It must be nice to be rich. After all, it affords the wealthy in our state a chance to be part of a rich irony that features liberal coastal Democrats pushing for a paper bag tax bill that will exempt the wealthiest communities from that very same bag tax.

This is about as hypocritical as it gets folks.

Today, members of the California State Assembly are expected to vote on legislation Senate Bill 270 (Padilla) that seeks to ban plastic bag and impose a minimum 10-cent fee on all paper bags. Yet it grandfathers in existing local ordinances banning plastic bags and exempt paper bags from a tax.

Today’s vote on SB 270 will be especially interesting for many in the Latino and African Caucus, considering that the bill language states that all local ordinances would remain intact while the new, much higher fees would be paid by some of our more economically distressed communities.

So while the low income residents of La Mesa, Compton or Fontana would be forced to pay a minimum 10-cent fee on all paper bags (with no price cap), the residents of such toney enclaves as Dana Point, Carmel by the Bay, Manhattan Beach, and Malibu will pay nothing.

You heard that correctly: tax the poor, exempt the rich.

How can members of the Latino and African American Legislative caucuses justify this to their constituents?

Why should they pay a tax when those living in Carmel, Malibu and Manhattan Beach don’t pay for their paper bag?

What’s happened to the core value of the Democratic Party – the one that protects the working class?

SB 270 is a disgusting insult to blue collar Latinos and African American communities in California. In the name of fairness, it should be killed this week on the floor of the Assembly.