Two state assembly members in Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties got into a tiff over a proposal to exempt Olympic medal winners from paying taxes on the honorary payments they receive with their medals.
Republic Assemblyman Jeff Gorell of Camarillo is sponsoring a bill which would exempt Olympic medalists from paying taxes on their cash prizes.
Gorell says American Olympians get little financial support from the government, and often have to make financial sacrifices to compete.
Medalists usually get a $25,000 honorary payment for a gold medal from the U.S. Olympic Committee, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.
But, Democratic Assemblyman Das Williams of Santa Barbara argued the legislation would set a bad precedent, by picking favorites in tax policy.
The State Assembly today passed the bill on a 53-4 vote, with the legislation now going to the State Senate for consideration.