WEATHER »

Paul Wellman

New Laws, Part II

Different Special Education Requirements; Shifts in Elections Code; More Law Enforcement Regulations


Continuing on with our reportage of new California laws that went into effect January 1, this next installment touches on topics and issues that run the gamut. They include, among others: the requirements to become — and remain — a licensed dentist; campaign contribution reporting standards; the definition of urban blight; treatment of veterans’ remains; donated funds to Iran’s energy sector; operators of fire engines and firefighting equipment; new rules for slot machines, and trespassing in animal enclosures within zoos, circuses, and traveling exhibits.

Read the descriptions below — provided by state legal advisors — for full explanations and be sure to check back to independent.com in the coming days for a look at more new laws.

Penal

AB 1753, Slot machines — Existing law, subject to exceptions, generally prohibits the possession and use of a “slot machine or device” as defined, and prohibits certain other acts and transactions pertaining to slot machines or devices. Existing law provides varying definitions of “slot machine or device” for these purposes. Violations of these provisions are punishable by varying misdemeanor penalties.

This bill would increase those misdemeanor penalties to provide that a first offense under these provisions would be punishable by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 6 months, or by both that fine and imprisonment, that a 2nd offense would be punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 6 months, or by both that fine and imprisonment, and that a 3rd or subsequent offense would be punishable by a fine of not less than $10,000, nor more than $25,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. The bill would also provide that if the offense involved more than one machine or more than one location, an additional fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 would be imposed per machine and per location.

AB 1847, Restitution orders — Existing law provides for victim restitution orders and restitution fines, as specified. Existing law authorizes procedures for the entry and application of court orders for income deduction upon entry of an order for a restitution fine or for victim restitution, and gives the agency responsible for the collection of restitution specified powers and duties in regard to these income deduction orders.

The bill would provide that if there is no agency in the county responsible for the collection of restitution, the county probation office or the prosecuting attorney may carry out the functions and duties of such an agency in regard to the income deduction orders described above, as specified.

This bill would further provide, if the defendant fails to meet his or her obligations under the restitution order and the defendant has not provided good cause for the failure, that a court shall be authorized, upon the request of the prosecuting attorney, to order the prosecuting attorney be given authority to use lien procedures applicable to the defendant, including, but not limited to, a writ of attachment of property, as specified. This bill would provide prosecutorial immunity from liability for these proceedings and deny reimbursement for the costs of the prosecuting attorney from the defendant’s income or assets, as specified.

AB 1848, Motorcycle theft — Existing law provides that every person having upon him or her or in his or her possession specified tools or other items, with the intent to feloniously break or enter into any motor vehicle, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

This bill would provide, in addition, that it is a misdemeanor to (1) possess, give, or lend a device designed to bypass the factory-installed ignition of a motorcycle in order to start the engine of a motorcycle without a manufacturer’s key, (2) possess, give, or lend a motorcycle ignition, or part thereof, with the intent to unlawfully take or drive, or to facilitate the unlawful taking or driving of, a motorcycle without the consent of the owner, or (3) possess, give, or lend any item of hardware, including, but not limited to, bolt cutters, electrical tape, wire cutters, wire strippers, or allen wrenches, with the intent to unlawfully take or drive, or to facilitate the unlawful taking or driving of, a motorcycle without the consent of the owner.

AB 1675, Trespassing: animal enclosures at zoos, circuses, and traveling animal exhibits — Under existing law, every person who willfully enters and occupies real property without the consent of the owner, owner’s agent, or person in lawful possession, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

This bill would, with exemptions for employees and public officers, make it an infraction or a misdemeanor to enter an animal enclosure at a zoo, defined to include a public aquarium, or at a circus or traveling animal exhibit, if posted as specified to prohibit entrance, without the consent of the governing authority of the zoo, circus, or traveling animal exhibit, or a representative of that governing authority.

AB 1829, Military decorations: fraud — Existing law provides that any person who, orally, in writing, or by wearing any military decoration, falsely represents himself or herself to have been awarded any military decoration, as specified, with the intent to defraud, is guilty of an infraction.

This bill would instead provide that the offense is a misdemeanor, or in the case where the person committing the offense is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States, an infraction or a misdemeanor, as specified, and would exempt face-to-face solicitations involving less than $10.

AB 1800, Unlawful rental of residential dwelling — Existing law makes it a misdemeanor, punishable as specified, for any person to claim ownership or claim or take possession of, or cause another to enter or remain in, a residential dwelling for the purpose of renting or leasing the dwelling to another without the consent of the owner or the owner’s lawful agent.

This bill would increase the misdemeanor penalties for this offense.

AB 1885, Malicious mischief: airport property transportation services — Existing law provides that every person who enters or remains on airport property owned by a city, county, or city and county but located in another county, and sells, peddles, or offers for sale any goods, merchandise, property, or services of any kind whatsoever, to members of the public, including transportation services, other than charter limousines licensed by the Public Utilities Commission, on or from the airport property, without the express written consent of the governing board of the airport property, or its duly authorized representative, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

This bill would remove the exception in the offense for charter limousines licensed by the Public Utilities Commission. The bill would instead provide that when a charter-party carrier licensed by the Public Utilities Commission operates at an airport on a prearranged basis, as specified, that operation would not constitute the sale, peddling, or offering of goods, merchandise, property, or services, for purposes of those existing law provisions.

Evidence

AB 1723, Admissibility of statements — (1) Existing law defines “unavailable as a witness,” for purposes of the Evidence Code, to mean that the declarant is, among other things, exempted or precluded on the ground of privilege, disqualified, dead, or absent for a specified reason.

This bill would supplement that definition to add the circumstance that the declarant is persistent in refusing to testify concerning the subject matter of the declarant’s statement despite having been found in contempt for refusal to testify.

(2) Existing law, known as the “hearsay rule,” provides that, at a hearing, evidence of a statement that was made other than by a witness while testifying at the hearing and that is offered to prove the truth of the matter stated is inadmissible. Existing law also provides exceptions to the hearsay rule to permit the admission of specified kinds of evidence.

This bill would provide, until January 1, 2016, that evidence of a statement that is offered against a party who has engaged, or aided and abetted, in wrongdoing that was intended to, and did, procure the unavailability of the declarant as a witness is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule. The bill would require the party seeking to introduce a statement to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the elements of this provision have been met at a foundational hearing, as specified. These provisions would apply to any civil, criminal, or juvenile case or proceeding initiated or pending as of January 1, 2011.

Education

AB 1742, Special education — Existing law requires a nonpublic, nonsectarian school that provides special education and related services to an individual with exceptional needs in any of the grades from kindergarten through grade 12 to certify in writing to the Superintendent of Public Instruction that it meets specified requirements, including the requirement that it will not accept a pupil with exceptional needs if it cannot provide the services outlined in the pupil’s individualized education program, as specified.

This bill would specify the required standards-based, core curriculum and instructional materials used to provide the special education and related services including technology-based materials, as specified.

AB 1841, Special education: parental consent — (1) Existing law, in defining the term “consent” for purposes of the provision of special education and related services to individuals with exceptional needs, includes in that definition a statement that a parent or guardian understands that granting consent is voluntary and he or she may revoke that consent at any time. Existing law provides that revocation of consent is not retroactive to negate an action that occurred after consent was given and prior to the revocation.

This bill, in addition, would provide that a public agency is not required to amend the education records of a child to remove any reference to the child’s receipt of special education and services if the child’s parent or guardian submits a written revocation of consent after the initial provision of special education and related services to the child.

(2) Existing law requires a local educational agency that is responsible for providing a free appropriate public education and related services to a child with a disability to make reasonable efforts to obtain informed consent from the parent of the child before providing special education and related services to the child, as specified. Existing law requires a local educational agency to file a request for due process, as specified, if the parent or guardian of a child who is an individual with exceptional needs refuses all services in the individualized education program after having consented to those services in the past.

This bill would delete that latter requirement and, pursuant to a specified federal regulation, instead would prohibit a public agency, in the event that the parent or guardian of a child submits a written revocation of his or her consent at any time subsequent to the initial provision of special education and related services to the child, from continuing to provide special education and related services to the child or from using specified procedural safeguards to obtain agreement or a ruling that the services may be provided to the child. The bill would require the public agency to provide prior written notice to the child’s parent or guardian, as specified, before ceasing the provision of the special education and related services. The bill would require that a public agency be deemed in compliance with the requirement to make a free appropriate public education available to a child if the agency ceases to provide the child with further special education and related services pursuant to these provisions. The bill would provide that a public agency is not required to convene an individualized education program team meeting or develop an individualized education program for the child for further provision of special education and related services.

AB 1775, Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution — Existing law requires the Governor to proclaim certain days each year for specified reasons. Existing law also designates particular days each year as having special significance in public schools and educational institutions and encourages those entities to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on those dates.

This bill would require the Governor annually to proclaim January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution, would designate that date of each year as having special significance in public schools and educational institutions, and would encourage those entities to observe that date by conducting exercises remembering the life of Fred Korematsu and recognizing the importance of preserving civil liberties.

Civil

AB 1890, Lost and unclaimed property — Existing law authorizes the Regents of the University of California to provide by resolution or regulation for the care, restitution, sale, or destruction of unclaimed property in the possession of the regents or of the University of California Police Department. Existing law also authorizes the Trustees of the California State University to provide by resolution or regulation for the care, restitution, sale, or destruction of unclaimed, lost, or abandoned property in the possession of any state university. Existing law requires any resolution or regulation adopted by the trustees pursuant to those provisions to include that property shall be held for a period of at least 6 months.

This bill would limit that requirement to property valued at or above $300. The bill would extend the authorization of the Regents of the University of California to also provide for the care, restitution, sale, or destruction of lost or abandoned property, as specified. The bill would also decrease the minimum holding period to 3 months for property held by the state university. The bill would make related technical, nonsubstantive changes.

AB 1730, Monetary liability — Existing law provides that there shall be no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damages shall arise against, specified health related professional societies and members of a duly appointed committee of a medical specialty society, or any member of a duly appointed committee of a state or local health related professional society, or duly appointed member of a committee of a professional staff of a licensed hospital for act performed within the scope of the functions of peer review, as provided.

This bill would apply these provisions to psychotherapy services and marriage and family therapists.

Public Resources

AB 1846, Expedited environmental review: climate change regulations — The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report (EIR) on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment. CEQA requires specified state agencies to perform, at the time of adoption of a rule or regulation requiring the installation of pollution control equipment or a performance standard or treatment requirement, an environmental analysis of the reasonably foreseeable methods of compliance. CEQA authorizes the use of a focused environmental impact report for a project that consists solely of the installation of pollution control equipment required by the specified state agencies.

This bill would additionally require that the above environmental analysis be performed for a rule or regulation that requires the installation of pollution control equipment or a performance standard or treatment requirement adopted pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, including those for rules and regulations requiring the installation of pollution control equipment adopted by the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. The bill would authorize the use of the focused environmental impact report for a project that consists solely of the installation of pollution control equipment or other components that are necessary to complete the installation of that equipment that reduces greenhouse gas emissions in compliance with a rule or regulation adopted pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

AB 1504, Forest resources: carbon sequestration — (1) The Z’berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973, which regulates timber harvesting, contains legislative findings and declarations relative to forest resources, including a declaration that it is the policy of the state to encourage prudent and responsible forest resource management calculated to serve the public’s need for timber and other forest products, while giving consideration to other specified public needs. The act also states the Legislature’s intent to create and maintain an effective and comprehensive system of regulation and use of all timberlands to assure that the goal of maximum sustained production of high quality timber products is achieved while giving consideration to specified values.

This bill would include in that list of specified public needs and that list of specified values sequestration of carbon dioxide. The bill also would make other legislative findings and declarations relative to carbon dioxide sequestration as it relates to forests.

(2) The act requires the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to adopt district forest practice rules and regulations in accordance with specified policies to, among other things, assure the continuous growing and harvesting of commercial forest tree species. A willful violation of the board’s rules or regulations is a crime.

This bill would also require the board to ensure that its rules and regulations that govern the harvesting of commercial forest tree species consider the capacity of forest resources to sequester carbon dioxide emissions sufficient to meet or exceed the state’s greenhouse gas reduction requirements for the forestry sector, consistent with the scoping plan adopted by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and would permit fees collected under the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 to be used, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for contracts for related studies and analyses. Because a willful violation of those rules and regulations would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Military and Veteran’s Code

AB 1644, Veterans’ remains — Existing law regulates the custody, control, and interment of human remains.

This bill would allow prescribed entities in possession of the cremated remains of a veteran, upon the request of a veterans’ remains organization, as defined, to release specified information and remains to a veterans’ remains organization for the purpose of interment if certain conditions are met. The bill would require the veterans’ remains organization to take all reasonable steps to inter remains received. The bill would also exempt from civil liability, except for willful or wanton misconduct, an entity that releases information or remains after meeting the specified conditions and exempt from negligence a veterans’ remains organization that receives and inters remains if the veterans’ remains organization does not know or have reason to know that the remains were not released in compliance with the above conditions.

Existing law requires the board of supervisors of each county to designate an honorably discharged soldier, sailor, or marine in the county who has served in or with the army or navy of the United States, and shall cause to be decently interred the body of any veteran or widow of a veteran who dies in the county without having sufficient means to defray the expenses of burial, except as otherwise provided.

This bill would require the board of supervisors of each county to designate an honorably discharged veteran of the United States military or a member of a veterans’ remains organization who shall cause to be decently interred the body of any veteran or spouse or eligible dependent of a veteran as defined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for compensation purposes who dies in the county. This bill would encourage the board of supervisors of each county to designate personnel from a veterans’ remains organization for that purpose. This bill would also require the specified entities to verify and inter unclaimed cremated remains of veterans in accordance with specified laws.

Government

AB 1813, Public officials: personal information — (1) Existing law requires a person, business, or association, upon receiving the written demand of an elected or appointed official, to remove the official’s home address or telephone number from public display on the Internet within 48 hours of the delivery of the demand, and to continue to ensure that information is not reposted on the same Internet Web site, a subsidiary site, or any other Internet Web site maintained by the recipient of the written demand, with specified exceptions. Existing law includes a public safety official within the definition of an elected or appointed official for these purposes, and defines public safety official to include specified peace officer classifications. Existing law makes a violation of these provisions a misdemeanor or a felony under certain circumstances.

This bill would specify that the requirement to remove the information described above from public display on the Internet includes information provided to cellular telephone applications. The bill would also expand the definition of public safety officer for these purposes, and include within that definition retired members of specified employee classifications. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.

(2) Existing law provides that a person who maliciously, with the intent to obstruct justice or the administration of the laws, or with the intent to inflict physical harm, discloses the residence address or telephone number of public safety officials, as defined, or that of the spouse or children of these persons, is guilty of a misdemeanor. A violation of these provisions that results in bodily harm to the public safety official, or the spouse or child of that person, is a felony.

The bill would expand the definition of public safety officer for these purposes, and include within that definition retired members of specified employee classifications. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.

(3) Upon adoption by a county board of supervisors, existing law requires a county elections official to make confidential certain personal information of a public safety officer, upon application by the public safety officer made under penalty of perjury.

The bill would expand the definition of public safety officer for these purposes, and include within that definition retired members of specified employee classifications.

AB 1666, Whistleblower hotline — Existing law authorizes a city, county, or city and county auditor or controller to maintain a whistleblower hotline to receive calls from persons who have information regarding possible violations by local government employees of state, federal, or local statutes, rules, or regulations, and requires any investigation conducted pursuant to this authorization to be kept confidential except where release of findings of a conducted investigation is deemed necessary to serve the interests of the public, except that the identity of the individual or individuals involved in the investigation is required to be kept confidential.

This bill would specify that a city, county, or city and county auditor or controller may maintain the whistleblower hotline to receive calls from persons who have information regarding fraud, waste, or abuse, and would define those terms. The bill would also authorize the auditor or controller to provide a copy of a substantiated audit report or investigation to the appropriate appointing authority for disciplinary purposes, as specified.

AB 1749, California Whistleblower Protection Act: Administrative Office of the Courts — The California Whistleblower Protection Act prohibits a state employee from using his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of intimidating, threatening, coercing, or commanding any person for the purpose of interfering with his or her right to make a protected disclosure, defined to include the communication of information that may evidence an improper governmental activity. The act requires the State Auditor to investigate and report on improper governmental activities, as specified. The act authorizes an employee or applicant for state employment who files a written complaint alleging reprisal, retaliation, or similar prohibited acts to also file a copy of the written complaint with the State Personnel Board, together with a sworn statement that the complaint is true, under penalty of perjury. The act provides that any person who intentionally engages in acts of reprisal, retaliation, or similar prohibited acts against a state employee or applicant for state employment for having made a protected disclosure, is subject to punishment for a misdemeanor, and shall be liable in an action for civil damages brought by the injured party. The act defines “employee” as a person appointed by the Governor or employed or holding office in a state agency, as specified.

This bill would include a person employed by the Supreme Court, a court of appeal, a superior court, or the Administrative Office of the Courts within the definition of “employee” for the purposes of the California Whistleblower Protection Act, except as specified. The bill would authorize an employee or applicant for employment with those judiciary entities who files a written complaint alleging actual or attempted acts of reprisal, retaliation, or similar prohibited acts for having made a protected disclosure, to also file a copy of the written complaint with the State Personnel Board, together with a sworn statement that the written complaint is true, under penalty of perjury. The bill would require the State Personnel Board to investigate any claim filed and make a recommendation regarding the alleged retaliation. The bill would provide that any person, except as specified, who intentionally engages in acts of reprisal, retaliation, or similar prohibited acts against an employee or applicant for employment with those judiciary entities for having made a protected disclosure, is subject to punishment for a misdemeanor, and shall be liable in an action for civil damages brought by the injured party. The bill also would prohibit an employee of those judiciary entities from using his or her official authority or influence in violation of these provisions, and would make that employee liable, except as specified, in an action for civil damages brought by the injured party.

AB 1814, Discrimination in employment — Existing law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), protects and safeguards the right and opportunity of all persons to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination or abridgment on account of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation. FEHA provides that it does not prohibit an employer from refusing to employ an individual because of his or her age if the law compels or provides for that refusal.

This bill would provide that FEHA does not prohibit an employer from providing health benefits or health care reimbursement plans to retired persons that are altered, reduced, or eliminated when the retiree becomes eligible for Medicare benefits.

AB 1514, Campaign contribution reporting — The Political Reform Act of 1974 provides for the comprehensive regulation of campaign financing, including requiring the filing of reports of contributions and expenditures. Among its provisions, the act requires a slate mailer organization, as defined, to file semiannual campaign statements for each 6-month period in which it has received or expended $500 or more for the production of a slate mailer.

This bill would require a slate mailer organization to file semiannual campaign statements for every 6-month period, irrespective of whether the organization received payments or made expenditures for that period.

Existing law makes a willful violation of the Political Reform Act of 1974 a misdemeanor and subjects offenders to criminal penalties.

This bill would impose a state-mandated local program by creating additional crimes.

AB 1651, Public employees’ furlough retirement credit — The Public Employees’ Retirement Law provides retirement benefits based upon a member’s final compensation and years of credited service. That law provides that members in the personal leave program shall receive credit for service that would have been credited had the employee not been in the personal leave program.

This bill would provide that the calculations for retirement allowances, under the Public Employees’ Retirement Law, for specified local safety members and persons who are employees of specified educational entities and who are subject to mandatory furloughs shall include, as credit for service and compensation, the amount of service and compensation that would have been credited and paid had the employee not been subject to mandatory furloughs on or after July 1, 2008, as specified.

AB 1668, Local government: city councils — (1) Existing law requires a city council to, within 30 days of a vacancy in an elective office, fill that vacancy by appointment or call a special election to fill the vacancy, as specified.

This bill would require the city council to, within 60 days of a vacancy in an elective office, fill that vacancy by appointment or call a special election to fill the vacancy, as specified.

(2) Existing law specifies the procedures for election of, and terms of office for, city council members and elective officers following an incorporation of a city.

This bill would revise the initial terms of office for city council members and elective officers following an incorporation of a city.

(3) Existing law specifies that any statutory reference to “councilman” or “councilmen” also means and includes “councilwoman” or “councilwomen.” Under existing law, the terms “councilman” or “councilmen” are used in various provisions, including, among others, the election of councilmen by or from districts, appointments made by councilmen, and service by councilmen on regional district boards. Existing law refers to the mayor as “he” or “him” with regard to attendance at meetings of a city selection committee.

This bill would revise those provisions to instead refer to “council member” and would refer to the mayor only as “the mayor.”

Health and Safety

AB 1641, Redevelopment of blighted areas — The Community Redevelopment Law authorizes the establishment of redevelopment agencies in communities in order to address the effects of blight, as defined, in those communities and requires those agencies to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and to approve a redevelopment plan for each area. The Legislature has found and declared that blighted areas may include housing areas constructed as temporary government-owned wartime housing projects, which may be characterized by one or more of the physical and economic conditions that cause blight. Existing law provides that a blighted area containing specified conditions may also be characterized by the existence of inadequate public improvements or inadequate water or sewer utilities.

This bill would provide that blighted areas may also be characterized by the existence of housing constructed as government-owned projects constructed prior to January 1, 1960. The bill would require a redevelopment agency undertaking activities and funding involving the described housing areas to comply with the Community Redevelopment Law, in addition to new project requirements relating to the inclusion of replacement dwelling units of all existing public housing. The bill would authorize a project in these areas to include the development of other housing, including privately owned housing units available to persons and families of low and moderate income and workforce market-rate housing units.

AB 1701, Hypodermic needles and syringes — Existing law regulates the sale, possession, and disposal of hypodermic needles and syringes. Under existing law, a prescription is generally required to purchase a hypodermic needle or syringe for human use, except to

administer adrenaline or insulin. Existing law, until December 31, 2010, authorizes a city or county to authorize a licensed pharmacist to sell or furnish 10 or fewer hypodermic needles or syringes to a person for human use without a prescription if the pharmacy is registered with a local health department in the Disease Prevention Demonstration Project. Existing law prohibits the possession and sale of drug paraphernalia, but until December 31, 2010, allows a person, if authorized by a city or county, to possess 10 or fewer hypodermic needles or syringes if acquired through an authorized source.

This bill would delete the December 31, 2010, end dates for these authorizations and would reestablish these authorizations until December 31, 2018.

AB 1773, Fire Marshal inspections and licensing — Existing law provides for the licensing by the State Fire Marshal of persons to engage in various activities relating to the sale or use of fireworks, and the servicing of portable fire extinguishers and automatic extinguisher systems.

This bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal or his or her designee to stay the suspension of a license or certificate of registration in specified instances on condition that its holder pay a specified monetary penalty and incur no other cause for disciplinary action, as specified. Those penalties would be deposited in the State Fire Marshal Licensing and Certification Fund. The bill would require the State Fire Marshal to make specified data relating to this bill available to the public.

AB 1863, Diesel generators at health facilities — (1) Existing law requires a health facility, as defined, to test its diesel-powered backup generators 12 times a year with testing intervals of not less than 20 days and not more than 40 days, and in accordance with specified test procedures. Violation of these requirements constitutes a crime. These requirements will be repealed on January 1, 2011.

This bill would extend this repeal date to January 1, 2016.

AB 1674, Hazardous substance storage tanks — (1) Existing law generally regulates the storage of hazardous substances in underground storage tanks, including imposing certain requirements on those underground storage tanks installed on or after July 1, 2003, and before July 1, 2004, or on or after July 1, 2004. Existing law exempts from the underground storage tank requirements an underground storage tank that meets all of the specified criteria, one of which is that the applicable local agency determines, without objection from the State Water Resources Control Board, that the underground storage tank meets or exceeds the requirements generally imposed on underground storage tanks under existing law.

This bill, with respect to the criteria that an underground storage tank is required to meet for an exemption, would delete the requirement that the board not object to the local agency’s determination. To qualify for the exemption, the bill also would provide that if the underground storage tank is installed on or after July 1, 2003, the local agency would be required to determine that the tank meets or exceeds the requirements for underground storage tanks installed after January 1, 1984, except for certain in lieu conditions for motor vehicle fuel tanks, and that any portion of a vent line, vapor recovery line, or fill pipe that is beneath the surface of the ground is subject to regulation as a pipe.

This bill would additionally exempt a tank if it is located in a below-grade structure and connected to an emergency generator tank system and meets specified conditions, from the requirements imposed upon underground storage tanks.

(2) The Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act defines terms for its purposes, including defining “tank facility” as one or more aboveground storage tanks, including any piping that is integral to the tanks, that contain petroleum and that are used by a single business entity at a single location or site.

This bill, instead, would define “tank facility” for those purposes as one of those tanks that is used by an owner or operator, rather than a single business entity, at a single location or site.

Elections

AB 1717, Electronic access to ballot materials — Existing law requires elections officials to provide a registered voter with a sample ballot, voter pamphlet, directions to the nearest polling place, and other ballot materials by mail within designated timeframes before a primary or general election.

This bill would authorize county and city elections officials, if specified conditions and deadlines are met, to establish procedures to allow a voter to opt out of receiving his or her sample ballot and other ballot materials by mail and instead obtain them via electronic means such as e-mail or accessing them from a county’s or city’s Internet Web site.

AB 1689 Democratic Party — Existing law, the Alquist Open Presidential Primary Act, specifies procedures for the selection of delegates and alternates to represent the state at the national convention of the Democratic Party to nominate a candidate or President of the United States. Under the act, participation in the delegate selection process is restricted to Democratic voters only who publicly declare their party preference as Democratic supporters and whose affidavits of registration declare the Democratic Party as their party affiliation. The delegates are required to be selected from each congressional district based on a specified formula.

This bill would generally require that the elements and practices to select delegates and alternates be the same as set forth in the standing rules and bylaws of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party of California. The bill would expand participation in the delegate selection process to a voter who declined to state a party affiliation but requested to vote the ballot of the Democratic Party at the partisan primary election and would, instead, require that the delegates and alternates be selected from districts based on a formula adopted by the Democratic Party of California in compliance with the standing rules and bylaws of the Democratic National Committee. The bill would also revise timeframes for certain procedures of the Secretary of State relating to presidential primary elections.

Labor

AB 1696, Death benefits payment duration — Existing law establishes a workers’ compensation system, administered by the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, that generally requires employers to secure the payment of workers’ compensation for injuries incurred by their employees that arise out of, and in the course of, employment. Existing law provides certain methods for determining workers’ compensation benefits payable to a worker or his or her dependents for purposes of temporary disability, permanent total disability, permanent partial disability, and in the case of death. Existing law provides that totally dependent minor children of a deceased worker shall receive death benefits until the youngest child attains 18 years of age, or until the death of a child physically or mentally incapacitated from earning, at a weekly rate of at least $224.

This bill would extend death benefits until the youngest child attains 19 years of age if the child is still attending high school and is receiving the benefits as a child of certain public employees killed in the performance of duty.

Public Contract

AB 1650 Public contracts: state and local contract eligibility: energy sector investment activities in Iran — Existing law sets forth the requirements for the solicitation and evaluation of bids and the awarding of contracts by public entities. The federal Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, which became Public Law 111-195 on July 1, 2010, authorizes a state or local government to adopt and enforce measures meeting certain requirements, to divest the assets of the state or local government from, or prohibit the investment of those assets in, any person that the state or local government, using credible information available to the public, determines to be engaged in investment activities in Iran. The federal act specifies that an investment includes the entry into, or renewal of, a contract for goods or services, and that such a measure is not preempted by any federal law or regulation.

Pursuant to this authority, this bill would prohibit a person that provides goods or services of $20,000,000 or more in the energy sector of Iran, as identified on a list created by the Department of General Services, or a financial institution that extends $20,000,000 or more in credit to such a person, from bidding on or entering into or renewing a contract for goods or services of $1,000,000 or more with a public entity, as specified.

This bill would, by June 1, 2011, require the Department of General Services to, using credible information available to the public, develop, or contract to develop, a list of persons it determines provide goods or services of $20,000,000 or more in the energy sector of Iran. This bill would, before a person is included on the list, require the Department of General Services to provide 90 days’ written notice of its intent to include the person on the list and to inform the person that inclusion on the list would make the person ineligible to bid on, submit a proposal for, or enter into or renew, a contract for goods and services of $1,000,000 or more with a public entity, and would require the department to provide the person with an opportunity to comment in writing that it is not engaged in investment activities in Iran.

This bill would require a prospective bidder for those contracts to certify that it is not identified on a list created by the Department of General Services, or a financial institution that extends $20,000,000 or more in credit to such a person, as provided, and would impose penalties, as specified, for a person that provides a false certification.

This bill would require a local public entity, or the Department of General Services in the case of state contracts, to provide a person with 90 days’ written notice and an opportunity to comment in writing before the penalties are imposed. The bill would allow a public entity, under specified conditions, to permit a person engaged in investment activities in Iran to be eligible for, to bid on, submit a proposal for, or enter into or renew, a contract for goods or services.

This bill would preempt any law, ordinance, rules, or regulation of any local public entity involving contracts for goods or services of $1,000,000 or more with a person engaged in investment activities in Iran.

Business and Professions

AB 1792, Horse racing license fee reduction — Existing law provides that, notwithstanding any other law and in lieu of any license fee payable to the state prescribed for or referred to in specified provisions of the Horse Racing Law, any association or fair that conducts a racing meeting shall pay its proportional amount, as determined by the formula devised by the California Horse Racing Board in consultation with the industry, as a license fee to the state to fund the board and the equine drug testing program, as provided. Existing law provides that the license fee reductions resulting from these provisions, after payments to fund the board and the equine drug testing program, shall be distributed as specified for thoroughbred racing, quarter horse racing, harness racing, and all other breeds. For quarter horse racing, 2.5% of the amount of the reduction is required to be deposited with the official registering agency and distributed as provided.

This bill would increase to 3% the amount of the reduction for quarter horse racing that is to be deposited with the official registering agency for distribution.

AB 1524, Dentistry examination requirements —The Dental Practice Act provides for the licensure and regulation of dentists and associated professions by the Dental Board of California within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law requires an applicant for a license to practice dentistry to complete various examinations, including the National Board Dental Examination, an examination in California law and ethics developed by the board, and a clinical and written examination administered either by the board or the Western Regional Examining Board. Existing law prescribes the maximum amount of fees to be charged for examination, licensure, and renewal, for deposit into the State Dentistry Fund.

This bill would abolish the clinical and written examination administered by the board. The bill would instead replace that examination with a portfolio examination of an applicant’s competence to enter the practice of dentistry, which would be conducted while the applicant is enrolled in a dental school program at a board-approved dental school. The bill would require this examination to utilize uniform standards of clinical experiences and competencies, as approved by the board. At the end of that dental school program, the bill would then require the passage of a final assessment of the applicant’s portfolio, subject to certification by his or her dean and payment of a $350 fee. Under the bill, the portfolio examination would not be conducted until the board adopts regulations to implement the portfolio examination. The bill would require the board to provide specified notice on its Internet Web site and to the Legislature and the Legislative Counsel when these regulations have been adopted by the board. The bill would require the board to oversee the portfolio examination and final assessment process, and would require the board to biennially review each dental school with regard to the standardization of the portfolio examination. The bill would also set forth specified examination standards.

The bill would also, as part of the ongoing implementation of the portfolio examination, require the board, by December 1, 2016, to review the examination to ensure compliance with certain requirements applicable to all board examinations under the department’s jurisdiction. The bill would provide that the examination shall cease to be an option for applicants if the board determines the examination fails to meet those requirements. The bill would require the board to submit its review and certification or determination to the Legislature and the department, by December 1, 2016.

AB 1762, Real estate — The Real Estate Law provides for the regulation and licensure of real estate brokers and salespersons by the Real Estate Commissioner. As used in the Real Estate Law, the term “advance fee” is defined as a fee, regardless of the form, that is claimed, demanded, charged, received, or collected by a licensee from a principal before fully completing each and every service the licensee contracted to perform, or represented would be performed, with certain exceptions.

This bill would redefine the term “advance fee” to mean a fee, regardless of the form, that is claimed, demanded, charged, received, or collected by a licensee for services requiring a license, or for a listing, as defined, before fully completing the service the licensee contracted to perform or represented would be performed, with certain exceptions. The bill would, in addition to the existing exceptions, also exempt from the definition of advance fee moneys claimed, demanded, charged, received, or collected for the purposes of advertising the sale, lease, or exchange of real property or a business opportunity in a newspaper, written publication, or other electronic media, as specified, or moneys earned for real estate services under a limited service contract, as defined, for stand-alone services. The bill would also exempt from that definition a contract between a real estate broker and a principal that requires payment of a commission to the broker after the contract is fully performed.

AB 1809, Home inspections: energy audits — Existing law provides that it is the duty of a home inspector, as defined, who is not licensed as a general contractor, structural pest control operator, or architect, or registered as a professional engineer, to conduct a home inspection, as defined, with the degree of care that a reasonably prudent home inspector would exercise. Existing law provides that a home inspection may include an inspection of energy efficiency, if requested by the client. Under existing law, a home inspection report is a written report consisting of specified information that is prepared for a fee and is issued after a home inspection.

Existing law requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Energy Commission) to establish specified standards related to a statewide home energy rating program for residential dwellings, known as the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Program.

This bill would authorize a home inspection to include, if requested by the client, a HERS home energy audit that meets the requirements of the HERS regulations established by the commission. The bill would declare the intent of the Legislature that a HERS audit may, at the request of the client, be performed by a home inspector who meets the requirements of the HERS regulations.

AB 1649, Alcoholic beverage licensees for winegrowers — The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act contains various provisions regulating the application for, the issuance of, the suspension of, and the conditions imposed upon, alcoholic beverage licenses by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Existing law authorizes a licensed winegrower to conduct specified activities, including authorizing a licensed winegrower to sell wine and brandy for consumption to consumers for on-premises consumption.

This bill would expand the authorized activities that a licensed winegrower may conduct to include the production of spirits of wine, provided those spirits of wine are either blended into wine produced by the winegrower, sold to an industrial alcohol dealer, or destroyed by the winegrower.

This bill would also make conforming changes with regard to a licensed winegrower’s authorization to sell wine and brandy for consumption to consumers on the licensed premises.

AB 1748, Alcoholic beverage control in public schoolhouses — Existing law generally prohibits the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages at a public schoolhouse or any grounds thereof. Existing law provides that this prohibition does not apply if the alcoholic beverage is possessed, consumed, or sold, pursuant to a license, for special events held at the facilities of a public community college located in a county of the 1st or 4th class.

This bill would expand the exception to this prohibition to include special events held at the facilities of a public community college located in a county of the 10th class.

AB 1746, Continuing education for architects — Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of persons engaged in the practice of architecture by the California Architects Board. Existing law requires a person licensed to practice architecture to complete, as a condition of license renewal, coursework regarding disability access requirements, as specified, to certify that completion, and to provide specified documentation to the board.

This bill would authorize the board to audit the records of a licensee, would, until January 1, 2015, require the board to audit at least 3% of the license renewals received each year to verify completion of the coursework, and would, commencing with the 2-year license renewal cycle beginning January 1, 2013, require a licensee to provide the specified documentation only upon that audit. The bill would exempt a licensee from these coursework requirements for the licensee’s first license renewal in certain circumstances. A licensee who provides false or misleading information relative to the completion of coursework would be subject to an administrative citation or disciplinary action by the board. The bill would require the board to submit, on or before January 1, 2019, a letter to the Legislature relating to these requirements.

Vehicle Code

AB 1648, Firefighter’s operation of firefighting equipment: driver records — (1) Existing law prohibits a person from operating firefighting equipment unless that person has in his or her possession a valid driver’s license for the appropriate class of vehicle operated. Existing law requires an applicant for a driver’s license to submit to an examination appropriate to the class of vehicle the applicant desires to drive. Class B vehicles include, among others, a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds. Successful completion of the examination to drive a class B vehicle qualifies the person to operate all vehicles covered under class C. Class C vehicles include, among others, a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less.

This bill would revise and recast the provisions regulating the operation of firefighting equipment, as defined, to permit certain persons employed as a firefighter or registered as a volunteer firefighter to operate firefighting equipment only if the person holds a class A, class B, or class C license, with certain exceptions, and a firefighter endorsement issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, after providing to the department proof of current employment or registration as a volunteer firefighter with a fire department and evidence of fire equipment operation training, as specified, passing the written firefighter examination developed by the department with the cooperation of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and submitting a report of medical examination on a department-approved form.

(2) Existing law requires an employer of a driver who drives a specified vehicle, including a vehicle for which the driver is required to have a class A or B license, to participate in a pull-notice system, for the purpose of providing the employer with a report that shows, among other things, the driver’s current public record as recorded by the department. Existing law requires a fee to accompany a request to participate in the pull-notice system. This bill would exempt a fire department, as described, from paying the requisite fee to participate in the pull-notice system.

The bill would make related changes.

Food and Agricultural

AB 1891, Sustainable agriculture research and education — Until January 1, 2010, existing law requested the Regents of the University of California to establish the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program to support competitive grants to promote more research and education on sustainable agricultural practices, and to support the giving of instructions and practical demonstrations in agriculture.

This bill would reestablish this program, except it would not require the regents to biennially report to the Legislature on the program.

Family

AB 1738, Domestic violence incident report — Existing law requires state and local law enforcement agencies to provide one copy of all domestic violence incident reports, one copy of all domestic violence incident report face sheets, or both, to a victim of domestic violence, upon request. Existing law also requires law enforcement agencies to provide those documents to a representative of the victim, as defined, if the victim is deceased. Existing law provides that any person requesting those documents is required to present his or her identification, as specified, and, if that person is a representative of the victim, a certified copy of the death certificate or other satisfactory evidence of the death of the victim.

This bill would require state and local law enforcement agencies to provide those documents to the victim’s representative when the victim is not deceased, subject to certain requirements. The bill would also revise the definition of “personal representative” to additionally include the victim’s attorney, members of the victim’s immediate family, and a conservator or guardian of the victim, as specified. By imposing additional duties on local officials, the bill would create a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.

Welfare and Institutions

AB 1758, County wraparound services program — Under existing law, the State Department of Social Services administers a pilot project that authorizes a county to develop and implement a plan for providing wraparound services designed to enable children who would otherwise be placed in a group home setting to remain in the least restrictive, most family like setting possible. The pilot project also imposes specified evaluation and reporting requirements for participating counties, and training requirements for staff in participating counties.

This bill would remove the designation of this program as a pilot project and make conforming changes.

Existing law provides for the Medi-Cal program, administered by the State Department of Health Care Services, under which eligible low-income persons are provided with health care services.

This bill would contain various provisions relating to eligibility of children for Medi-Cal benefits that are deemed to be declarative of existing law

Public Utilities Code

AB 1660, Emergency flights for medical purposes — Existing law exempts an emergency aircraft flight for medical purposes, as defined, by law enforcement, firefighting, military, or certain other persons, from local ordinances adopted by a city, county, or city and county, that restrict flight departures and arrivals to particular hours of the day or night, that restrict the departure or arrival of aircraft based upon the aircraft’s noise level, or that restrict the operation of certain types of aircraft.

This bill would also exempt from the above types of local ordinances the aircraft or equipment used during a medical emergency, or emergency personnel and first responders involved in treating the medical emergency, for purposes of returning to its base of operation. The bill would also make a clarifying change.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by: