Daily Business Report — Jan. 1, 2010
New California Laws Effective Today
By the Office of Assembly Speaker Karen Bass
Below is a list of Assembly bills signed by the governor that will be enacted Jan. 1, 2010. All of the bills become law today, except for AB 906 (Hill) and AB 1422 (Bass), which became law after the governor signed them.
AB 9 (J. Pérez) — Political Reform Act: FPPC — this law clarifies what constitutes improper campaign activity by a local government or agency during an election for a candidate or initiative.
AB 144 (Ma) — Last year in San Francisco, law enforcement confiscated over 1,000 illegal disabled placards. The widespread abuse has not only taken away parking opportunities for people who really need them, but has also exacerbated the difficult parking environment in San Francisco. The current penalty is a $100 fine. AB 144 not only increases the fine for fraudulent use to $1,000, but also gives parking control officers the ability to cite violators. Currently, only police officers have the ability to cite violators in many instances.
AB 166 (Lieu) — Creates a cost—effective solution to deal with the growing number of abandoned boats in California’s waterways. The bill will establish a vessel turn—in program that permits boat owners to transfer ownership of their dilapidated vessels before they become an environmental hazard. AB 171 (Jones) — Establishes basic consumer protection standards governing credit cards and loan products that are arranged in dental offices. The law is designed to protect elderly, low—income or limited—English—speaking dental patients who unwittingly signed credit card applications. The new law prohibits arranging credit while patients are under anesthesia, requires notice in the patient’s primary language, and requires refunds if dental services have not been provided within 15 days.
AB 232 (Hill) — Allows the California State Teachers Retirement System to implement technology improvements such as switching from paper transactions with customers to online and e—mail transactions. The changes will reduce environmental impacts and save the state about $1 million annually.
AB 242 (Nava) — Strengthens penalties for spectatorship at a dogfight in California.
AB 260 (Lieu) — Will bring trust and security back to the state’s mortgage market, protect borrowers from the most abusive lending practices that caused the home foreclosure crisis, and reassure the secondary market that loans bought in California are sound.
AB 262 (Bass) — Makes the technical and administrative changes necessary to ensure that $113M in federal economic stimulus energy funding (i.e. local energy efficiency grants and state energy program monies) will be allocated in the most efficient and effective manner.
AB 303 (Beall) — Hospital Seismic Safety Financing; allows designated hospitals to meet state deadlines for earthquake safety improvements. The bill permits the hospitals to leverage local funds in order to draw down federal money to pay for seismic safety facility upgrades.
AB 305 (Nava) — Allows prosecutors to seek jail sentences for polluters who knowingly make a false or misleading report about an offshore oil spill. AB 305 also extends the statute of limitations for violations of Hazardous Material Release Response Plans and Inventory related violations from 1 to 5 years to bring it into accordance with other hazardous material and hazardous waste laws in the same Division of the Health and Safety Code. AB 329 (Feuer) — Reverse Mortgage Elder Protection Act – a bi—partisan measure that will protect the growing number of senior citizens who are considering a reverse mortgage. This bill would amend California reverse mortgage law to strengthen existing counseling and cross—selling provisions and would provide the borrower with a checklist prior to counseling that highlights the risks and alternatives to reverse mortgages.
AB 343 (Saldaña) — Allows California to enter into a compact with 26 other states to ease coordination of interstate school transfers and to remove some of the barriers to academic success military children face due to frequent relocation of active—duty parents. An interstate commission, in coordination with state education officials, will monitor implementation of the compact, address emerging issues, and reconcile disputes between states.
AB 359 (Nava) — Requires digital mammography screening to be covered under the “Every Woman Counts” (EWC) Cancer Detection Program administered by the California Department of Public Health when analog mammography is not available.
AB 370 (Eng) — Would ensure that a victim of contractor fraud is eligible to obtain restitution for economic loss caused by that contractor. Further, this bill increases the maximum potential fine for a first offense from $1,000 to $5,000. For a second and subsequent offense, this measure increases the current mandatory fine from $4,500 up to $5,000. Third offenders will also be required to serve a mandatory jail sentence (as is currently required of second offenders.). Finally, this measure would apply the mandatory minimum fine to repeat offenders who enter into a contract with the victim, or take money from the victim, but do not perform any of the contracting work.
AB 457 (Monning) — Requires claimants intending to file mechanic’s liens to notify homeowners that a mechanic’s lien is being recorded against their property. Specifically, the bill amends the 20—Day Preliminary Notice to make it more prominent and easier to read ,and enacts a requirement that property owners be served with a Notice of Mechanic’s Lien that provides information on how to deal with a mechanic’s lien, along with a copy of the actual lien that will be filed.
AB 474 (Blumenfield) — California is in its third straight year of drought. This creative bill will harness market forces by increasing water conservation by residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial property owners by authorizing cities, counties, water districts and municipal utilities to offer up—front financing to property owners who wish to install water conservation systems. It is a rare bill supported by the Sierra Club and the Chamber of Commerce.
AB 494 (Caballero) — Allows farmers who wish to build housing for farm workers on land zoned for agriculture, to change the zoning, and be able to build housing while retaining the agricultural integrity of the property.
AB 524 (Bass) — To curtail the potentially harmful situations and other problems created by out of control paparazzi, AB 524 extends the “invasion of privacy” laws to persons that purchase, publish, and print images or recordings of individuals, if these persons knew that the images or recordings were obtained illegally.
AB 530 (Krekorian) — This measure continues to provide local law enforcement an important tool in freeing our neighborhoods of violent drug and gang activity. AB 530 reauthorizes two pilot programs allowing city attorneys and prosecutors in participating cities (Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palmdale, Sacramento, and San Diego) to bring eviction proceedings in the name of the people against a tenant for unlawful activities regarding controlled substances, firearms, and ammunition. This statute assists landlords who are intimidated from bringing eviction proceedings against tenants engaged in drug—related crimes and illegal possession of weapons or ammunition on the premises. This measure also protects other tenants living in the same apartment complex or the neighborhood who have been forced to tolerate criminal behavior or move away from their homes.
AB 532 (Lieu) — Will protect victims of domestic violence, their families and our communities from potential gun—related danger. The bill will allow law enforcement officers to obtain a warrant to seize firearms or deadly weapons that remain inside a house after a domestic violence or mental health incident.
AB 626 (Eng) — Required that no less than 10 percent of the $139 million appropriated from prop 84 for IRWMP to fund projects that provide direct benefits to disadvantaged communities. However, there was some confusion in the Department of Water Resources on whether they can award the entire 10 percent for disadvantaged communities across every hydrological region. Disadvantaged communities around the state struggle to meet basic water related public health functions including supplying safe drinking water to their communities and maintaining basic wastewater infrastructure. AB 626 makes it clear that disadvantaged communities in each region of the state receive this minimum investment.
AB 636 (Jones) — Increases penalties for charter bus companies and drivers for failure to comply with safety and licensing regulations. Introduced after last year’s tragic Colusa bus crash that took the lives of several residents of Jones’ Sacramento district, the new law permanently rescinds the operating permit of a bus company if it is found operating without a permit or on a suspended license, knowingly hires an unlicensed bus driver, or fails to register its buses with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The law also suspends unlicensed bus drivers for a period of 5 years.
AB 637 (Hill) — Requires the California Public Employees’ Retirement System contracting agencies to use Electronic Funds Transfer for payments which will reduce paper transactions and lead to cost savings worth hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
AB 647 (Yamada) — Requires California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to comply with federal law and allow consumer access to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). Established under the Anti—Car Theft Act of 1992, NMVTIS is an electronic vehicle—history database maintained by the Department of Justice that enables states, law enforcement agencies, and consumers to verify and exchange auto titling, theft and brand data.
AB 669 (Fong) — Removes barriers for foster youth to attend California community colleges. Specifically, the bill gives current and former foster your residency status, in order to avoid paying higher tuition fees.
AB 671 (Krekorian) — The California Golden Shield Act, establishes an official California State honorific that pays tribute to our peace officers, firefighters and other public safety officers who sacrifice their lives for the safety of Californians. This statute requires that the Governor present the California Golden Shield, on behalf of the State of California, to the families of the fallen public safety officers killed in the line of duty.
AB 672 (Bass) — Allows local transportation agencies with approved Prop 1B projects to expend their own funds to move the projects along and be eligible to be reimbursed from Prop 1B bond funds.
AB 688 (Eng) — Seeks to protect victims of domestic violence from re—victimization by clarifying that a person charged with a misdemeanor domestic violence may not be released on their own recognizance until they first appear before a judge or commissioner. Currently, there are discrepancies in state law that potentially allow for the release of a person charged without ever appearing before a judge or commissioner. If this bill is vetoed, the existing inconsistencies in state law will continue to endanger people’s lives by potentially permitting some perpetrators to go back into the community without the proper screening of a judge or commissioner.
AB 708 (Huffman) — The illegal poaching of fish and wildlife poses a serious threat to California’s wildlife species and biodiversity. Poaching cases are on the rise and California is particularly impacted because the current fines and penalties have proved insufficient to serve as an effective deterrent. AB 708 will establish minimum mandatory fines and increased revenue to local prosecutors to prosecute the egregious poaching of fish and wildlife in order to provide a serious deterrent to this illegal activity.
AB 719 (Lowenthal) — Provides one year of federally—funded food stamps to foster children who “age—out” of the system at 18. In addition to providing needed benefits to these at—risk youth, the program will also bring federal funds to give needed economic stimulus effect at the local and state level: Every $10 in new Food Stamp benefits generates $18.40 in economic activity, which results in more funds to the state General Fund.
AB 750 (Bass) — Provides Superior Courts the ability to operate deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) reentry programs in lieu of jail time for low—level, non—violent offenders. AB 750 is modeled after a program – Back on Track – developed by the City of San Francisco. The year—long program requires participation in workforce training, educational training, drug counseling, and has a proven track record of reducing recidivism among its participation.
AB 758 (Bass/Skinner) — Establishes a comprehensive statewide program to improve the energy efficiency of the state’s existing residential and commercial building stock. Such a program will include energy audits, financing options, public outreach efforts, and workforce training. AB 758 will produce a significant return on investment — reducing greenhouse gas emissions and decreasing energy consumption.
AB 856 (Caballero) — Protects consumers who buy organic produce from California, and protects the integrity of California’s organic farmers by increasing the authority of the California Department of Agriculture to regulate manufactures of organic fertilizers.
AB 890 (J. Pérez) — City of Maywood Safe Drinking Water Act – this law directs the water providers within the City of Maywood to develop an action plan to improve the water delivery infrastructure and reduce contaminant levels in the water, and includes several provisions to force the water providers to operate with more transparency and responsiveness to community concerns about the water quality.
AB 906 (Hill) — Helps local governments take advantage of existing energy efficiency programs without violating state laws that prohibit economic conflicts of interest. (Effective upon signature by governor.)
AB 951 (Lieu) — Increases penalties on negligent and unscrupulous charter bus companies that jeopardize passengers’ lives by violating safety standards. This bill was introduced in response to a tragic bus crash that occurred last year in Colusa which killed 11 and injured 40 passengers.
AB 952 (Krekorian) — This new statute allows Taft—Hartley trusts (health plans governed by the federal Department of Labor) to administer benefits for their enrollees in an efficient manner. AB 952 seeks to provide a remedy for Taft—Hartley plan administrators and allow them to work better in California. A new provision will be made in the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act to allow protected health information necessary for the administration of health benefits for Taft—Hartley enrollees, while maintaining the more rigorous privacy benefits provided by California law. AB 975 (Fong) — Encourages water conservation by requiring private water corporations to install water meters.
AB 992 (Lieu) — Addresses a spike in property tax reassessment scams resulting from the rapid decline of housing prices over the past few years. The bill prohibits the collection of advance or late fees for property tax reduction services and requires written authorization from the property owner before any reassessment requests are filed.
AB 1031 (Blumenfield) — California colleges have suffered severe budget cuts and must reduce their costs. Yet they cannot get credit on their utility bills for renewable energy they generate, unless the electricity is used in the same structure where it is generated. This bill requires utility companies to give credit to state colleges and universities for all power they generate on campus.
AB 1070 (Hill) — Increases the Medical Board of California’s ability to protect health care consumers by clarifying their ability to enforce proper reporting, licensing and regulation of physicians and surgeons.
AB 1083 (J. Pérez) — Health Facilities: Security Plans – this law requires hospitals to annually review and update the security and safety plans to help ensure patients and workers do not become victims of violence.
AB 1093 (Yamada) — “Taneka’s Law” clarifies that a workers’ comp claim can not be denied based solely on a personal characteristic of the victim and a third party’s hatred of that characteristic such as race, religion, or gender. AB 1130 (Solorio) — This bill revises the school accountability system to include a growth measurement of the academic performance index (API) that increases the validity and accuracy of academic progress of the same students over time, an important step toward comprehensive academic achievement measures.
AB 1160 (Fong) — Protects non—English speaking consumers from mortgage fraud by requiring mortgage lenders to provide a written translated summary of the mortgage contract.
AB 1196 (Blumenfield) — California is expected to receive more than $50 billion in federal stimulus funds in the next 2 years, 7 percent of which is predicted to be lost to fraud by government contractors. This legislation will strengthen and expand the ‘false claims’ law, which enables private citizens to report intentional fraud by a contractor, and if the claim is true, reap a significant portion of the damages awarded by a court. Without Bob’s bill, billions of state dollars would not be protected by against fraud, including CalPERS, CalSTRS, UC funds and government subcontractors.
AB 1217 (Monning) — Requires the Ocean Protection Council to develop and implement a voluntary sustainable seafood promotion program.
AB 1319 (Krekorian) — A comprehensive consumer protection bill to stop abusive and deceptive practices in the entertainment, talent, and modeling industries that sets guidelines under which legitimate businesses can operate, alerting consumers to dishonest business practices and by providing law enforcement with the tools necessary for investigation and prosecution. AB 1319 does not affect legitimate talent agents or talent managers who earn money strictly through commissions and do not charge their clients advance fees. This new law ensures that talent listing services are providing accurate information to clients, requires that talent services maintain records and supporting proof and documentation and updates and revises consumer protection statutes created a decade ago. This law is strongly supported by a broad coalition of law enforcement, labor, industry leaders, and consumer protection organizations.
AB 1390 (Blumenfield) — Keeping children safe at school must be a top priority. Nationwide, 357,000 students are expelled or suspended for gun and other incidents annually. Many of these events are not reported to local law enforcement, depriving police of information that helps them track gang violence and take preventive action. This bill will close this loophole by requiring school personnel to report serious campus crimes to local police. AB 1398 (Blumenfield) — California is the birthplace of the high tech industry, yet current law still contains a prohibition on school districts’ spending funds to purchase digital textbooks. This bill will remove this prohibition. This prohibition has meant that students have unnecessary back strain and health issues, that many students have access to only old and out of date textbooks and almost all students are missing out on the learning potential of interactive learning made possible in today’s information age.
AB 1422 (Bass) — Due to the state’s fiscal crisis, and the resulting General Fund reductions, the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB) requires approximately $196M to support the Healthy Families program. AB 1422 extends the 2.35 percent gross premiums tax to Medi—Cal managed care plans until January 1, 2011. Extension of this tax will generate approximately $157M, which in turn will generate approximately $97M in additional federal matching funds for the Healthy Families Program. AB 1422 ensures the solvency of the Healthy Families program and that it will not have to disenroll almost 600,000 children. (Effective upon signature by governor.)
AB 1465 (Hill) — Helps California meet its drought and water shortage challenges by ensuring that urban water suppliers that are members of the California Urban Water Conservation Council are in compliance with the Urban Water Management Planning Act.
AB 1494 (Eng) — This bill strengthens the state’s open government meeting laws by preventing a member of a state board or agency from holding individual meetings with a majority of members behind close doors to work out an agreement on an agenda issue before that board or agency.
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