.”

Hill says he’s considering making the bill an urgency proposal, which requires more votes to pass, but means it would take effect immediately if signed by the governor.

Businesses in California are taking new precautions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Some are no longer accepting cash. But a bill at the state Capitol would ban this practice.Not even a pandemic can stop Californians from getting their taco fix. But at Zocalo, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Sacramento, there’s a new routine when it comes to ordering.

“Payment is something that creates a lot of touch points for both the guests and our employees.”

Eric Acosta is assistant general manager.

“To solve those problems, we went strictly to touchless payment. You’re able to add gratuity, make adjustments to your payment, simply through your phone or device.”

He says that trend could be here to stay even after California starts to lift its stay at home order.

“Even though we’re hoping to open up our doors, that doesn’t mean we’re going back to the normal that we previously knew—it’s more so establishing a new normal.”

But a bill in the Legislature—introduced back in February—would prohibit businesses from going cashless.
 
Democratic state Senator Jerry Hill authored the proposal. He says banning cash payments has the biggest impact on low-income Californians. That includes many who have worked throughout the pandemic:

“Most of the essential workers are low wage, and have a high chance of being near or below the poverty line. And cash transactions are really necessary to buy essential goods.”

Hill says he’s considering making the bill an urgency proposal, which requires more votes to pass, but means it would take effect immediately if signed by the governor.

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