WEATHER »

Paul Wellman

New Laws, Part III

Health Care in Jail; Foster Children in School; Medical Record Confidentiality


Here we continue with our third installment of new California laws that took effect January 1, 2011. Click here for Part I and here for Part II

Vehicle

AB 1952, Motorcycle instruction permit — Existing law prohibits a person from driving a two-wheel motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, motorized scooter, motorized bicycle, moped, or bicycle with an attached motor upon a highway, unless the person holds a valid driver’s license or endorsement for that class, with certain exceptions. Existing law allows a person, who is 15 years and 6 months or older who has a valid instruction permit to drive a motor vehicle and who has successfully completed automobile driver education and driver training, and a person who is 17 years and 6 months or older who has a valid instruction permit to drive a motor vehicle, to operate a motorcycle, motorized scooter, or motorized bicycle, with certain exceptions during hours of darkness, on freeways, and for carrying a passenger. Existing law provides that a person under 21 years of age may not be issued a class M1 or M2 license or endorsement to drive a motorcycle, unless he or she provides evidence satisfactory to the Department of Motor Vehicles of completion of a specified motorcycle safety training program.

The bill would require a person, depending on his or her age, to meet certain requirements to obtain an instruction permit prior to operating or being issued a class M1 or M2 driver’s license to operate a two-wheel motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, motorized scooter, motorized bicycle, moped, or bicycle with an attached motor. A person issued an instruction permit pursuant to procedures established under the bill would be restricted from operating those vehicles during hours of darkness, on freeways, and while carrying a passenger. The bill would provide that an instruction permit issued pursuant to these procedures would be valid for a period not exceeding 24 months from the date of application. Because, under existing law, a violation of the Vehicle Code is a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program by creating new crimes.

AB 1928, Commercial driver’s license suspension or revocation — Existing law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles, in the review of a determination that requires the department to immediately suspend the privilege of a person to operate a motor vehicle for any one of specified reasons, to sustain the order of suspension or revocation, or if the person is under 21 years of age and does not yet have a driver’s license, to delay issuance of that license for one year if it determines, by the preponderance of the evidence, all of specified facts, including, that the person was driving a motor vehicle with a certain amount of alcohol in his or her blood under any one of three specified circumstances. A violation of the Vehicle Code is a crime.

This bill would add to those specified circumstances (1) the person was driving a vehicle that requires a commercial driver’s license and the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood, or (2) the person was on probation for a violation of certain driving under the influence of alcohol or drug offenses and had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood, as measured by a preliminary alcohol screening test or other chemical test. By expanding the definition of a crime, the bill would impose 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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

AB 1942, Video recorder placement — Existing law prohibits any person, except as specified, from driving any motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied in or upon the vehicle that obstructs or reduces the driver’s clear view through the windshield or side windows. A violation of the Vehicle Code is a crime.

This bill would additionally exempt from these provisions a video event recorder, as defined, that has the capability of monitoring driver performance, which may be mounted in a 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver, in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver and outside of an airbag deployment zone, or in a 5-inch square mounted to the center uppermost portion of the interior of the windshield. The bill would also require, among other things, that a vehicle equipped with a video event recorder have a notice posted in a visible location which states that a passenger’s conversation may be recorded.

Because this bill would create a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require video event recorders to store no more than 30 seconds before and after a triggering event. If a person is driving for hire in a vehicle with a video event recorder, the bill would require the person’s employer to provide, upon request, unedited copies of the recording to the person, free of charge, and within five days of the request. 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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

AB 1908, Specialized license plates: Veterans’ organizations — Under existing law, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues environmental and other specialized license plates, including veterans’ organization license plates. Those license plates are required to have a distinctive design or decal. The issuance of those license plates is subject to additional fees, the revenue from which, less the DMV’s costs, is required to be deposited in the Veterans Service Office Fund, except that half of a specified additional fee is required to be deposited in the California Environmental License Plate Fund. Existing law requires money in the Veterans Service Office Fund to be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the Department of Veterans Affairs for allocation and disbursement to counties for the operation of county veterans service offices.

This bill would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to modify the distinctive design or decal for those veterans’ organization license plates. The bill would authorize those newly designed plates or decals to be issued only after all existing plates or decals have been issued. The bill also would delete the requirement that half of the specified additional fee be deposited in the California Environmental License Plate Fund, and, instead, would require all revenue from those additional fees, less the DMV’s costs, to be deposited in the Veterans Service Office Fund. The bill would require the DMV, by July 1, 2011, to maintain on its Internet Web site, a link to order online the veterans’ organization license plates.

AB 1944, Special license plates for disabled veterans — Under existing law, the Department of Motor Vehicles is required, upon application and without additional fees, to issue a special license plate or plates to a disabled person, a disabled veteran, or an organization or agency involved in the transportation of those persons pursuant to procedures adopted by the department. Existing law requires the department, prior to issuing a special license plate to a disabled person or disabled veteran, to require the submission of a certificate signed by a medical professional, as provided, that substantiates the disability of the person or veteran, in certain situations.

This bill, in addition, would require the department to accept, in lieu of the certificate signed by a medical professional, a certificate from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs that certifies the applicant is a disabled veteran.

Existing law authorizes a disabled person or veteran to apply to the department for the issuance of a distinguishing placard to be used in lieu of the special license plate. Existing law requires the department, prior to issuing the placard to a disabled person or disabled veteran, to require the submission of a certificate signed by a medical professional, as provided, that substantiates the disability of the person or veteran, in certain situations.

This bill, in addition, would require the department to accept, in lieu of the certificate signed by a medical professional, a certificate from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs that certifies the applicant is a disabled veteran.

Penal

AB 1985, Contract health care providers — Existing law authorizes the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to enter into contracts with providers of health-care services to provide health care services to inmates.

This bill would require the department, by January 1, 2011, to adopt industry standard claim forms for use by contract health care providers, to be able to accept electronic submissions of claims from contract health care providers, to perform periodic audits of claims paid to contract health care providers, and to provide remote electronic access to claim status information to contract health care providers. The bill would authorize the department to adopt policies and procedures for enabling electronic health care claims management and processing, and would exempt the adoption, amendment, and repeal of policies and procedures for this limited purpose from the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Education

AB 1933, Foster children — Existing law requires a local educational agency, at the initial detention or placement or any subsequent change in placement of a foster child, to allow the foster child to continue his or her education in the school of origin, as defined, for the duration of the school year.

This bill would instead require a local educational agency to allow the foster child to continue at the school of origin at the foster child’s initial detention, placement, or any subsequent change in placement for the duration of the jurisdiction of the court, and would require the local educational agency to allow the child to continue his or her education at that school of origin for the duration of the school year if the court’s jurisdiction is terminated prior to the end of the academic year. The bill would specify other requirements for a foster child’s placement in school when the foster child is transitioning between school grade levels, as specified.

AB 1901, Postsecondary education: Master Plan for Higher Education — Existing law, known as the Donahoe Higher Education Act, sets forth, among other things, the missions and functions of California’s public and independent segments of higher education, and their respective institutions of higher education, in the context of the goals of the Master Plan for Higher Education in California. Among other things, the act expresses legislative intent to outline in statute the broad policy and programmatic goals of the master plan and to expect the higher education segments to be accountable for attaining those goals. The act also expresses legislative intent that the governing boards be given ample discretion in implementing policies and programs necessary to attain those goals.

This bill would reference the report of the Joint Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in the Donahoe Higher Education Act. The bill would also add to the act legislative intent that the master plan review committees be used to guide higher education policy. The bill would further add to the act legislative intent to outline in statute clear, concise statewide goals and outcomes for effective implementation of the master plan, attuned to the public interest of the people and state.

Government

AB 1894, Judges: disqualification — Existing law authorizes a party or attorney in an action or proceeding to move to disqualify a judge, court commissioner, or referee for prejudice against a party or attorney or the interest of a party or attorney, as specified. Prejudice may be established by an oral or written motion without notice supported by affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury, or an oral statement under oath, that the judge, court commissioner, or referee is prejudiced against a party or attorney, or the interest of the party or attorney, so that the party or attorney cannot, or believes that he or she cannot, have a fair and impartial trial or hearing. Existing law specifies the period during which the motion is required to be made for specified trials and hearings, including, for the trial of a cause that has been assigned to a judge for all purposes, the motion shall be made to the assigned judge or to the presiding judge by a party within 10 days after notice of the all purpose assignment, or if the party has not yet appeared in the action, then within 10 days after the appearance.

This bill would extend the time period for making the motion in the trial of a civil cause that has been assigned to a judge for all purposes from the 10-day period described above to a 15-day period. The bill would require a party to a civil action making a motion pursuant to these provisions to serve notice on all parties no later than five days after making the motion. The bill would make other technical and conforming changes.

AB 1926, Court records: preservation guidelines — Existing law provides that court records may be preserved in any form, including electronic forms, as specified.

This bill would additionally authorize courts to create and maintain records in electronic forms, as specified, and would authorize the signing or verification of trial court documents using a computer or other technology.

Existing law requires that court records be preserved in accordance with standards or guidelines adopted by the American National Standards Institute or the Association for Information and Image Management.

This bill would delete these provisions and would instead require the Judicial Council to adopt rules to establish the standards and guidelines for the creation, maintenance, reproduction, and preservation of court records, and would require that these standards and guidelines reflect industry standards for each medium used, ensure the accuracy and preserve the integrity of the records, and ensure that the public can access and reproduce the records. The bill would further require that court records be preserved in accordance with these rules.

Under existing law, “retain permanently” means that the original court record shall never be transferred or destroyed.

This bill would revise this definition to mean that the record shall be maintained in accordance with the rules established by the Judicial Council.

AB 1965, Lot line adjustments contracts — The Williamson Act, until January 1, 2011, authorizes a city or county and a landowner to agree to rescind a contract or contracts and simultaneously enter into a new contract or contracts to facilitate lot line adjustments. The act requires the Department of Conservation to review the contract rescission provision in its 2008 Williamson Act Status Report.

This bill would extend the repeal date of the contract rescission provision to January 1, 2013. This bill would require that an application to rescind a contract for lot line adjustments be processed to its completion if it is submitted before January 1, 2013. This bill would delete the requirement for the department to review the contract rescission provision in its 2008 report.

AB 2048, School facilities — Existing law prohibits a city or county from issuing a building permit for any construction absent certification from the appropriate school district that any fee, charge, dedication, or other requirement levied by the governing board of that school district has been complied with, as specified.

This bill would additionally prohibit the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development from issuing a building permit for any construction absent certification from the appropriate school district that any fee, charge, dedication, or other requirement levied by the governing board of that school district has been complied with, as specified.

Existing law requires the building department of the city or county issuing the building permit to make the determination of the chargeable covered and enclosed space within the perimeter of a commercial or industrial structure, in accordance with the building standards of that city or county.

This bill would, for any commercial or industrial construction under the jurisdiction of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, require the architect of record to determine the chargeable covered and enclosed space within the perimeter of a commercial or industrial structure.

Unemployment Insurance

AB 2055, Benefits eligibility: domestic partners — Existing law provides for the payment of unemployment compensation benefits to eligible individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Existing law specifies that an individual is disqualified from receiving benefits if the Director of Employment Development finds that he or she left his or her most recent work voluntarily without cause or that he or she has been discharged for misconduct connected with his or her most recent work. Under existing law, an individual may be deemed to have left his or her most recent work with good cause if he or she leaves employment to accompany his or her spouse or domestic partner to a place from which it is impracticable to commute to the employment, and specifies that, for purposes of those provisions, “spouse” includes a person to whom marriage is imminent. Existing law authorizes any employer who is entitled to receive specified notice of an unemployment claim to, within 10 days after mailing of the notice, submit to the Employment Development Department specified facts disclosing whether the claimant for benefits left the employer’s employ voluntarily and with good cause under certain circumstances. Existing law provides that if a claimant left under specified circumstances, including, among others, if he or she left the employer’s employ to accompany his or her spouse or domestic partner to a place from which it is impracticable to commute to the employment, the benefits paid to the claimant are not charged to the employer’s reserve account, as specified.

This bill would specify that, for purposes of those provisions governing eligibility for benefits and employer’s reserve accounts, “domestic partner” also includes a person to whom domestic partnership, as described, is imminent. Because the bill would provide for additional amounts payable for unemployment benefits from the Unemployment Fund, a continuously appropriated fund, the bill would make an appropriation.

AB 2058, Retraining benefits — Existing law provides unemployment compensation benefits to eligible persons who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Existing law, until January 1, 2015, provides for retraining benefits to eligible individuals pursuant to the federal Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the federal Trade Act of 2002. Existing law authorizes an unemployed individual who files a claim for unemployment compensation benefits or extended duration benefits, or an application for federal-state extended benefits or any federally funded unemployment compensation benefits, to apply to the Employment Development Department for benefits during a period of training or retraining. Existing law also requires that a determination of potential eligibility for specified training and retraining benefits be issued to an unemployed individual if the Director of Employment Development finds that specified conditions apply.

This bill would establish the California Training Benefits Program, which, among other things, would revise those eligibility requirements to, instead, specify that an unemployed individual who qualifies for unemployment compensation benefits, extended duration benefits, or federal-state extended benefits or any federally funded unemployment compensation benefits, and applies for the program shall be deemed to automatically be eligible for the program during a period of training or retraining.

Existing law requires that a determination of potential eligibility for training or retraining benefits be issued to an unemployed individual if the director makes a specified finding.

This bill would, instead, require that a determination of automatic eligibility for training or retraining be issued to an unemployed individual if any of specified conditions apply. The bill would also require that, if training or retraining is not authorized under those provisions governing automatic eligibility for those benefits, a determination of potential eligibility for benefits be issued to the unemployed individual if the director finds that specified criteria apply.

Existing law requires the department to inform all individuals who claim unemployment compensation benefits in this state of the benefits potentially available, and permits the department to convey this information verbally or in written form, as provided.

This bill would, instead, require the department to convey that information verbally, in written form, or online, and would require that the information be made available on the department’s Internet Web site in close proximity to information on unemployment compensation claim forms. This bill would provide that these changes are effective on January 1, 2011, unless the department determines that implementation by that date is not feasible, in which case it would require the department to implement the changes no later than July 1, 2011. Because the bill would make various changes to existing eligibility requirements for training and retraining benefits, which would result in additional amounts being payable from the Unemployment Fund for those benefits, the bill would make an appropriation.

Health and Safety

AB 1930, Hazardous waste: glass beads — Existing law, part of the hazardous waste control law, requires the Department of Toxic Substances Control to adopt regulations to establish a process by which chemicals or chemical ingredients in products may be identified and prioritized for consideration as being chemicals of concern and to adopt regulations to establish a process by which chemicals of concern may be evaluated. The department is prohibited from duplicating or adopting conflicting regulations for regulated product categories. A violation of the hazardous waste control law is a crime.

This bill would prohibit a person from manufacturing, selling, offering for sale, or offering for promotional purposes in this state, glass beads that contain more than a specified amount of arsenic or lead, if those glass beads will be used with certain types of blasting equipment. The bill would require each container or bag of glass beads sold for surface preparation to be labeled in a specified manner. The bill would prohibit these glass beads from being considered as a product category subject to those chemicals of concern regulations. The bill would repeal these prohibitions and requirements on January 1, 2015.

AB 1931, Injury prevention — Existing law, the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999, establishes the Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund, continuously appropriated to the University of California, for the purpose of awarding grants to perform spinal cord injury research projects. The fund consists of moneys from private entities, as specified, as well as public moneys transferred to the fund. Existing law, with the approval of the Regents of the University of California, also creates a Spinal Cord Injury Research Program in the University of California to promote spinal cord injury research in California. The program and the fund are repealed as of January 1, 2011.

This bill would eliminate the Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund, and instead permit the University of California to establish a spinal cord injury research fund, independent of the State Treasury, to accept public and private funds for spinal cord injury research programs and grants, as prescribed. It would delete the repeal date of provisions relating to the Spinal Cord Injury Research Program thus indefinitely extending the duration of those provisions.

AB 1963, Pesticide poisoning — Existing law establishes standards for the handling and use of pesticides and for determining the hazards posed by pesticides to worker safety. Existing law imposes various reporting requirements on physicians and local health officers when there are known or suspected instances of pesticide poisoning. Under existing law, worker reentry into areas treated by pesticides determined to be hazardous to worker safety may be restricted by whether pesticide residue levels on treated plants are determined by scientific analysis not to be a significant factor in cholinesterase depression or other health effects.

This bill would require any laboratory that performs cholinesterase testing on human blood for an employer to enable the employer to satisfy his or her responsibilities for medical supervision of his or her employees who regularly handle pesticides pursuant to specified regulations or to respond to alleged exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors or known exposure to the inhibitors that resulted in illness to electronically report specified information in its possession on every person tested to the Department of Pesticide Regulation, which would be required to share the information in an electronic format with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and the State Department of Public Health on an ongoing basis, as specified.

This bill would require the OEHHA to review the cholinesterase test results. This bill would require, by December 31, 2015, the Department of Pesticide Regulation and the OEHHA, in consultation with the State Department of Public Health, to prepare a report, as specified, and to post that report on their Internet Web sites. This bill would repeal its provisions on January 1, 2017.

AB 2001, Building standards regulation — Under existing law, the California Building Standards Law, the California Building Standards Commission is required to approve any building standard proposed by other agencies, as specified. Existing law transfers the responsibilities of certain agencies to adopt regulations relating to building standards to the commission.

This bill would, except as specified, transfer the responsibilities of the State Department of Public Health to adopt regulations relating to building standards to the commission.

AB 2021, Designated Campus Fire Marshal — Existing law requires the State Fire Marshal, the chief fire official of any city, county, or fire protection district and their authorized representatives to enforce regulations and building standards relating to fire and panic safety published in the California Building Standards Code in all state-owned buildings, state-occupied buildings, and state institutions throughout the state, as specified.

The bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to enforce the building standards and other regulations of the State Fire Marshal on all University of California campuses and properties administered or occupied by the University of California. The bill would authorize the State Fire Marshal to delegate that authority to the person of his or her choice for each university campus or property who would be known as the Designated Campus Fire Marshal. This bill would require any Designated Campus Fire Marshal to enforce those regulations and building standards relating to fire and panic safety, as specified.

Existing law authorizes the State Fire Marshal to authorize the chief fire official of any city, county, or fire protection district and his or her authorized representatives, in their geographical area of responsibility, to make fire prevention inspections of state-owned or state-occupied buildings, as specified, upon written request of that chief fire official.

This bill would extend the authority to make those written requests and perform those inspections to a Designated Campus Fire Marshal. This bill would also make other technical and conforming changes.

Business and Professions

AB 1896, Alcoholic beverage control: proof of age — The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act makes it a misdemeanor for any person under the age of 21 years to purchase any alcoholic beverage or consume any alcoholic beverage in any on-sale premises. The act also subjects a holder of a license to sell alcoholic beverages to criminal prosecution and suspension or revocation of that license if the licensee sells any alcoholic beverages to any person under the age of 21 years. Existing law provides that a licensee’s acceptance of bona fide evidence, as defined, constitutes a defense to any action against the licensee. Existing law requires that evidence to contain a description of the person. Existing law includes, as bona fide evidence of age, a military identification card issued to a member of the Armed Forces that contains, among other things, a description of the cardholder. Existing law also provides, however, that, if the military identification card lacks a physical description but does include date of birth and a photo, further proof of age is not required.

This bill would revise the provision relating to the use of military identification cards as proof of age for purposes of purchasing or consuming alcoholic beverages, to directly specify that a valid identification card issued to a member of the Armed Forces that includes the date of birth and a photo of the person would, under all circumstances, constitute bona fide evidence of age.

AB 1999, Underage drinkers: immunity from prosecution — The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act provides that any person under the age of 21 years who purchases any alcoholic beverage, who consumes any such beverage in any on-sale premises, or who possesses any such beverage on any street or highway or in any public place open to the public is guilty of a misdemeanor. Existing law also provides that any person under the age of 21 years who attempts to purchase any alcoholic beverage from a licensee, or the licensee’s agent or employee, is guilty of an infraction.

This bill would grant limited immunity from criminal prosecution for any person under the age of 21 years who is subject to prosecution under the above-described provisions where the person under the age of 21 years called 911 and reported that either himself or herself or another person was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption and conformed to other specified requirements.

Fish and Game

AB 1929, Invasive aquatic species: mussels — Existing law, until January 1, 2012, generally prohibits a person from possessing, importing, shipping, or transporting in the state, or from placing, planting, or causing to be placed or planted in any water within the state, dreissenid mussels, and authorizes the Director of Fish and Game or his or her designee to engage in various enforcement activities. Existing law exempts a public or private agency that operates a water supply system from those enforcement activities, if the operator of the facilities has prepared and implemented a prescribed plan to control or eradicate dreissenid mussels. Existing law provides that a person who violates or resists, delays, obstructs, or interferes with the implementation of these provisions is subject to a penalty, in an amount not to exceed $1,000, that is imposed administratively by the department.

This bill would provide that an operator of water delivery and storage facilities, who has prepared, initiated, and is in compliance with a plan to control and eradicate dreissenid mussels in accordance with the above existing provisions of law, would not be subject to any civil or criminal liability for the introduction of dreissenid mussel species as a result of operations of those facilities. The bill would provide that neither the director’s enforcement activities, nor the prohibition on a person possessing, importing, shipping, or transporting dreissenid mussels in the state would apply to an operator who has prepared, initiated, and is in compliance with a plan to control and eradicate dreissenid mussels, unless the department had required the operator to update its plan and the operator failed to do so.

AB 1995, Automated License Data System — Existing law generally prohibits a person from obtaining more than one license, permit, reservation, or other entitlement of the same class, or more than the number of tags authorized by statute or regulation for the same license year, but provides for multiple entitlements under specified circumstances, including a replacement in case of the loss or destruction of an unexpired entitlement as certified by the applicant’s signed affidavit and proof, as determined by the department, that the original license, tag, permit, reservation, or other entitlement was issued, and payment of a base fee of $5, adjusted annually pursuant to a specified index.

This bill would exempt entitlements issued through the Automated License Data System from those provisions, and, instead, for those entitlements, would generally prohibit a person from obtaining more than one entitlement of the same class, or more than the number of tags authorized by statute or regulation for the same license year, but would provide for multiple entitlements under specified circumstances, including the replacement of the entitlements in case of the loss or destruction of an unexpired entitlement as certified by the applicant’s signed affidavit and proof, as determined by the department, that the original entitlement was issued, and payment of a $5 base fee, or in case of the loss or destruction of a stamp or endorsement imprinted on a base license and payment of a base fee of $3 for each stamp or endorsement replaced on any base license document. Those fees would be adjusted annually pursuant to the specified index, based on license years established in the bill, not to exceed the fee for the original entitlement.

Food and Agricultural

AB 1910, Repasteurized milk — Existing law prohibits repasteurized milk to be sold as market milk.

This bill would instead authorize repasteurized milk to be reprocessed and sold as “Grade A” product under certain specified conditions and restrictions. The bill would permit the Secretary of Food and Agriculture, upon request, to authorize reprocessing of packaged milk and milk products provided certain requirements are complied with.

Existing law confers upon the Secretary of Food and Agriculture the ability to establish and administer the Milk Producers Security Trust Fund to protect milk producers against loss of payment for bulk milk transferred to handlers. Existing law authorizes the secretary to determine if future shipments to a handler are not eligible for coverage, subject to specific criteria.

This bill would provide that future shipments to a handler are automatically not eligible once that handler satisfies specific criteria already in existing law.

Existing law authorizes the secretary to pay money from the Milk Producers Security Trust Fund to the pool equalization fund to cover the amount that a handler defaults in payments to the pool equalization fund if, after consultation with the Milk Producers Security Trust Fund Board, the secretary determines that additional efforts will not result in collection of the amount due.

This bill would require the secretary to first exhaust all administrative and legal remedies within his or her authority against the defaulting handler, and execute all judgments resulting from those remedies, prior to recommending to the board this payment from the Milk Producers Security Trust Fund.

Election

AB 2023, Election results — Existing law requires that, after an election, each county conduct an official canvass of the ballots cast in the election and report the final results to the relevant governing board and the Secretary of State.

This bill would authorize the Secretary of State to establish a postcanvass risk-limiting audit pilot program in five or more voluntarily participating counties for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of election results. Under the program, a participating county would conduct an audit of one or more contests in each election after the tabulation of the unofficial final results, as defined, or after completion of the official canvass for the election. The bill would require that the audit be conducted in public view and by manual tally, and would further require the Secretary of State to report to the Legislature on or before March 1, 2012, on the effectiveness and efficiency of these audits.

Public Resources

AB 1962, Parks and open space: irrevocable offers of dedication — Existing law authorizes a regional park district, regional park and open-space district, or regional open-space district to plan, adopt, lay out, plant, develop, and otherwise improve, extend, control, operate, and maintain a system of public parks, playgrounds, golf courses, beaches, trails, natural areas, ecological and open-space preserves, parkways, scenic drives, boulevards, and other facilities for public recreation, for the use and enjoyment of the inhabitants of the district, and to select, designate, and acquire land, or rights in land, within or without the district, to be used and appropriated for those purposes.

This bill would authorize an irrevocable offer of dedication of an interest in real property for any of those uses and purposes to be made to such a district, with the consent of the board of directors of the district. The bill would require the offer of dedication to be executed, acknowledged, and recorded in the same manner as a conveyance of real property, and would provide that, when recorded in the office of the county recorder, the offer of dedication is irrevocable and may be accepted at any time by the board of directors of the district. The bill would authorize the board of the directors of the district to terminate the offer of dedication and abandon the right to accept the offer, if two specified findings are made.

AB 2028, Confidentiality of medical information disclosure — Existing law specifies certain agencies to which mandated reports of suspected child abuse or neglect shall be made. Existing law authorizes information relevant to the incident of child abuse or neglect to be given to an investigator from an agency that is investigating the case, as provided. Existing law also authorizes information relevant to the incident of elder or dependent adult abuse to be given to an investigator from an agency investigating the case, as provided. Existing law, the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, prohibits a health care provider, a contractor, or a health care service plan from disclosing medical information, as defined, regarding a patient of the provider or an enrollee or subscriber of the health care service plan without first obtaining an authorization, except as specified. Existing law makes a violation of the act that results in economic loss or personal injury to a patient a misdemeanor.

This bill would authorize a health care provider or a health care service plan to disclose information relevant to the incident of child abuse or neglect, or to the incident of elder or dependent adult abuse, that may be given to an investigator from an agency investigating the case, including the investigation report and other pertinent materials that may be given to the licensing agency. By changing the definition of a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Existing law prohibits providers of health care, health care service plans, and contractors from releasing medical information to persons authorized by law to receive that information if the information specifically relates to a patient’s participation in outpatient treatment with a psychotherapist, unless the requester of the information submits a specified written request for the information to the patient and to the provider of health care, health care service plan, or contractor. However, existing law excepts from those provisions specified disclosures that are made for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of a patient or that are made to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a reasonably foreseeable victim or victims.

This bill would also except from these provisions disclosures that are specifically authorized by law, including, but not limited to disclosures made to the federal Food and Drug Administration of adverse events related to drug products or medical devices or disclosures that authorize a health care provider or a health care service plan to disclose information relevant to the incident of child abuse or neglect, or to the incident of elder or dependent adult abuse, in the report that may be given to an investigator from an agency investigating the case or by a mandated reporter, as provided. 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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Public Contract

AB 2031, State acquisition of new Vehicles —– Existing law imposes various requirements and prohibitions on state agency contracts for goods. Among these requirements is a requirement that the contractor certify that it has not provided goods under the contract that were produced under specified prohibited labor conditions, and that the contractor has complied with specified provisions of law.

This bill would prohibit the Department of General Services from approving a vehicle acquisition request, vehicle purchase order, or new contract for the purchase of new vehicles that would result in the expenditure of funds unless the secretary or director of an agency or a department, respectively, that has requested the acquisition of the new vehicles makes a certification, as specified, verifying that the purchase is vital and mission critical for the agency or department.

AB 2036, Contract document Distribution — Existing law, the State Contract Act and the Local Agency Public Construction Act, sets forth the procedures pursuant to which state and local agencies may solicit and evaluate bids or proposals for, and award, contracts for the construction of public works. The State Contract Act requires a department, as defined, to comply with its provisions.

This bill would require a state department and a local agency, upon request from a contractor plan service, to provide an electronic copy of a project’s contract documents to the contractor plan room at no charge. 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.

Public Utilities

AB 1954, Electrical transmission: renewable energy resources — Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations, as defined. Existing law, the Public Utilities Act, prohibits any electrical corporation from beginning the construction of, among other things, a line, plant, or system, or of any extension

thereof, without having first obtained from the CPUC a certificate that the present or future public convenience and necessity require or will require that construction (certificate of public convenience and necessity). Existing law requires the CPUC, in acting upon an application by an electrical corporation for a certificate of public convenience and necessity, to deem new transmission facilities necessary to the provision of electric service if the CPUC finds that new transmission facilities are necessary to facilitate achievement of the renewable power goals established under the renewables portfolio standard. That law additionally requires the CPUC, upon finding that new transmission facilities are necessary to facilitate achievement of the renewable power goals established under the renewables portfolio standard, to take all feasible actions to ensure that the transmission rates established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are fully reflected in any retail rates established by the commission.

This bill would provide that an application by an electrical corporation for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for new transmission facilities is necessary to the provision of electric service if the CPUC finds that the new transmission facility is necessary to facilitate achievement of the renewables portfolio standard. The bill would authorize the CPUC to approve the recovery

in retail rates by an electrical corporation of certain costs for transmission facilities that are incurred in certain circumstances if not approved for recovery in transmission rates by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This bill would revise and recast certain of the definitions applicable to the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program, and would revise certain requirements applicable to the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission for certifying when an eligible renewable energy resource may earn a renewable energy credit.

AB 2037, Electricity: air pollution — Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations, as defined. The existing Public Utilities Act requires the PUC to review and approve, modify, or reject a procurement plan for each electrical corporation in accordance with specified elements, incentive mechanisms, and objectives. Existing law prohibits any load-serving entity, and any local publicly owned electric utility, from entering into a long-term financial commitment for baseload generation, unless that baseload generation complies with a greenhouse gases emission performance standard. Existing law requires the PUC, by February 1, 2007, through a rulemaking proceeding and in consultation with the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Energy Commission) and the State Air Resources Board (state board), to establish a greenhouse gases emission performance standard for all baseload generation of load-serving entities. Existing law requires the Energy Commission, by June 30, 2007, at a duly noticed public hearing and in consultation with the PUC and the state board, to establish a greenhouse gases emission performance standard for all baseload generation of local publicly owned electric utilities, as defined.

This bill would prohibit a load-serving entity or local publicly owned electric utility from entering into, and would prohibit the PUC from approving for an electrical corporation, a long-term financial commitment with or for a new electrical generation facility constructed in California, or in a shared pollution area, as defined, that does not meet specified air pollution criteria.

Revenue and Taxation

AB 1983, Personal income taxes: voluntary contributions: Safely Surrendered Baby Fund — Existing law relating to the administration of personal income taxes authorizes individual taxpayers to contribute amounts in excess of their tax liability for the support of specified funds or accounts.

This bill would allow individual taxpayers to designate on their tax returns, that a specified amount in excess of their tax liability be transferred to the Safely Surrendered Baby Fund, which would be created by this bill. This bill would provide that all moneys contributed to the fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, be allocated to the Franchise Tax Board and the Controller for reimbursement of costs, as provided, and to the State Department of Social Services for programs to increase public awareness and outreach regarding the Safely Surrendered Baby Law, as specified.

This bill would provide that these voluntary contribution provisions are repealed on either January 1 of the 5th taxable year following the taxable year the fund first appears on the personal income tax return or on January 1 of an earlier calendar year, if the Franchise Tax Board estimates that the annual contribution amount will be less than $250,000, or an adjusted amount, as specified, for subsequent taxable years.



event calendar sponsored by: