CGA Urges Gov. to Veto Assisted Checkout Bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Grocers Association here said Tuesday it is urging Gov. Schwarzenegger to veto legislation that would ban assisted checkout systems in supermarkets — legislation already approved by the California Assembly and passed a day earlier by the state Senate.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Grocers Association here said Tuesday it is urging Gov. Schwarzenegger to veto legislation that would ban assisted checkout systems in supermarkets — legislation already approved by the California Assembly and passed a day earlier by the state Senate.

Backers of the bill said the use of assisted checkouts makes it more likely that minors or people who are intoxicated can manipulate the system to obtain alcohol illegally. CGA said it believes the bill specifically targets Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, "one non-union grocer that utilizes an assisted checkout system as its primary form of finalizing customer sales," Ronald Fong, CGA president, said.

CGA cited comments by the Senate Government Organization Committee's analysis of the bill that said there is "no evidence of any problems associated with minors purchasing alcoholic beverages through self-service checkouts." The association also noted that assisted checkouts lock when any age-restricted product is scanned, requiring a clerk to verify age and sobriety.