Legislation

 

2018 Legislative Summary

 SB 977 - California Horse Racing Law requires each racing association to host a certain number of “charity days” each year to fundraise for charities connected to the industry. A percentage of the net proceeds made during these days are also allocated towards funding the Disabled Jockeys’ Pension Plan, a non-profit trust created to collect and distribute endowment funds to permanently disabled jockeys. Existing law previously capped distributions to the Pension Plan at $2,000,000, at which point distribution of proceeds from “Charity Days” to the pension plan would cease. 

Horse racing is widely recognized as one of the most dangerous professional sports in America. A 2015 investigation by CNN found that "jockeys are the … most seriously injured athletes in any professional sport." Since 1940, there have been 154 deaths at horse racing tracks across the U.S. — 13 since 2000 -- despite ongoing efforts to improve safety at race tracks. Every year, approximately two jockeys out of a nationwide population of 1,200 are in accidents so severe that they are made quadriplegics or paraplegics and dozens more suffer career-ending injuries. Thoroughbred horses are faster than ever, and jockeys often ride at running speeds of more than 40 mph; meaning serious injuries and even paralysis are common. SB 977 will remove the $2,000,000 cap on the Disabled Jockeys Pension Plan, SB 977 will help meet the medical and support needs of permanently disabled jockeys.

 

SB 987 - SB 987 would allow Donate Life California, with the approval of the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), to update and edit the space on the original or renew driver’s license or identification card application’s space reserved to enroll Californians on the Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. Since 2006, Donate Life California has partnered with the DMV to help register Californians for the Organ and Tissue Donor Registry through the inclusion of a question on the original or renew driver’s license or identification card application (DL44).This partnership, established in VEH 12811, has built the largest organ and tissue donor registry in the country at over 14 million registered donors. Over 90% of these donors signed up at the DMV.

Unfortunately, the opportunity to be an organ donor is rare because less than 1% of all deaths are medically suitable.  As, Donate Life California, and the national donation community, continue to increase registered donors around the nation the best practices in how to ask the question on DMV and similar forms has continued to develop. For this reason, it is important for Donate Life California and the DMV to have the ability to update the language on the DL44 without requiring statutory changes; as we work to close the gap between California’s rate of registered donors and the nation’s.

SB 988 - The purpose of this legislation is to ensure homeowners are notified of the presence of yellow corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) on a property during the course of a normal home inspection, and that they should consider consultation with a licensed electrician to ensure it is properly bonded. 

 

Specifically, SB 988 will require all home inspectors to make a written notation in their final report if yellow CSST is seen during the course of their inspection. The notification shall state that only a licensed electrical contractor can determine if yellow CSST is properly bonded and grounded per the current National Fuel Gas Code and as required by the manufacturer’s instructions. SB 988 is part of this nationwide safety campaign to bring awareness to homeowners on the importance of proper bonding of yellow CSST and the potential risks if it is not properly bonded.

Direct or indirect lightning strikes on or near a structure have been shown to cause an electrical surge to travel into the structure and have in some cases caused a perforation in the sidewall of the yellow CSST tubing as the energy arcs from one metallic system to another seeking ground. This arcing can ignite the pressurized gas leaking from the perforation, and in some cases, may lead to a fire. Bonding is provided primarily to prevent a possible electric shock to people who come in contact with the gas piping and other metal objects connected to the grounding system. Independent research has confirmed proper bonding and grounding significantly reduces the risk of damage and fire from an indirect lightning strike. It is unclear how many homes in California were installed with yellow CSST prior to the national code update.  For this reason, it is critical that property owners are informed.

 

SB 1163 - This bill would require an autopsy upon an unidentified body or human remains to only be conducted by an attending physician and surgeon or chief medical examiner who is a board-certified forensic pathologist. The bill would also require an agency tasked with the exhumation of a body or skeletal remains of a deceased person that has suffered significant deterioration or decomposition, where the circumstances surrounding the death afford a reasonable basis to suspect that the death was caused by the criminal act of another, to perform the exhumation under the direction of a board-certified forensic pathologist and would authorize that board-certified forensic pathologist to retain the services of an anthropologist. There are over 25,000 missing and unidentified persons in the California Attorney General's repository of cold cases. Clarifying and updating the law in regards to how to handle investigations and autopsies involving unidentified bodies will also help provide closure to families with missing loved ones.

 

SB 1223 - The highly skilled and trained women of the construction industry contribute greatly to California’s infrastructure and economy. However, despite efforts to recruit women into the construction industry, women make up just 3% of California's total construction workforce and only 2.4% of the apprentices enrolled in the apprenticeship system. Efforts to recruit more women will be greatly assisted with policies that promote retention.

SB 1223 will require the Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement to develop an industry-specific harassment and discrimination prevention policy for use by employers in the construction industry. Specifically, SB 1223:

              • Establishes an advisory committee consisting of the DLSE, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, contractors, labor representatives, employers, and non-profit organizations representing women to develop an industry-specific anti-harassment and discrimination policy and training standard for use by construction employers.

                • The advisory committee would provide recommendations to the Legislature for implementation.

 

SB 1249 -  By prohibiting the sale or promotion of any cosmetic if the final product or any components thereof have been tested on animals after the date of enactment, SB 1249 will bring California humane standards in line with the world’s highest. Still, the Act allows for two exceptions to the ban. The first exception is allowed where the animal testing was done as a requirement of the Federal Drug Administration or Department of Toxic Substance Control and there is no alternative method to evaluate a substantiated and serious specific human health problem associated with the cosmetic or component thereof that is in wide use and cannot be replaced with another cosmetic or component thereof capable of performing a similar function. The second exception, which allows animal testing of the cosmetic or component thereof that is conducted to comply with a formal requirement of a foreign regulatory authority and where such foreign regulatory authority requirements were in place prior to January 1, 2020, shall sunset on January 1, 2023, leaving California as the world leader in manufacturing and marketing of cruelty-free cosmetics.

SB 1272 - The underground economy takes its heaviest toll on hard working Californians of every stripe.  Many workers go without basic rights and protections, law-abiding business owners are put at a competitive disadvantage, and consumer protections are threatened.  Moreover, tax revenues are lost that could otherwise fund education, law enforcement, and infrastructure projects that benefit Californians who play by the rules.

To strengthen the state’s efforts to combat the underground economy, SB 1272 would permanently establish the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force, and enhance the program with law enforcement teams in every major metropolitan region in the state.

 

SB 1307 - SB 1307 provides a legislative remedy authorizing the HSRA the same series of statutory exemptions enjoyed by other similarly situated state entities, such as Caltrans, Department of Water Resources and the University of California, each of which have responsibilities comparable to those of the HSRA in the delivery of large multi-parcel projects. This would allow the HSRA to exercise greater independence over its acquisition power, resulting in both direct savings in time and the freeing up of significant state resources at other state offices currently working to accommodate its considerable property acquisition needs. The key oversight role will remain with PWB as the entity responsible for overseeing and approving the HSRA use of eminent domain.

Authorizing control of the HSRA acquisition function, yet maintaining adequate administrative oversight, would not only help avoid future delays in delivering the high-speed rail program, but also significantly reduce the amount of uncertainty, inconvenience and damage that this unnecessarily lengthy process can cause to individuals and businesses required to engage with the HSRA in this capacity.

 

SB 1354 - SB 1354 codifies in statute the California Apprenticeship Initiative (CAI) and increases the time available for a recipient to complete the program.  CAI is a successful grant program that brings together employers, unions, community colleges and the Division of Apprenticeship Standards to develop innovative ways of ensuring adult learners have the support necessary for success. For the past three years, Governor Brown has appropriated $15-million per year to CAI, with the goal of increasing apprenticeship opportunities in non-traditional industries. CAI focuses on creating programs in job classifications that do not traditionally use the apprenticeship model to support workplace based learning programs. These newly covered occupations include information technology, cyber security, and health-related fields such as nursing and medical technology.  These are growing areas of the economy where workforce shortages are expected.  They also often involve licensures or certifications offered through a community college. CAI programs provide opportunities for those who already are attached to the workplace to earn while they learn.

For example, one program allows LVNs employed at the Department of Corrections California Health Care Facility in Stockton to enroll in a Registered Nursing program through San Joaquin Delta College.  After one year, those who successfully complete the program and pass the licensure exam can be hired as RNs. In fact, their pay will increase from $45,000 to $93,000 per year. Similar programs are underway for Information Technology and Cyber Security with Mission College, Sacramento City College and San Francisco Community College.  Many employees entering these programs have not been financially able to obtain the education needed to advance their careers despite interest. SB 1354 will give working adults the ability to work, receive a salary while attending classes, and obtain the possibility of advancement at their job site upon completion of their course of study. In fact, over 350 state workers applied for the current IT program and over 300 LVNs expressed interest too. In the case of the LVNs, 53% were single heads of households; over 90% were minorities, and 83% women.

 

SB 1396 - Access to governmental services and information on vital resources for the constituents of California has significantly expanded through the availability of technology.  Despite the growing use of government services and information online there is no central point of responsibility for ensuring that the services and information is delivered through technology and websites that are fully accessible to persons with disabilities. SB 1396 is essential to ensure that persons with disabilities have the same access to information and services as persons without disabilities. 

 

 

  2017 Legislative Summary

SB 41 - The bill recognizes the state Air Resources Board’s intent to reduce vehicular pollution. This bill recognizes the investment of companies to comply with the rules set forth by CARB including through early actions. The bill is limited to only that specific piece of equipment which had been verified and approved by CARB and that failed.”

SB 198 - Patients who are often elderly with limited mobility and purchase hearing aids from licensed dispensers are disadvantaged when the professional serving them is limited in their capabilities. Hearing aid dispensers need to remove excess wax in order to properly prepare the ear, and tympanometry can indicate other hearing problems that can then be more accurately addressed when fitting and calibration of a device. However, existing law is not explicit in granting a hearing aid dispenser the authority to perform cerumen management or tympanometry, resulting in decreased access to care and adding additional cost for the patient.

SB 243 - This bill would appropriate $9,616,000 from the Citrus Disease Management Account (CDMA) to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for operating expenses necessary for the prevention and management of citrus diseases.California is a top producer of citrus fruit and is ranked second only to Florida in citrus production but first in citrus products sold fresh to market.  According to the most recent census, in 2012, the $2.1 billion California citrus industry grew nearly four million tons of citrus on 270,000 acres and provided more than 14,000 jobs.

SB 350 - Currently, both state and county correctional facilities at times receive medically and mentally unstable patients where the patient’s medical and/or mental health history at the time of transfer is not included.  Not only does this impact offender safety, but it is costly as well since many times it may result in duplicate treatment/diagnostic testing by the receiving facility. This bill would ensure the continuity of care for inmates sentenced to and released from state prison by requiring electronic medical records to follow them to a new facility where there is electronic communication.  This bill would authorize and require the disclosure of information between a county correctional facility, county medical facility, state correctional facility, or state hospital to ensure continuity of health care. 
 

SB 359 - This bill would create a program through community colleges that would streamline process for returning veteran medics to get certified on a state level

SB 362 - This bill will extend the option for a Code Enforcement Officer, Parking Control Officers and Non-Sworn Investigators at the Department of Insurance to enroll in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) confidentiality protections - to protect their home addresses. Code enforcement officers are on the front line of code compliance, and sometimes drug trafficking and gang-related enforcement efforts in local governments and are frequently required to deal with hostile, non-compliant persons. In cases of code enforcement, it is not uncommon for citizens to become angry when a Code Enforcement Officer takes action to enforce regulations as they see it as an unnecessary intrusion of their private property.

SB 434 - SB 434 would allow the state to exempt homeowners from paying state income taxes on the loan amount written down on their principal residence through a principal reduction or short-sale.  The bill would limit the amount excludable to $250,000 or to $125,000 if the taxpayer is a married individual filing a separate return.  Homeowners in these situations already find themselves in a terrible financial situation.  Allowing this exemption on income the homeowners never realize, is sound public policy and will allow struggling homeowners to get back on their feet and continue generating economic activity.

SB 474 - Enables RD 17 to utilize state funding to complete development of a comprehensive Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, which will protect our local communities, and facilities. In 1997 there were damaging floods in San Joaquin County, when more than 40 inches of rain fell within a five day period in the Sierra Nevada watershed, flooding thirty-two square miles of land.  Flood waters put pressure on a Southern Pacific Transportation Company line that cut through Stewart Tract, causing it to buckle. Flood waters carried everything from gas tanks full of propane, to containers of windshield washer fluid, leaving toxic materials and hazardous waste behind as waters subsided.  This legislation seeks a commitment of $110M from state Prop 1E Bond funds for this critical system upgrade which will include system wide improvements for disaster preparedness and flood prevention projects.

SB 475 - Citrus disease prevention: Citrus Disease Management Account. 

SB 527 - The bill would provide for an annual cost-of-living adjustment for home-to-school transportation in the California budget. Since the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, home-to-school transportation has been funded as a separate, add-on budget item. Since 2012, however, there has been no cost-of-living increase to the base amount. This is despite the obvious increase in personnel, insurance, fuel and other cost-of-living related expenses over the last five years. Geography, neighborhood safety, and access to after-school programs are factors that highlight the importance of dependable, consistent and safe school bus programs. The California Department of Education (CDE) estimates an increase of $10.7 million in year one with increasing costs each year thereafter.

SB 531 - The bill simply clarifies that local cities and counties can declare a local emergency in certain types of district that are within their territorial limits.  These districts include harbor improvement districts, harbor districts, port districts, river port districts, and small craft harbor districts. This bill gives local governments the necessary tools to appropriately respond to solve these challenges. 

SB 579 - Revises existing consumer protections for purchasers of autographed collectibles by narrowing their application to certain types of sports and entertainment collectibles, revising the definition of a dealer, and limiting remedies for violations of the statute to specified civil penalties and costs.  

SB 600 - Senate Bill 600 is an integral component of California’s plan for attracting and retaining middle class jobs in the state.  In 2013, I authored Senate Bill 90 which created a partial sales tax exemption for manufacturing and R&D companies who want to expand in California.  Since taking effect, employers have invested $9.4 billion in equipment and infrastructure in California, and for every $1 of incentive claimed, there has been $23 in new investments – a solid return for the state, with a meaningful impact on job creation.  However, vagueness in the 2013 legislation makes it problematic for companies to utilize the exemption, resulting in a considerable amount of the intended benefits being left on the table.  SB 600 will clear up this vagueness and improve the tax exemption in order to bring more jobs and more investment to California.

SB 605 - This bill revises, beginning January 1, 2019, the definition of “small business” and “microbusiness” for purposes of the Small Business Procurement and Contract Act (Act) by increasing the dollar amount threshold for a small business to $15 million and for a microbusiness to $5 million and requires those dollar amounts to be adjusted to reflect changes in the California Consumer Price Index (CPI) biennially

SB 624 - Authorizes a county board of supervisors to provide by ordinance or resolution that a tax on real or personal property is not a lien against the property assessed or the assessee, thereby precluding the county tax collector from recording a lien for delinquent taxes, if the amount of tax assessed is $200 or less. 

SB 646 - Prohibits an adverse action based on a cause for discipline discovered on or after January 1, 2018, from being valid against any state employee for any cause for discipline based on any civil service law of California, unless the employer served notice of the adverse action within one year after the cause for discipline, and specifies that this subdivision shall not apply to an adverse action based on fraud, embezzlement, or falsification of records.

SB 655 - The purpose of this legislation to extend Peace Officer Bill of Rights (“POBOR” or “POBAR”) protections to coroners and deputy coroners

SB 704 - This bill requires the Division of Boating and Waterways, to the extent feasible, to collaborate with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) in implementing its control programs for invasive aquatic plants in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, its tributaries, and Suisun Marsh.  

SB 723 - This bill would instead define “qualified instructor” for purposes of these provisions to mean one who has a valid California driver’s license and holds a designated subjects credential, a clear or preliminary single subject credential, or a valid prior credential authorizing instruction in automobile driver education and driver training.

SB 727 - This bill authorizes a public postsecondary educational institution to adopt policies that allow for the use of innovative pricing techniques and payment options for textbooks and other instructional materials.  

SB 739 - This bill would prohibit a lender from making a reverse mortgage loan on a principle residence without informing the borrower, and nonborrowing spouse, as defined, of the opportunity for a nonborrowing spouse to exercise the option described above to permit that spouse to remain in the residence following the death of the borrowing spouse, upon the satisfaction of specified conditions. The bill would, for a reverse mortgage entered into on or after January 1, 2018, prohibit a lender from initiating a foreclosure on a principle residence after the death of the borrowing spouse unless the notice requirements regarding the option were met and the nonborrowing spouse was given the opportunity to exercise the option.

SB 784 - Authorizes an additional fine of up to $1,000 where a defendant has been convicted of invading another person's privacy by secretly taking photographs or recording images of that person, as specified, and intentionally distributes that image. Requires the court to include in its restitution order economic loss suffered by the victim for costs incurred to delete, remove, and eliminate the images.

SCA 13 - This measure, during any year in which the university provides more than 600 managerial employees with annual salaries higher than the Governor’s, would prohibit the university from increasing systemwide student tuition and fees or from entering into a new, or renewing an existing, services contract with a for-profit company paying substandard wages, as defined, to its nonprofessional workers.

SCR 45 - Designates May 8, 2017, as California Peace Officers' Memorial Day and urges all Californians to use that day to honor California peace officers, and recognize specified California peace officers who were killed in defense of their communities. 

SCR 64 - This resolution declares the month of September 2017 as Silver Alert Community Education Month, and urges state and local agencies to promote greater awareness of the Silver Alert system. 

SR 25 - This resolution recognizes “Women Warriors” by proclaiming the week of March 13, 2017, to March 19, 2017, inclusive, as Women’s Military History Week in California.

*For more information or additional details of any of the legislation I have worked on in my years in the legislature, please visit: www.Leginfo.ca.gov