Introduction to 2003 Digest of Legislation
In November 2002, the Legislative Analyst’s Office and the State Department of Finance estimated a General Fund shortfall of $21 billion in fiscal years 2002-03 and 2003-04, which increased to $38 billion prior to adoption of the 2003-04 State Budget. In November 2002 the Governor called a Special Session of the Legislature for December 9, 2002 in order to take steps to make reductions and find savings in the current budget and the 2003-04 State Budget.
In March 2003, the Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, a package of bills providing $3.3 billion in budget reductions and $24 million in savings as a first step in reducing the shortfall. These bills included SB 18X (Chesbro), SB 19X (Chesbro), AB 10X (Oropeza), and AB 11X (Oropeza).
Between passage of the above bills and the first of May, ongoing negotiations to fix the shortfall continued between the Governor’s administration and the Democratic and Republican leadership of both houses of the Legislature. Another legislative package that provided an additional $3.6 billion in savings resulting from these negotiations included SB 20X (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) ensuring teacher retirement benefits, SB 24X (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) reducing funding in various social service programs, SB 25X (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) repealing various reporting requirements, SB 26X (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) providing reductions in various health programs, SB 28X (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) containing numerous cost-savings measures in education programs, and SB 29X (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) enacting the California Pension Obligation Financing Act.
Budget negotiations between the Governor and the Senate and Assembly Republicans became stalled on the issue of whether increased taxes were necessary to overcome the General Fund shortfall. Both parties in the Legislature devised their own budget plans but were unsuccessful in meeting the June 15th submittal deadline to the Governor. It was not until July 29, 2003 that the Legislature passed AB 1765 (Assembly Budget Committee), the 2003-04 State Budget. The Senate became the prime mover in breaking the impasse, crafting a comprehensive plan that addressed the shortfall containing a combination of program savings, borrowing, new revenue, funding shifts, and deferrals.
Budget savings were achieved through reductions in K-12 and higher education, criminal justice, Medi-Cal provider rates, employee compensation, suspension of the cost-of-living adjustments for Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Program, and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids grants. Some reductions in higher education, trial courts, and resources were offset by increased fees.
The principal borrowing source for the deficit came from a $10.7 billion deficit-financing bond, proceeds of which are to be used to eliminate the 2002-03 year-end deficit. Repayment of the bond is to be realized from existing resources, and to be accomplished through a multistage shift of local sales and property taxes. Other budgetary borrowing included issuance of pension obligation bonds and sale of a second tobacco securitization bond.
The budget relies on $2.2 billion in new federal funds to cover state costs in 2002-03 and 2003-04 combined. Almost one-half of the total is to be used to offset Medi-Cal costs and the remainder covers other program spending. These funds are not anticipated to be available in 2005-05 and beyond.
Finally, the budget incorporates new revenues from the triggered vehicle license fee rate increase and renegotiated tribal gaming compacts.
The budget, as passed by the Legislature, provided for a total spending program of $98.9 billion. Of this amount, $70.8 billion came from the General Fund, $20.5 billion from special funds, and $7.5 billion from bond funds. The Governor item-vetoed approximately $1 million from the budget. Budget trailer bills signed into law include the following:
SB 1040 (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee): Education Finance
SB 1045 (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee): Redevelopment Funds
SB 1049 (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee): Resources
SB 1055 (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee): Vehicle Fees
SB 1058 (Torlakson): Special Education
AB 296 (Oropeza): State & Local Govt.
AB 1266 (Oropeza): Education
AB 1747 (Assembly Budget Committee): Public Resources
AB 1754 (Assembly Budget Committee): Education Finance
AB 1756 (Assembly Budget Committee): General Government
AB 1757 (Assembly Budget Committee): Abolish State Agencies
AB 1758 (Assembly Budget Committee): Corrections
AB 1759 (Assembly Budget Committee): Trial Courts
AB 1762 (Assembly Budget Committee): Health Programs
AB 1763 (Assembly Budget Committee): Local Government
AB 1768 (Assembly Budget Committee): Vehicle License Fee
AB 7X (Assembly Budget Committee): Fiscal Recovery
Note: For further details concerning specifics of the State Budget refer to the Office of Legislative Analyst and California Department of Finance web sites.
In 1913 the State Workers’ Compensation system was implemented which entitles workers compensation for illness or injury arising out of and in the course of work duties, regardless of blame which might otherwise be placed on the employer or employee. Over the years the system has been overhauled to address rate, litigation, and medical issues. In the last few years, workers’ compensation rates have doubled, and in some cases, tripled.
The Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, the following legislation addressing various cost savings to improve the workers’ compensation system: SB 228 (Alarcon), SB 1007 (Speier), AB 227 (Vargas), and AB 1557 (Vargas).
SB 228 makes reforms to the program by limiting the number of chiropractic and physical therapy visits, implementing utilization guidelines for services, creating a new outpatient facility fee schedule, and repealing the treater’s presumption of correctness for medical treatment, except when the employee has pre-designated his/her physician. AB 227 repeals vocation rehabilitation benefits and implements a new supplemental job displacement benefit for injuries, provides for 100 percent user funding for the Division of Workers’ Compensation, increases the maximum fine for fraud, and authorizes the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank to issue up to $1.5 billion worth of bonds to generate funds to ensure continued solvency of the California Insurance Guarantee Association.
One of the major issues before the Legislature this year was expanding access to health coverage to more Californians. Various approaches discussed included universal health insurance, a single-payer system, and employee sponsored health insurance. The Legislature and the Governor enacted SB 2 (Burton and Speier) providing health coverage to specified individuals (and in some cases their dependents) who do not receive job-based coverage and who work for large and medium employers. It places a fee on employers and makes available a credit against that fee for employers who provide coverage.
Additionally, AB 1528 (Cohn) was enacted requiring the Governor to convene the California Health Care Quality Improvement and Cost Containment Commission to research and recommend strategies for promoting high quality care and containment of health care costs.
Other major Senate health care legislation enacted into law included: SB 24 (Ortiz) the Prenatal Gateway and the Newborn Hospital Gateway to simplify enrollment of prenatal women and certain newborn infants into the Medi-Cal program; SB 36 (Chesbro) requires the State Department of Health Services (DHS) to implement specified Medi-Cal payment methodologies in federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics; SB 71 ( Kuehl) establishes the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Preventative Education Act; SB 112 (Speier) transfers the responsibility for establishing the California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry from the California and Human Services Agency to a not-for-profit organization, known as the California Organ and Tissue Donation Registrar, which establishes and maintains the registry; SB 130 (Chesbro) prohibits various health facilities from using certain restraint techniques known to increase the risk of clinical injury or death; SB 139 (Brulte) expands the Safe Haven Law for abandoned babies to be surrendered at “safe-surrender” sites instead of hospital emergency rooms or other designated locations; SB 175 (Kuehl) requires the State Board of Pharmacy to be the regulatory entity for all human and animal prescription drugs and devices; SB 200 (Murray) prohibits long-term care insurers from using genetic testing to determine insurability or for underwriting purposes; SB 211 (Dunn) provides specific criteria for residential care facility admission agreements and provides consumer protection and disclosures for residents; SB 244 (Speier) enhances continuity of care laws under which a health plan is required, under certain circumstances, to allow an enrollee to continue to see a health care provider who is no longer contracting with the plan; SB 292 (Speier) requires prescription labels to include a physical description of the drug; SB 295 (Vasconcellos) eliminates the three-year time limit on the California Marijuana Research Program; SB 322 (Ortiz) requires DHS to develop guidelines for research involving derivation or use of human embryonic stem cells by January 1, 2005; SB 359 (Figueroa) requires the State Department of Consumer Affairs’ healing arts boards to convene disciplinary hearings, as specified; SB 361 (Figueroa) extends sunset date for the State Board of Pharmacy; SB 362 (Figueroa) extends sunset date for the State Dental Board and Committee on Dental Auxiliaries; SB 363 (Figueroa) extends sunset date of the State Board of Optometry; SB 370 (Soto) prohibits Medi-Cal from requiring providers to submit a Treatment Authorization Report in order to provide dialysis treatment to patients with end stage renal diseases; SB 376 (Chesbro) enables district hospitals to employ a physician and surgeon, if the hospital does not interfere with, control, or otherwise direct the professional judgment of the physician and surgeon; SB 420 (Vasconcellos) provides for a statewide voluntary program for the issuance of identification cards to identify persons allowed to engage in the medical use of marijuana under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996; SB 490 (Alpert) allows a licensed pharmacist to initiate emergency catastrophic drug therapy, as specified; SB 545 (Speier) caps administration fee charged to patients for emergency contraception at $10, as specified; SB 549 (Vasconcellos) allows the State Department of Corrections to contract with private facilities for incarceration and care of geriatric inmates of skilled nursing facilities; SB 580 (Senate Insurance Committee) revises the schedule of annual fees assessed on health plans by the State Department of Managed Health Care; SB 582 (Speier) prohibits sale or distribution of any dietary supplement products containing ephedrine group alkaloids, except as specified; SB 617 (Speier) provides for anatomical gift donors of their right to withhold consent for donated tissue under specified circumstances; SB 677 (Ortiz) enacts California Childhood Obesity Prevention Act, which expands restrictions on sale of sodas in middle and junior high schools; SB 686 (Ortiz) requires liability insurers covering long-term care facilities to notify the State Department of Insurance at least 90 days prior to the date they intend to cease offering insurance to those facilities; SB 771 (Ortiz) requires DHS to establish and maintain an embryo registry that will provide embryos for research purposes; SB 798 (Cedillo) requires the State Department of Managed Health Care, when it ceases to operate legally in Mexico, that it shall comply with the laws of Mexico or become licensed in California or cease operation in the state; SB 853 (Escuita) requires the State Department of Managed Heath Care to adopt regulations to ensure that enrollees have access to language assistance in obtaining health care services by January 1, 2006; SB 857 (Speier) enhances laws concerning Medi-Cal fraud; SB 875 ( (Escutia) requires DHS to develop or obtain a brochure for pregnant women and new parents on healthy eating; SB 907 (Burton) establishes the Naturopathic Doctors Act until January 1, 2009; SB 937 (Bowen) addresses conditions improperly imposed upon the buyer of a nonprofit hospital which prohibits the buyer from providing necessary medical services; SB 984 (Scott ) brings California law, relative to interethnic foster and adoptive placement, into federal compliance; SB 1075 (Senate Health and Human Services Committee) requires DHS to include additional information in literature that it produces regarding breast cancer; SB 1076 (Senate Health and Human Services Committee) extends by seven years certain protections and immunities from services provided by Health Rights Hotline and other specified health care consumer assistance programs; and SB 1081 (Senate Health and Human Services Committee) eliminates the Donor Referral Register for blood donations.
Assembly health legislation signed into law includes: AB 9 (Dymally) establishes the Urban Community Health Institute: Centers to Eliminate Health Disparities at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles; AB 171 (Cohn) allows governing boards of local initiative health plans to discuss trade secrets in private; AB 231 (Steinberg) increases participation in the food stamps program and improves nutritional outcomes by low-income families; AB 236 (Bermudez) prohibits registered sex offenders from being licensed as physicians and surgeons; AB 429 (Dymally) includes the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in the list of private or public nonprofit organizations for DHS able to contract to provide prostate cancer treatment; AB 458 (Chu) enhances codification for foster care children and their caregivers against discrimination and harassment; AB 490 (Steinberg) expands and stipulates authority for school records of foster, homeless, and incarcerated youth; AB 528 (Mullin) encourages Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly to create activities to mitigate effects of sundowning; AB 561 (Leiber) establishes the Male Involvement Program, the Community Challenge Grant Program, the TeenSMART Program, and the Information and Education Program on a continuing basis within the Office of Family Planning; AB 663 (Lieber) restricts use of pelvic exams under specified conditions; AB 715 (Chu) places limitations on use and disclosure of patient medical information; AB 766 (Longville) establishes a three-year pilot program to screen pupils for their risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus; AB 769 ( Maddox) allows an individual to perform certain regulated activities as part of their supervised practices program to become a registered dietitian or dietitian technician; AB 777 (Dutton) provides procedures for removal of organs for transplant when requested by a qualified organ procurement organization when an anatomical gift is from a decedent whose death requires an inquest by the medical examiner or coroner; AB 798 (Assembly Aging Committee) establishes a program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly as a Medi-Cal optional benefit; AB 801 (Diaz) establishes the Cultural and Linguistic Physician Competency Program to be operated by local medical societies of the California Medical Association, and to be monitored by Division of Licensing of the Medical Board of California; AB 879 (Koretz) requires DHS to convene a task force to develop recommendations for the use of post-exposure prophylasis; AB 936 (Reyes) creates a new misdemeanor for baby stalking; AB 938 (Yee) establishes the Licensed Mental Health Provider Education Program and the Mental Health Practitioner Education Fund to increase the number of mental health professionals; AB 942 (Leno) allows school staff to provide emergency medical assistance to diabetic pupils suffering from severe hypoglycemia; AB 948 (Nunez) permits non-citizen physicians to participate in a fellowship program in a licensed clinic or hospital in a medically underserved area if approved by the Medical Board of California; AB 996 (Wiggins) extends to reproductive health services facilities an existing prohibition on insurers from canceling or refusing to renew a property insurance policy due to property casualty claims arising from specified hate crimes; AB 999 (Jerome Horton) permits dentists be reimbursed for providing to Medi-Cal patients dental fillings made out of certain restorative materials other than mercury amalgam; AB 1151 (Dymally) increases access to records of the death of a foster child; AB 1220 (Berg) creates the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Treatment Task Force within DHS; AB 1241 (Parra) requires Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to establish an Associate Degree Nursing Scholarship Pilot Program; AB 1286 (Frommer) revises and expands existing continuity of care; AB 1370 (Yee) prohibits State Department of Mental Health from requiring 24-hour onsite nursing staff at specified community treatment facilities that do not use mechanical restraint; AB 1371 (Yee) increases standards for informed consent relating to participating in a medical experiment; AB 1524 (Richman) expands scope of the County Health Initiative Matching Fund to include health insurance coverage to a parent of an eligible child participating in the Healthy Families Program and whose income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level; AB 1676 (Dutra) requires blood of pregnant women be tested for HIV under specified conditions; AB 1752 (Assembly Budget Committee) enacts the 2003 human services budget trailer bill; AB 1753 (Assembly Budget Committee) transfers the Habilitation Services Program from State Department of Rehabilitation to State Department of Developmental Services to be administered by the regional centers effective July 1, 2004; AB 1762 (Assembly Budget Committee) enacts the health, mental health, and developmental disabilities statutory changes related to the Budget Act of 2003; and AB 1763 (Assembly Budget Committee) authorizes funding from the unallocated account in the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Surtax Fund and federal funds for rural demonstration projects under the Healthy Families Program.
The major issue in water resources was enactment of three bills implementing the Colorado River Water Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA), which became final in October 2003. The QSA is an agreement between the Imperial Irrigation District, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Coachella Valley Water District, and the State of California. It settles a number of claims as to the use of the waters of the Colorado River. It also provides California with a transition period to reduce California’s draw from the Colorado River to its 4.4-million acre-foot entitlement. The QSA commits the state to restoration of the environmentally sensitive Salton Sea, and provides full mitigation for its water supply programs. The legislation implementing this agreement was SB 277 (Ducheny), SB 317 (Kuehl), and SB 654 (Machado).
Another issue of importance addressed this year was perchlorate contamination. Perchlorate contamination is primarily the result of leaching from rocket fuel. Although sources of contamination have been identified from privately owned sources, it is also believed that military reservations present another source of significant perchlorate contamination. Because perchlorate dissolves easily and disperses quickly, it possesses characteristics for the rapid contamination of California’s waters. This substance is very difficult and expensive to clean up, frequently requiring extensive pumping and treatment of groundwaters.
Excessive amounts of a perchlorate interfere with the thyroid gland, which plays a central function in regulation of various hormones. Disruption of the thyroid can result in developmental disabilities and impair development, especially among infants and children. Changes in the thyroid hormone may also result in thyroid gland tumors. Perchlorate has contaminated many water sources, including the Colorado River and at least three inland-area groundwater basins. This contamination also taints underground water supplies in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Orange, Sonoma, Tulare, Ventura, and San Diego Counties.
The Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, SB 1004 (Soto) and AB 826 (Jackson). AB 826 enacts the Perchlorate Contamination Prevention Act directing the State Department of Toxic Substance Control to develop regulations specifying the best management practices for managing perchlorate materials, and SB 1004 establishes a database collection system under the auspices of the State Water Resources Control Board for reporting on the storage of perchlorate.
Other significant water legislation signed into law includes SB 181 (Machado) establishes procedures for a public water system to notify and record the status of compliance with drinking water directives of DHS for individual properties in a service area; SB 196 (Kuehl) revises the makeup of each of the California regional water quality control boards to increase local government representation; SB 334 (Romero) extends the sunset on the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority; SB 923 (Sher) authorizes the State Water Resources Control Board or a regional water quality control board to waive waste discharge requirements if certain conditions are met; AB 66 (Leslie) creates an Adopt-A-Riverway Program; AB 514 (Kehoe) requires certain urban water suppliers, on or after March 1, 2013, or according to the terms of the Central Valley Project water contract or subcontract in operation, to charge customers for water, based on the actual volume of deliveries as measured by a water meter; and AB 866 (Pavley) provides that water conservation, water use efficiency, and water supply reliability projects and an enforceable waste discharge program, as described, are eligible for grants from the State Water Resources Control Board under the Integrated Watershed Management Program created by the Watershed, Clean Beaches, and Water Quality Act.
The consumerism legislation enacted into law this year was SB 1 (Speier), which created the California Financial Privacy Information Act that limits a financial institution’s ability to share consumers’ nonpublic personal information.
Major legislation enacted in this area was AB 205 (Goldberg), which enacts the California Domestic Partner and Rights Responsibilities Act of 2003 extending to registered domestic partners substantially all rights, benefits, and obligations of married persons under state law, with the exception of rights, benefits, and obligations accorded only to married persons by federal law, the California Constitution or initiative statutes. New rights and responsibilities afforded domestic partners include: (a) the right to financial support during and after the relationship has ended; (b) the same rights as formerly married couples to child custody and visitation; (c) the right to exercise the marital communication privilege; and (d) the mutual responsibility for debts to third parties incurred during the partnership.
Other legislation concerning domestic partners enacted includes SB 851 (Torlakson) makes specified domestic partners of county employees eligible for death and survivor benefits, subject to approval by the board of supervisors, applicable to all counties in California, as specified; AB 17 (Kehoe) prohibits a state agency from entering into any contract for goods or services in the amount of $100,000 or more with a contractor that does not provide the same benefits to an employee with a registered domestic partner that it provides to an employee with a spouse, as specified; AB 266 (Mullin) authorizes the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to negotiate, through collective bargaining, a phased-in implementation of survivor benefits for domestic partners; AB 1082 (Laird) expands the definition of domestic partner for purposes of the Public Employees Medical and Hospital Care Act to include two people who meet the criteria of a domestic partnership, as defined, by a contracting agency if the contracting agency adopted that definition prior to January 1, 2000; and AB 1349 (Canciamilla) expands the class of persons who may not receive a donative transfer through a will or other instrument executed by a dependent adult to include a person who is related by blood or marriage to, is a domestic partner of, is a cohabitant with, or is an employee of, a care custodian of the dependent adult.
The foremost issue in the area of criminal justice was the extension of Megan’s Law, which requires law enforcement to have CD-ROM containing pictures of sex offenders for public viewing. The State Assembly was unable to secure passage of AB 1313 (Reyes), an urgency measure, primarily due to the fact that the Assembly Republicans refused passage on any urgency measures at the time this bill was scheduled for a vote in the Assembly. The Governor called the Assembly back into session on September 29th in order to pass the bill, requesting its passage and routing to him for his signature. Without resolution of this issue, the state was in jeopardy of losing $5 million in federal funds. The Assembly did pass this bill and it was signed into law by the Governor. Other significant sex offender legislation which became law includes SB 356 (Alpert), SB 879 (Margett), SB 903 (Chesbro), AB 236 (Bermudez), AB 898 (Chu), AB 949 (Pavley), AB 1098 (Garcia), and AB 1495 (Chavez).
Another issue of importance to the public is combating identity theft. This remains the fastest growing crime in the United States. The following bills were enacted enhancing existing laws concerning identity theft: SB 1 (Speier), SB 25 (Bowen), SB 27 (Figueroa), SB 544 (Chesbro), SB 590 (Speier), SB 602 (Figueroa), SB 660 (Speier), SB 684 (Alpert), SB 752 (Alpert), AB 763 (Liu), AB 1105 (Jackson), AB 1131 (Jackson) ,AB 1179 (Parra), AB 1294 (Wiggins), AB 1610 (Wiggins), AB 1772 (Assembly Banking and Finance Committee), and AB 1773 (Assembly Banking and Finance Committee).
Significant Senate criminal justice legislation enacted into law included: SB 3 (Burton) establishes standards regarding mental retardation for the purposes of death penalty cases as required by the United States Supreme Court; SB 44 (Denham) encourages California central coast counties to implement a Central Coast Rural Crime Prevention Program; SB 139 (Brulte) enhances the Safe Haven Law relative to abandonment of newborns at specified safe places without penalty of criminal liability; SB 151 (Burton) eliminates the sunset on the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation Program; SB 265 (Kuehl) revises provisions relating to the rebuttable presumption against an award of custody to a person who has perpetrated domestic violence; SB 276 (Vasconcellos) clarifies laws concerning the reporting and tracking requirements for specified chemicals that can be used to make controlled substances; SB 316 (McPherson) adds custodial officers to the list of mandated child abuse and neglect reporters; SB 337 (Romero) adds crime of unauthorized practice of law to the list of offenses for which the statute of limitations does not begin until discovery of the offense; SB 416 (Alpert) requires the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to allow a driver’s license restriction, instead of a suspension, to specified defendant’s convicted of driving under the influence in order to enable them to complete a licensed drinking under the influence program; SB 420 (Vasconcellos) establishes a statewide voluntary program for the issuance of identification cards to identify persons allowed to engage in the medical use of marijuana under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996; SB 443 (Figueroa) requires the courts to impose a jail term of at least 90 days for repeated convictions of contracting without a license, as specified; SB 450 (Poochigian) defines the element of force required for kidnapping an unresisting infant or child; SB 459 (Burton) consolidates operations of the Youthful Offender Parole Board under the State Department of Youth Authority; SB 478 (Dunn) prohibits employers from discharging or taking adverse action against an employee who is a crime victim or a relative of a crime victim for taking time off from work to attend scheduled judicial proceedings; SB 496 (Alpert) encourages counties to create drug-endangered children’s programs to coordinate responses by law enforcement and social service agencies in cases in which children have been subjected to drug poisoning and related neglect; SB 549 (Vasconcellos) sets up methods to care for geriatric prison inmates; SB 599 (Perata) provides for sealing of arrest records of any person who has successfully completed a statutorily authorized drug diversion program; SB 732 (Soto) increases penalties for cockfighting related offenses; SB 762 (Brulte) clarifies Proposition 36, by further defining the term non-violent drug possession offenses; SB 781 (Margett) allows any person authorized to provide information for consideration in a parole suitability hearing to provide that information by facsimile or electronic mail; SB 851 (Karnette) extends sunset date on the law allowing a writ of habeas corpus to be brought when battered women’s syndrome was not admitted at a trial, but would have been relevant had it been; SB 873 (McPherson) gives express authorization to obtain criminal history information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for employment and licensing purposes; SB 877 (Hollingsworth) prohibits disclosure of child pornography to a defendant unless specifically permitted to do so by the courts; SB 919 (Ortiz) increases maximum county jail service time for any misdemeanor assault or battery without injury on a code enforcement officer; SB 968 (Bowen) includes fraud involving the California beverage recycling program in the crimes for which the state may seek asset criminal forfeiture from a convicted defendant; SB 970 (Ortiz) requires the State Department of Justice to accept fingerprint images and related information to process criminal offender record information only if these images are sent electronically; SB 993 (Poochigian) expands the definition of trespass to include entering lands on which animals for human consumption are being raised or carrying away animals on these lands without permission of the owner; and SB 1032 (Murray) creates a specific crime for recording a motion picture in a theater without appropriate consent.
Significant Assembly criminal justice legislation enacted includes: AB 49 (Simitian) creates the High Technology Crimes Task Force; AB 134 (Cohn) adds battery to the list of priors that subject a person who has never been convicted of felony domestic violence to increased penalties; AB 158 (Runner) provides that possession of essential chemicals, such as red phosphorous and iodine, sufficient to manufacture hydriodic acid with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, is a felony; AB 184 (Lowenthal) allows certain domestic violence and stalking victims to request DMV to suppress their records; AB 187 (Runner) makes the penalty for either assault or battery of a member of the United States Armed Forces a fine of $2,000 and/or imprisonment in the county jail for more than one year; AB 233 (Cogdill) requires the court to consider as a factor in aggravation in sentencing a felony case involving methampethamine manufacture the fact that a child under 16 resided in the structure in which the felony was committed; AB 245 (Cohn) creates an infraction penalty for individuals at sporting events who throw any object on or across the court or field; AB 277 (Dutra) allows a court to consider an individual’s intent to mislead, deceive, or defraud voters in determining whether the individual engaged in the bad faith registration of a domain name on the Internet; AB 352 (Goldberg) increases fees a person convicted of a domestic violence offense must pay which are used to support specified domestic violence programs; AB 355 (Pacheco) revises the definition of escape relating to juvenile offenders; AB 359 (Koretz) closes a loophole in existing law by allowing public safety officers to work off duty; AB 365 (Jerome Horton) grants city attorneys access (including, but not limited to, phone access) to DMV records; AB 383 (Cohn) requires a defendant charged with a misdemeanor domestic violence offense or a violation of a domestic violence protective order to be present at any time during the proceedings when ordered by the court for the purpose of being informed of the conditions of a domestic violence protective order; AB 506 (Maze) includes in the uniform protocol for the medical examination of sexual assault victims the taking of the victim’s urine for toxicology purposes to determine if drugs or alcohol were used in the assault; AB 513 (Matthews) requires the Judicial Council to adopt a rule of court to establish procedures for jury service to give scheduling accommodations to specified peace officers by January 1, 2005; AB 568 (Goldberg) extends the sunset for the Los Angeles Community Law Enforcement and Recovery Demonstration Project from January 1, 2004 to July 1, 2004; AB 709 (Correa) creates a regulatory fine process, as an alternative to criminal prosecution, for businesses that violate regulations concerning restricted chemicals that could be used in the manufacture of controlled substances, but which are used in numerous legitimate products and services; AB 836 (La Suer) makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in county jail, to maliciously destroy a wireless communications device with the intent to prevent use of the device to contact law enforcement; AB 924 (Maldonado) increases penalties for trespass; AB 928 (Pacheco) creates an alternative misdemeanor/felony for theft of a vessel and law enforcement vessels, as specified; AB 936 (Reyes) creates a new misdemeanor for baby stalking; AB 945 (Nunez) provides that a minor may be detained in a jail or other secure facility for the confinement of adults under specified existing circumstances, only as specified; AB 991 (Negrete-McLeod) requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to establish standardized training recommendations and guidelines for Special Weapons and Tactics teams for use by law enforcement; AB 1131 (Jackson) expands definition of “financial elder or dependent adult abuse” to include forgery, fraud, or identity theft committed against an elder or dependent adult, and increases penalties for a second offense of financial elder abuse; AB 1180 (Harman) allows a court to impose specified monetary sanctions for failure to perform jury service, as an alternative to contempt proceedings; AB 1263 (Benoit) makes it a trespass to intentionally avoid the screening and inspection of one’s person or property when entering the sterile area of an airport; AB 1488 (Bates) requires any person arrested for the intentional and knowing violation of a domestic violence protective order where the person has made threats to kill or harm, engaged in violence against, or gone to the residence or workplace of the protected party, appear for a hearing in open court before being released on his/her recognizance or being released on reduced bail, as specified; AB 1516 (Bates) modifies factors a court must consider in assessing the risk of child abduction in child custody proceedings to avoid having an unfair impact on domestic violence victims; and AB 1757 (Assembly Budget Committee) abolishes the Office of Criminal Justice Planning.
Significant legislation concerning firearms and weapons enacted includes: SB 226 (Cedillo), SB 238 (Perata), SB 255 (Ducheny), SB 489 (Scott), SB 824 (Scott), AB 161 (Steinberg), AB 319 (Frommer), AB 580 (Steinberg), AB 1044 (Negrete-McLeod), AB 1290 (Jackson), and AB 1455 (Negrete-McLeod).
Significant legislation concerning court fees, records, administration, and funding enacted includes: SB 79 (Senate Judiciary Committee), SB 129 (Escutia), SB 144 (Escutia), SB 256 (Escutia), SB 660 (Speier), SB 818 (Escutia), SB 940 (Escutia), AB 296 (Oropeza), AB 1710 (Assembly Judiciary Committee), AB 1712 (Assembly Judiciary Committee; and AB 1759 (Assembly Judiciary Committee).
Significant legislation enacted concerning family law, including adoption, child support, and child custody includes: SB 59 (Escutia), SB 156 (Burton), SB 169 (Karnette), SB 182 (Scott), SB 947 (Ducheny), SB 984 (Scott), AB 296 (Oropeza), AB 308 (Montanez), AB 738 (Jackson), AB 739 (Jackson), AB 962 (La Suer), AB 1413 (Wolk), and AB 1516 (Bates).
Significant civil rights legislation enacted include: SB 116 (Dunn) allows mobilehome residents to display political campaign signs of specific sizes during an election period; SB 262 (Kuehl) and SB 302 (Kuehl) promote better compliance with disability-access laws in public places; SB 515 (Kuehl) limits lawsuits by large corporations against residents who are exercising First Amendment rights to sue large corporations regarding corporation behavior; AB 196 (Leno) incorporates the definition of gender from hate crimes statutes that prohibit violence against any person on the grounds of gender or perceived gender into the Fair Employment and Housing Act; AB 205 (Goldberg) enacts the California Domestic Partner and Rights Responsibilities Act of 2003; AB 458 (Chu) ensures that foster children and others in the foster care community are not subjected to discrimination or harassment on the basis of actual or perceived race, ethnic group identification, ancestry, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, or human immunodeficiency virus status; AB 703 (Dymally) defines race discrimination for purposes of the California Constitution; AB 833 (Steinberg) establishes standards to determine if educational institutions have effectively provided equitable athletic opportunities for members of both sexes; and AB 1536 (Goldberg) streamlines procedure for processing of discrimination claims.
Major issues concerning education were budgetary in nature assuring that the Proposition 98 guarantee was not modified and that the cuts were not major. The 2003-04 Budget Act cut funding for all three tiers of public higher education by four percent, which occurred in outreach programs, student services, academic and institutional support, research funding for the University of California, and student-faculty ratios for the California State University. The budget raised community college student fees from $11 to $18 per unit, (which is contained in AB 1754 [Assembly Budget Committee], the Education finance trailer bill) and the University of California and the California State University voluntarily increased fees 30 percent in response to funding cuts. The budget also provides for a $92 million increase for student financial aid to help offset the increased tuition costs.
Significant Senate education legislation enacted includes: SB 5 (Karnette) adopts content standards for teaching foreign language by the State Board of Education; SB 15 (Alpert) revises provisions of law in the distribution of bond funds for school construction and modernization; SB 39 (Perata) appropriates $100 million for an emergency loan to Oakland Unified School District and gives the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) control of the district; SB 65 (Torlakson) clarifies law concerning school district boards contracting for the sale of carbonated beverages; SB 71 (Kuehl) establishes the California Comprehensive Sexual Health/AIDS Preventive Education Act; SB 78 (Torlakson) adds fitness programs and clubs to physical education activities that K-12 districts are encouraged to offer; SB 81 (Alpert) requires greater uniformity among integrated teacher preparation programs offered by the California State University; SB 145 (Alpert) strengthens the due process rights provisions of law relative to special education; SB 187 (Karnette) clarifies and aligns provisions of the district internship program with university credentialing programs and the federal No Child Left Behind Act; SB 253 (Cedillo) allows a public school employer, under specified conditions, to hold a representative election, specifies election procedures and policies, and changes the definition of confidential employee; SB 257 (Alpert) requires an existing accountability advisory committee to make recommendations on matters relevant to the Academic Performance Index; SB 259 (Romero) allows schools and community college districts to pay lost salary and benefits to all employees who have been called to active military duty; SB 338 (Scott) clarifies and strengthens existing law governing concurrent enrollment of high school students in community college classes; SB 352 (Escutia) prohibits a local educational agency from approving acquisition of a school site within 500 feet of a busy roadway unless the air quality at the site does not pose a health risk to pupils or staff; SB 464 (Murray) requires, when a pupil with exceptional needs has been placed in a group home by a juvenile court, that a school district invite a representative of the group home to individualized education program team meetings; SB 469 (Scott) allows school districts to use instructional material funding to purchase instructional materials for the visual and performing arts, foreign language, health, or any other curricular materials after the district certifies that it has provided each pupil with standards-aligned instructional materials in reading/language arts, mathematics, history/social science, and science; SB 507 (Karnette) extends the advanced placement fee waiver program until January 1, 2008; SB 611 (Ducheny) specifies the instruction of English learners as a purpose of the California Subject Matters Project; SB 644 (Burton) revises composition of the California Community College Board of Governors by replacing one public representative with a classified employee representative; SB 677 (Ortiz) expands restrictions on the types of beverages allowed to be sold in middle and junior high schools; SB 712 (Alpert) requires the Quality Education Commission to determine “adequate base funding” levels for elementary, middle and high schools, and to recommend appropriate adjustments to that base in recognition of specific student and school district characteristics; SB 728 (Scott) simplifies the Cal-Grant application process; SB 801 (Vasconcellos) repeals the section of the Education Code prohibiting high schools from assigning extra weighting for courses required for college or university admission when computing grade point average; SB 821 (Alarcon) establishes the Golden State Business and Social Responsibility Award to honor students completing graduate business programs; SB 842 (Karnette) requires that the state comply with specifications for making instructional materials purchased from publishers accessible to disabled pupils; SB 892 (Murray) strengthens law concerning school restroom maintenance standards; SB 964 (Burton) provides for an independent consultant to assess options and provide recommendations for alternatives to the California High School Exit Exam; SB 967 (Burton) exempts degree-granting institutions accredited by specified regional bodies from programmatic and institutional review and approval by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education; SB 1058 (Torlakson) establishes follow-up adoption process for publication of instructional materials; and SB 20X (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) decreases General Fund appropriation to the Supplemental Benefit Maintenance Account in the Teachers’ Retirement Fund by $500 million in 2003-04.
Significant Assembly education legislation includes: AB 36 (Wyland) requires the SPI to rank all schools by Standardized Testing and Reporting scores and encourages governing boards to discuss these scores publicly; AB 38 (Reyes) provides emergency financial assistance in the form of a $2 million loan to the West Fresno Elementary School District; AB 54 (Oropeza) requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, in consultation with the State Department of Education, to contract with an independent evaluator to conduct a study regarding availability and effectiveness of cultural competency training for teachers and administrators; AB 60 (Dymally) allows California State University to establish the African-American Political and Economic Institute at California State University Dominguez Hills; AB 78 (Reyes) encourages that social studies instruction include instruction on the Vietnam War, including the Secret War in Laos and the role of Southeast Asians in that war; AB 96 (Bermudez) amends all Education Code sections that refer to “low performing schools” by substituting the designation “high priority schools;” AB 106 (Corbett) defines a spouse, for purposes of receiving survivor benefits under the State Teachers’ Retirement System, as (1) a person who was married for less than 12 months if the member’s death was accidental, and (2) as a person who was married to a member for the period beginning prior to an injury or onset of an illness that resulted in the member’s death; AB 115 (Jerome Horton) increases the penalty for willful failure of a local educational agency to develop a school safety plan; AB 195 (Chan) specifies that comprehensive health education programs my include instruction topics such as obesity and diabetes; AB 264 (Mullin) allowing certain school districts to deposit up to 25 percent of the proceeds of the sale of surplus school real property, excluding any interest thereon, into the school district general fund and to use those proceeds for any one-time expenditure of the school district, except for salaries and benefits; AB 294 (Daucher) recasts provisions related to online classroom programs as the Online Classroom Pilot Program for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating pupil participation in online asynchronous interactive programs; AB 399 (Wyland) allows instruction in the area of social sciences to contain instruction on World War II and Americans’ role in that war; AB 490 (Steinberg) expands and stipulates authority for school records of foster, homeless, and incarcerated youth; AB 547 (Liu) awards qualifying members of the California Army National Guard, the California Air National Guard, the state military reserves and the naval militia with an assumption of their educational loans; AB 560 (Goldberg) allows a program of multi-track year-round scheduling to operate at a school site for as few as 163 days in each fiscal year if the governing board of the school district makes specified certifications; AB 591 (Strickland) requires the SPI to convene an advisory group to identify career technical education courses that meet state-adopted academic content standards to satisfy high school graduation requirements and admissions requirements of the University of California and the California State University; AB 615 (Bates) requires the State Board of Education, upon the recommendation of the SPI or members of the board, to appoint one member to the Advisory Commission on Special Education who is a representative of the charter school community; AB 626 (Liu) prohibits all school districts from acquiring 15 passenger vans; AB 648 (Dymally) establishes the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka advisory commission to develop, during the 2004-05 school year, community and educational awareness programs to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka; AB 766 (Longville) establishes a three-year pilot project to screen pupils for risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus in conjunction with scoliosis screening; AB 774 (Wiggins) changes the minimum day requirement for Work Experience Education pupils if a pupil attends a school in which the regularly scheduled period is greater than 60 minutes in length; AB 781 (Lieber) allows school districts to grant high school diplomas retroactively to Japanese Americans interned in World War II; AB 833 (Steinberg) establishes standards to determine if educational institutions have effectively provided equitable athletic opportunities for members of both sexes; AB 908 (Chan) requires the California State University Trustees to provide temporary allowances to its employees forced into disability retirement in a manner similar to what existing law requires of other state employers; AB 942 (Leno) allows school staff to provide emergency assistance to diabetic students suffering from hypoglycemia; AB 954 (Goldberg) changes the evaluation requirements for some permanent certificated personnel; AB 956 (Nation) defines the term “educator” as a certificated person holding a valid California teaching credential or a valid California services credential, who is employed by a local education agency or a special education local planning area, and who is not employed as an independent contractor or consultant; AB 1008 (Dutton) allows the State Allocation Board to provide additional new construction funds to a school district if, as a result of additional requirements, the actual costs paid by the district for allowable hazardous materials evaluation and removal exceed the amount of the grant apportioned for this purpose; AB 1017 (Goldberg) requires the two state special schools for the deaf to put in place hiring preferences for teachers; AB 1124 (Nunez) requires that State School Deferred Maintenance Funds and maintenance of facilities’ accounts to be used, as a priority, to ensure that facilities, including restroom facilities for pupils, are functional and they meet local hygiene standards generally applicable to public facilities; AB 1207 (Corbett) allows school and community college districts to provide two early retirement options for members of the Defined Benefit Program, either two additional years of service credit, or two additional years of service credit along with two years added to the employee’s age factor; AB 1244 ( Chu) expands school district eligibility for state school facility modernization funds to include additional apportionment for modernization; AB 1250 (Laird) adds intolerance and hatred prevention as a category permitted under the Instructional Time and Staff Development Reform Program; AB 1309 (Goldberg) allows a city or county to acquire real estate for construction of new replacement housing if the acquisition of a school site by a school district results in a loss of housing; AB 1330 (Simitian) establishes the Outdoor Environmental Education Program for at-risk youth from under-served demographic groups and mitigate delinquent behavior; AB 1366 (Simitian) corrects conflicts in current law, so as to allow transfer of property tax support for a charter school pupil who resides in a basic aid district, and to phase in the impact of that transfer on the basic aid school district over a three-year period; AB 1411 (Wolk) expands the definition of hazing to include any initiation or pre-initiation into a student body, as well as a student group, that poses an emotional or physical danger; AB 1472 (Goldberg) specifies ways in which a school governing board may comply with existing law that provides for the governing board to make school buildings available for use as polling places; AB 1512 (Cohn) establishes the Arts Work Visual and Performing Arts Education Program; AB 1537 (Wyland) encourages the use of primary source materials in the teaching of the Korean and Vietnam Wars; AB 1548 (Pavley) establishes the Office of Education on the Environment within the California Environmental Protection Agency and requires it to develop environmental principles and a model curriculum that can be integrated into the science content and performance standards; AB 1649 (Simitian) allows the SPI to reimburse a school district with less than 3,000 units of average daily attendance for the excess cost of providing special education instruction and services to a pupil with a temporary disability who is in a skilled nursing facility; AB 1668 (Salinas) allows school districts and county offices of education that provide child care as part of the California School Age Families Education program to apply for and receive funding from the Child Care Facilities Revolving Fund for the purchase of portable buildings to house child care and development programs; and ACR 66 (Pavley) requests the State Board of Education continue to delay the California High School Exit Exam until issues relating to students with disabilities are resolved.
The major legislation in this area was the enactment of the bills which implement the Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement and protection of the Salton Sea: SB 277 (Ducheny), SB 317 (Kuehl), and SB 654 (Machado).
Another major package of legislation that was enacted was concerned with attacking the air pollution problem attacking the San Joaquin Central Valley: SB 700 (Florez), SB 704 (Florez), SB 705 (Florez), SB 708 (Florez), SB 709 (Florez), and AB 170 (Reyes).
Other significant environmental legislation includes: SB 20 (Sher) enacts the Electronics Waste Recycling Act of 2003; SB 92 (Speier) provides an income tax checkoff to aid in restoring the 21 California missions; SB 189 (Escutia) integrates the public health surveillance system and environmental hazards, exposure, and health outcome monitoring information system; SB 216 (Sher) extends the sunset for recovery strategy pilot program for the Greater Sandhill Crane and provides for development of a recovery strategy pilot program for Coho Salmon; SB 245 (Sher) prohibits the spawning, incubation, or cultivation of salmon or transgenic fish or any exotic species of finfish in state regulated waters; SB 288 (Sher) enacts the Protect California Air Act of 2003 prohibiting an air district from amending or revising its new source review rules or regulations to be less stringent than those that existed on December 30, 2002; SB 297 (Chesbro) allows the State Department of Fish and Game to take up to four years to liquidate encumbrances made for Coastal Watershed Salmon Habitat Restoration projects; SB 418 (Sher) revises the streambed alteration agreement process; SB 445 (Kuehl) clarifies the process for accepting and opening offers to dedicate land by nonprofits in the coastal zone; SB 607 (Aanestad) provides that in a rural region the State Department of Conservation may increase a beverage container recycling convenience that is otherwise not being served by a certified recycling center or location or is exempted by the department, to include the area within a three-mile radius of a supermarket, if the expanded convenience zone would then be served by a certified recycling center or location; SB 649 (Kuehl) prohibits operators of surface mines who are not in compliance with the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act from selling materials to local agencies, increases the annual reporting fees on mine operators, and creates a new fee for precious metals for the remediation of abandoned mines; SB 656 (Sher) requires the State Air Resources Board to identify measures to reduce particulate matter emissions in specific emission source categories; SB 692 (Kuehl) creates a Bay-Delta Sport Fishing Enhancement Stamp; SB 745 (Ashburn) repeals the sunset date for environmental subdivisions; SB 810 (Burton) provides for the certification of state forest practices as a best management practice under federal water quality laws; and SB 1004 (Soto) establishes a database collection system under the auspices of the State Water Resources Control Board for reporting on the storage of perchlorate.
Significant Assembly environmental legislation enacted includes: AB 16 (Jackson) requires oil produced off the shore of California from new extraction operations; AB 28 (Jackson) makes structural changes to the State Department of Conservation’s Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Program including increasing the California Redemption Value imposed on retail customers; AB 47 (Simitian) requires the State Board of Forestry by January 1, 2005 to adopt regulations that require a timber harvesting plan to include certain information; AB 66 (Leslie) allows the State Department of Fish and Game to adopt-a-river program; AB 121 (Simitian) prohibits cruise ships from discharging sewage sludge and oily bilge water into state waters and national marine sanctuaries along the state’s coast; AB 260 (Jackson) requires the State Department of Transportation to place a high priority on litter pickup in certain areas; AB 396 (Harman) requires the State Department of Fish and Game to establish the Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement Program; AB 433(Nation) revises the California Ballast Water Management for Control of Nonindigenous Species Act and extends its sunset date; AB 455 (Chu) enacts the Toxics in Packaging Prevention Act; AB 677 (Wiggins) providing a means of monitoring the application of the new urban infill law in order to evaluate its usefulness and effectiveness; AB 844 (Nation) requires the State Department of Toxic Substances Control to establish standards for best management practices for the handling of perchlorate materials; AB 826 (Jackson) requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to develop a statewide replacement tire efficiency program; AB 847 (Pavley) clarifies the State Coastal Conservancy’s ability to undertake projects that protect coastal and marine sources; AB 906 ( Nakano) prohibits cruise ships from discharging hazardous waste its state waters; AB 998 (Lowenthal) establishes a grant program to provide financial incentives to professional dry cleaners to use non-toxic alternatives to perchloroethylene; AB 1014 (Canciamilla) requires the State Department of Boating and Waterways to create an advisory committee to study ways to prevent the abandonment of boats; AB 1212 (Pavley) requires onsite monitoring and supervision, according to a specific plan, during the implementation of a coastal development permit for sand replenishment; AB 1218 (Dutra) allows the use of performance based contracts for cleanup of leaking underground storage tanks; AB 1247 (Aghazarian) provides the State Department of Toxic Substance Control with more options to enforce postclosure plans at hazardous waste facilities; AB 1248 (Aghazarian) requires the State Water Resources Control Board or the Regional Water Quality Control Boards, as appropriate, to provide notice and a period of at least 30 days for public comment prior to adopting waste discharge requirements, water reclamation requirements, or certain described orders; AB 1296 (Berg) eliminates the sunset date in Fish and Game Code Section 8510 prohibiting the taking of krill for commercial purposes before January 1, 2011; AB 1330 (Simitian) provides a program for at-risk youth from underserved demographic groups to experience the outdoors; AB 1348 (Lowenthal) clarifies statutes governing the transport of hazardous waste and the recycling of used oil; AB 1360 (Steinberg) requires the State Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to develop and maintain a system of environmental indicators for several purposes; AB 1405 (Wolk) enacts the California Watershed Protection and Restoration Act; AB 1420 (Laird) requires the State Department of Fish and Game to develop a statewide elk management plan; AB 1497 (Montanez) adds additional requirements that a person applying for a solid waste facilities permits is required to include in the final closure plan; AB 1541 (Montanez) clarifies certain waste discharge reporting requirements as serious violations that are subject to mandatory minimum penalties; AB 1548 (Pavley) establishes the Office of Education on the Environment to develop environmental education principles and a model curriculum; AB 1640 (Laird) enhances the ability of Certified Unified Program Agencies to enforce the requirements of hazardous materials facility permits; AB 1702 (Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee) extends the deadline for compliance with certain technology requirements for new underground storage tank installations on July 1, 2004; and AB 1XX (Jackson) provides that members appointed by the Senate Rules Committee or Speaker of the Assembly to the California Coastal Commission serve a four-year term. Members appointed by the Governor will serve a two-year term at the pleasure of the Governor. This responds to the decision of the California Court of Appeals, Third Appellate District, in Marine Forests Society, et al. vs. California Coastal Commission, et al. The Governor called a Special Session of the Legislature to take care of this issue.
Significant transportation legislation enacted includes: SB 60 (Cedillo) of the major bills of the session which allows persons who do not have legal presence in the United States to be eligible to apply for a California’s driver’s license or identification card; SB 248 (Murray) requires that the practices and activities of recreational vehicle dealers be regulated by the New Motor Vehicle Board; SB 314 (Murray) allows the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority to impose a one-half percent sales tax in Los Angeles County for specified transportation projects; SB 333 (Romero) increases from one year to two years the permitted time for an insured driver with uninsured motorist coverage to file a cause of action against an uninsured motorist; SB 378 (Morrow) requires DMV to immediately issue replacement license plates when requested by subjects of stalking; SB 504 (Kuehl) creates the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority to oversee and administer final design and construction for completion of a Los Angeles-Exposition light rail project from downtown Los Angeles to the city of Santa Monica; SB 551 (Speier) prohibits an insurer from requiring that an automobile be repaired at a specific automotive repair dealer; SB 552 (Burton) requires State Department of General Services, in consultation with the State Air Resources Board and the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, to develop and adopt specification and standards for all passenger cars and light-duty trucks that are leased or purchased on behalf of, or by, state governmental agencies; SB 795 (Karnette) allows Local Service Authorities for Freeway Emergencies to use their highway call box funds for Freeway Service Patrol service and to operate the patrol in their areas; SB 841 (Perata) allows an insurer to use persistency of auto insurance coverage as an optional rating factor in determining rates and premiums; SB 915 (Perata) implements operation of the San Francisco Water Transit Authority and the development of water transit ferry service in the Bay Area; SB 916 (Perata) requires that a special election be held in seven specified Bay Area counties to determine whether a Regional Traffic Relief Plan should take effect, which in turn would trigger a $1 increase in the vehicle tolls on Bay Area toll bridges to be used for Bay Area transportation projects; and SB 1055 (Senate Budget Committee) increases various fees to avert a shortfall in the Motor Vehicle Account and the State Department of the Highway Patrol budget and adjusts the truck weight fee schedule to a level supported by the trucking industry.
Significant transportation legislation enacted includes: AB 16 (Jackson) requires oil produced off the shore of California from new extraction operations, defined as oil from any structure built or exported after January 1, 2003, to be transported by pipeline; AB 213 (Leslie) restricts use of data from recording devices installed in vehicles; AB 260 (Jackson) requires the State Department of Transportation to place a high priority on litter pickup in certain areas; AB 301 (Reyes) prohibits a driver from viewing a video monitor, television or video screen, video signal or a similar device while operating a vehicle; AB 327 (Runner) allows a local court to assess a $100 penalty for specified violations of disabled parking placards to be used specifically to enforce existing laws relative to those identified parking spots; AB 377 (Chan) prohibits and penalizes the use of, and the business of installing whistle-tips; AB 1022 (Oropeza) revises provisions regulating the use of automated traffic enforcement systems (red light cameras) to address concerns and conclusions from a Bureau of State Audits report and court decisions; AB 1238 (Firebaugh) increases fees imposed on motor carriers from the initial terminal inspections as required by the Biennial Inspection of Terminals Program; AB 1303 (Simitian) provides that it is not a violation of the law to block the view of the rear license plate if it is obstructed by a wheelchair lift or wheelchair carrier, and the license plate is a disabled license plate or the vehicle displays a parking placard; AB 1343 (Spitzer) eliminates the option of 15-year olds to receive an instruction permit issued by DMV simply by enrolling in a simultaneously administered program of driver education and driver training; AB 1479 (Chu) clarifies the authority of court assistance programs to monitor traffic violator schools; AB 1625(Benoit) deletes the inclusion of penalty assessments and court costs in determining the maximum fine that a court may impose for failure to wear a seat belt, and increases the total amount owed for failure to wear a seat belt from $22 to $64 for a first offense and from $55 to $151 for a subsequent violation; AB 1697 (Pavley) requires that children in a vehicle under the age of six or less than 60 pounds in weight must be secured in a child seat restraint in the rear seat of the vehicle, with some specified circumstances; AB 1745 (Assembly Transportation Committee) gives State Department of Transportation discretion to reduce the amount of the payment bond requirement for projects costing more than $200 million, and permits this amount to be reduced to half the contract cost or $500 million, whichever is less; AB 1750 (Assembly Budget Committee) pursuant to Article XIXB of the California Constitution, partially suspends the transfer of motor vehicle fuel sales tax revenues from the General Fund to the Transportation Investment Fund for the 2003-04 fiscal year; AB 1751 (Assembly Budget Committee) allocates funds from the Transportation Investment Fund, establishes the repayment of all motor vehicle fuel sales tax revenues that are not transferred to the Transportation Investment Fund in 2003-04, and transfers surplus revenues from the Public Transportation Account to the General Fund; and AB 1768 (Assembly Budget Committee) repays local governments by August 15, 2006, for their loss of Vehicle License Fee backfill payments during the “gap” period which is the period between July 1, 2003 when General Fund backfill payments end pursuant to the 2003-04 Budget and the time when full Vehicle License Fee revenues are restored under the trigger mechanism.
Significant labor relation legislation enacted into law includes: SB 75 (Burton) specifies factors that can be considered during mandatory mediation and conciliation for agricultural employees who have secured union representation but have yet to secure a contract; SB 158 (Alarcon) establishes a bidding preference for public transit service contractors and subcontractors who agree to retain, for a period of at least 90 days, employees of the previous contractor or subcontractor; SB 179 (Alarcon) provides that any person or entity that enters into a contract for labor or services, in specified industries, who knows or should know that the contract does not provide sufficient funds to comply with various laws, violates state law, and employees would be able to recover actual damages through civil action; SB 210 (Burton) strengthens the so-called Coogan Law which protects minors relative to artistic contracts; SB 478 (Dunn) enables employees who are crime victims, immediate family members of crime victims, registered domestic partners of crime victims, and children of registered domestic partners of crime victims to be absent from work to attend scheduled judicial proceedings; SB 578 (Alarcon) enacts labor guidelines to state procurement policies that ensure that goods and services purchased by the state of California are produced in workplaces that adhere to minimum standards for protecting workers; SB 727 (Kuehl) makes clarifying changes to the Family Temporary Disability Insurance Program; SB 777 (Escutia) enhances the so-called Whistleblower Law by providing that an employer may not retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in an illegal activity or activity that may result in violations of state or federal statute or regulation; SB 796 (Dunn) allows employees to sue their employers for civil penalties for employment violations; SB 868 (Dunn) revises the definition of per diem wages to include worker protection and assistance programs or committees and industry advancement and collective bargaining administration fees; SB 966 (Alarcon) allows a contractor to recover increased costs related to public works contracts under specified circumstances; AB 76 (Corbett) rejects a 2002 court of appeal decision which held that workers in California are not protected against workplace sexual harassment perpetrated by customers, vendors, and other third parties, thus making state and federal law regarding harassment by such persons the same; AB 98 (Koretz) provides that the Industrial Welfare Commission may exempt persons covered by valid collective bargaining agreements from provisions of the wage order relating to meal and rest periods; AB 196 (Leno) places the definition of gender from the hate crimes statutes that prohibit violence against any person on the grounds of gender or perceived gender into the Fair Employment and Housing Act; AB 223 (Diaz) overturns a recent holding of the California Supreme Court regarding the awarding of attorneys fees and costs following the appeal of a Labor Commissioner decision or award to the trial court, and restores the state of the law prior to this decision; AB 276 (Koretz) increases fines and civil penalties for specified violations of the Labor Code, and earmarks a portion of the increased penalties to a fund dedicated to educating employers about their obligations under state labor law; AB 324 (Diaz) codifies state regulations requiring a labor compliance program on a public works project be approved by the Director of the Industrial Relations Board; AB 330 (Parra) exempts from the meal requirement in existing law, certain employees in the wholesale baking industry who are covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement; AB 331 (Kehoe) waives the current one-week unpaid waiting period for unemployment benefits when an individual’s unemployment is due to an unforeseen lockout by the employer during a labor dispute; AB 807 (Leno) clarifies that an employer may not credit pension or other contributions against their prevailing wage obligations unless the employer makes the contribution on no less than a quarterly basis; AB 852 (Lieber) establishes a mechanism for the determination of prevailing wage rates on non-public works projects, where a public and private entity voluntarily agree by contract that the employees will receive prevailing wages; AB 1028 (Bermudez) reauthorizes the California Apprenticeship Council to adopt industry-specific training criteria for use by apprenticeship programs; AB 1133 (Koretz) provides that an employer who has failed to satisfy judgment for unpaid wages within six months of the conclusion of any appeal shall be required to pay a penalty equal to the amount of the judgment; AB 1418 (Laird) establishes minimum penalties relating to violations of prevailing wage requirements and requires the Contractors State License Board to make information available on its web site regarding contractors who willfully violate labor laws; AB 1506 (Negrete-McLeod) requires the body awarding any contract for a public works project financed with funds made available by the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century to adopt and enforce a labor compliance program for application to the public works project; and AB 1688 (Goldberg) establishes a system to regulate the employment of workers in the car washing and polishing industry.
Significant legislation enacted in the public employment area includes: SB 85 (Torlakson) makes specified domestic partners of county employees eligible for death benefits and survivor benefits, subject to approval by the board of supervisors, applicable to all counties in California; SB 269 (Soto) allows the Public Employees’ Retirement System and State Teachers’ Retirement System boards to establish appropriate classifications within civil service for its senior executive and investment management positions; SB 439 (Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee) approves amendments to existing memorandum of understandings entered into with Bargaining Units 5 and 8, which provide that employees will forgo a five percent pay increase in 2003-04 fiscal year in exchange for a personal leave day each month, and increases the employers contribution towards health care coverage to 80 percent of the premium for the employees and 80 percent of the dependent coverage; SB 440 (Burton) provides that the decision of an arbitrator that has been requested by representatives of firefighters or law enforcement officers after an impasse has been declared may be overturned by a unanimous decision of the board of supervisors or city council; SB 29X (Senate Budget and Fiscal Committee) enacts the California Pension Obligation Financing Act, which allows the issuance of bonds and the creation of ancillary obligations for the purposes of funding or refunding the state’s pension obligations; AB 55 (Correa) allows a county board of supervisors, in counties operating retirement systems under the County Employees Retirement of Law of 1937, to allow active members of the retirement system to purchase up to five years of service credit for additional retirement credit, upon approval of the board of supervisors; AB 199 (Oropeza) establishes the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Transit Employer-Employee Relations Act, governing employee relations for supervisor employees in MTA and creates an administrative procedure under the Public Employment Relations Board to resolve labor disputes; AB 268 (Mullin) requires that the training provided to newly appointed state supervisors, including training on employment law relating to persons with disabilities; AB 375 (Bermudez) ratifies the memorandum of understandings negotiated between the state and Units 1, 4, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, and 21, which also specifies that for the 2003-04 fiscal year employees shall have their pay reduced by five percent, and in exchange receive eight hours of leave per month, the monthly retirement contributions of employees will be reduced to zero, and this reduction will amortize over 15 years beginning fiscal year 2005-06; AB 475 (Correa) raises the loan value ratio for a home loan under the Public Employment Retirement System (PERS) member home loan program from the existing 95 percent to 100 percent; AB 719 (Negrete-McLeod) allows various PERS members, including employees or officers of the state, public university, a school employer or a contracting agency and certain legislative employees, to be eligible to purchase up to five years of non-qualified service in PERS; AB 977 ( Diaz) ratifies the memorandum of understanding with Bargaining Unit 9 and states the intent that Bargaining Unit 9 will seek future legislative approval for parity adjustments after State Department of Personal Administration completes a salary survey and submits it to the Legislature for review; AB 1141 (Diaz) deletes confidential and supervisory employees from the statutory list of employees for which agency shop fair-share-fee arrangement does not apply; AB 1156 (Nunez) makes clarifying changes to the provisions of law authorizing a public agency to adopt reasonable rules and regulations after consultation in good faith with representatives of a recognized employer-employee organization; AB 1428 (Levine) deletes the limit on the amount of reimbursement that can be paid to employers of California’s PERS-elected board members; and AB 1606 (Shirley Horton) allows an employee of a contracting agency and his/her family members to continue their enrollment in a health benefits plan for up to one year while the employee is on military duty.
Significant Senate housing finance and development legislation enacted includes: SB 162 (Alarcon) expands the Extra Credit Teachers Home Purchase Program to include classified school employees; SB 262 (Kuehl) adds civil penalties to the remedies prosecutors may seek in enforcing building access laws for physically disabled persons; SB 305 (Ducheny) transfers administration of the Enterprise Zone Program to the State Housing and Community Development Department from the State Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency, which is abolished; SB 306 (Ducheny) allows the State Housing and Community Development Department to make grants or loans under the Joe Serena, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Program for acquisition of manufactured homes, to address the impact of displacement on farm worker families due to closure of substandard mobilehome parks; SB 353 (Ducheny) repeals a requirement that the California Housing Finance Agency’s mortgages and loans take lien priority over all other liens; SB 443 (Figueroa) requires courts to impose jail terms of at least 90 days for repeated convictions of contracting without a license, unless the court finds unusual circumstances justifying a lesser penalty or a fine; SB 455 (Torlakson) allows a court to award a civil penalty of up to $2,500 in civil lawsuits when a homeowner prevails against an equity purchaser for certain violations; SB 567 (Torlakson) increases fines for second or subsequent infraction violations of local building and safety codes; SB 619 (Ducheny) makes major changes to laws to remove barriers to the development of affordable housing by prohibiting discrimination, eliminating some discretionary approvals, extending the anti-NIMBY laws, punishing frivolous and dilatory lawsuits, reforming the Cal Home Program, and encourages affordable housing on the coast; SB 639 ( Torlakson) extends the Inter-Regional Partnership State Pilot Project to Improve the Balance of Jobs and Housing through 2008; and SB 919 (Ortiz) raises the maximum county jail term for misdemeanor assault or battery without injury on a code enforcement officer from six months to one year, and increases the fine from $1,000 to $2,000.
Significant Assembly housing finance and development legislation enacted includes the following: AB 104 (Lowenthal) requires homeowner association boards to make their accounting books and records and the minutes of proceedings available for inspection and copying by association members; AB 304 (Mullin) raises the limits on down payment assistance available to homebuyers through the Housing and Revitalization Areas Program and the Extra Credit Teachers Program; AB 305 (Mullin) requires a city or county to grant additional density bonuses, concessions, other incentives if a child-care facility is included as part of a proposed housing development that is entitled to density bonuses under existing law; AB 475 (Correa) allows PERS to make home loans to PERS members up to 100 percent of a home’s value; AB 512 (Bates) creates a process for a homeowners association to adopt and change its operating rules, giving association members notice and an opportunity to comment; AB 518 (Salinas) requires a local agency formation commission to consider how a proposed city or county boundary change will affect the community in meeting its fair share of the regional housing needs; AB 668 (Cox) allows a county and a newly incorporated city to agree to revise their respective regional housing-need allocations; AB 677 (Firebaugh) requires a local government agency or private entity seeking housing development approval to file a public notice with the State Office of Planning and Research if the project qualifies for one of the housing exemptions from the California Environmental Quality Act; AB 728 (Leno) expands financing options for condominium development by making it easier for developers to pre-sell condominiums before they are built and to use the binding sales contracts and escrow deposits as the basis for obtaining bigger construction loans at better terms; AB 903 (Steinberg) revises and recasts various provisions governing home construction defect actions; AB 1086 (Laird) prohibits a community service organization or similar entity created by a homeowners association from charging a fee for the transfer of title to an individual interest in the common interest development; AB 1309 (Goldberg) allows a city or county to acquire and utilize or convey real property for construction of new school site replacement housing; AB 1347 (Maze) requires cities and counties to follow the accounting and reporting requirements of the Mitigation Fee Act for any fees they receive or costs they recover from development agreements signed on or after January 1, 2004; AB 1400 (Wolk) requires developers of new residential housing as of July 1, 2004, to offer buyers a list of “universal design” modifications that may be made to the home at the buyer’s expense, (“universal design” is a principle that allows products and environments to be built without having to be adapted for use by individuals with special needs); AB 1410 (Wolk) requires state or local agencies that are selling surplus property in a transit village area or infill opportunity zone to give right-of-first-refusal to the county, city, redevelopment, public transportation, or housing agencies in which the property is located; AB 1475 (Steinberg) enhances the Multifamily Housing Program and the Supportive Housing Initiative Act; AB 1525 (Longville) permits homeowners association members to display noncommercial signs, posters, banners, or flags on their own separate-interest in the common-interest development, unless an association rule against such display is necessary to protect safety or the posting violates local, state, or federal law; AB 1536 (Goldberg) streamlines some of the complaint procedures currently under the Fair Employment and Housing Act; AB 1594 (Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee) prohibits emergency shelter or transitional housing providers from restricting occupancy on the basis of a military veteran status if the veteran served by the provider possesses significant barriers to social reintegration and employment.
Significant landlord-tenant legislation enacted includes: SB 90 (Torlakson), SB 345 (Kuehl), SB 538 (Torlakson), AB 647 (Nunez), AB 1059 (Lieber), AB 1217 (Leno), and AB 1384 (Maddox).
Significant mobilehome legislation enacted includes: SB 54 (Dunn, SB 116 (Dunn), SB 306 (Ducheny), AB 682 (Corbett), AB 693 (Corbett), AB 767 (Nakano), AB 805 (Diaz), and AB 1287 (Lieber).
Significant legislation enacted in the election field includes SB 448 (Poochigian) requires the State Franchise Tax Board to include voter registration cards with the personal income tax forms mailed to taxpayers; SB 610 (Escutia) creates a task force to recommend procedures for training poll workers and increasing the number of students who can serve on precinct boards, and specifies that a board member must be a voter of the state; SB 613 (Perata) ensures that California is in compliance with the Federal Help America Vote Act of 2002; AB 177 (Oropeza) establishes a Voter Bill of Rights, stating the rights of voters established under existing laws; AB 188 (Maze) provides that special absentee voters and overseas voters are permanent absentee voters; AB 190 (Levine) clarifies a voter casting a provisional ballot; AB 255 (Jerome Horton) prohibits use of a local government agency official seal in campaign literature or mass mailings with the intent to deceive voters; AB 277 (Dutra) prohibits a person from engaging in political cyberfraud in relation to a web site relating to a ballot measure; AB 346 (Longville) provides that an election may be contested if eligible voters were denied the right to vote; AB 461 (Longville) provides that the law governing provisional voting is to be construed liberally in favor of the provisional voter; AB 587 (Ridley-Thomas) requires voter registration cards to include a space where the voter may state his/her race, ethnicity, or both; AB 593 (Ridley-Thomas) requires the Secretary of State to provide every high school, community college, California State University, and University of California campus with voter registration forms; AB 915 (Dutra) prohibits a person from photographing, videotaping, or otherwise recording a voter entering or exiting a polling place within 100 feet of a polling place, with the intent of dissuading another person from voting; AB 1544 (Simitian) allows cities with a population less than 100,000 special districts, and school districts to hold all-mail elections in order to fill a vacancy on the legislative or governing body; AB 1679 (Assembly Elections, Reapportionment, and Constitutional Amendments Committee) updates the law relating to the Democratic Party’s Presidential delegation selection process; AB 1680 (Strickland) establishes a procedure for the chair of the Republican State Central Committee to notify the Secretary of State of the apparent nomination of the Republican candidates for president and vice president; and AB 1689 (Levine) repeals the requirement that a provisional voter who has moved from one precinct to another within the same county show proof of residency prior to casting a provisional ballot.
Significant tax legislation enacted into law includes: SB 43 (Cedillo) extends the Emergency Food Assistance Program Fund tax checkoff; SB 92 (Speier) creates a California Mission Foundation Fund tax checkoff to aid in restoring the 21 California historic missions; SB 103 (Alpert) clarifies the tax deductions that are not allowed to regulated investment companies (RICs) and are allowed to corporations related to distributions received from a RIC; SB 157 (Bowen) creates the Streamlined Sales Tax Project; SB 180 (Burton) allows for redirection of funds from the California Firefighters’ Memorial tax checkoff; SB 285 (Speier) clarifies the innocent spouse tax provisions of law; SB 314 (Murray) allows the Los Angeles Metropolitan Authority to impose an additional 0.5 percent sales tax in Los Angeles County for specified transportation projects; SB 448 (Poochigian) requires the State Franchise Tax Board to include a voter registration card with the income tax filing forms mailed to taxpayers; SB 614 (Cedillo) and AB 1601 (Frommer) enacts a comprehensive set of changes to increase penalties for investors, promoters, and organizations of abusive tax shelters; SB 566 (Scott) increases the cap on total allowable countywide transactions and use tax rates to two percent; SB 760 (Scott) extends the state and local sales tax exemption for the sales and lease of public passenger transportation vehicles until January 1, 2009; SB 808 (Karnette) reenacts the sales and use tax exemption for bunker fuel that is used by water common carriers after reaching their first out-of-state destination; SB 1064 (Burton) clarifies the amount of sales tax refund for the manufacturers’ Investment Tax Credit available to taxpayers; SB 1065 (Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee) requires that federal tax elections made by a person prior to being a California taxpayer are binding for California purposes; AB 132 (Chavez) provides ordering rules to be used by the State Franchise Tax Board when adding income tax checkoffs; AB 137 (Correa) extends the California Fund for Senior Citizens tax checkoff until 2010; AB 189 (Cogdill) provides a sales and use tax exemption for fundraising and related sales of meals and food products of nonprofit veteran organizations; AB 1043 (Liu) reauthorizes the State Board of Equalization to administer a managed audit program; and AB 1741 (Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee) reduces the statute of limitations for a qualified purchase from eight to three years for collection of unpaid use taxes if the failure to report and pay the tax were due to a reasonable cause.
Other significant legislation enacted includes: SB 109 (Torlakson) enhances procedures for enforcing redevelopment agencies’ reporting requirements, including imposing graduated civil penalties for agencies that fail to correct major audit violation; SB 114 (Torlakson) eliminates the authority of local government to provide financial assistance to a vehicle dealer or big box retailer for relocating from one community to another community within the same market area; SB 146 (Escutia) puts in place new requirements as to the Spanish language translations required under existing law of specified negotiated contracts in Spanish; SB 411 (Ducheny) ratifies tribal-state gaming compacts entered into between the State of California and the La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians and the Santa Ysabel Band of Diegueno Mission Indians; SB 434 (Escutia) enhances the law concerning corporate misconduct; SB 521 (Bowen) provides for increased representation of small business interests before the Public Utilities Commission; SB 523 (Escutia) enhances the law concerning misstatements as to the financial condition of companies; SB 551 (Speier) prohibits an insurer from requiring that an automobile be repaired at a specific automotive repair dealer; SB 552 (Burton) requires state agencies to adopt specified procurement and use policies to increase the fuel efficiency and reduce the petroleum usage of the vehicles leased or owned by the state; SB 618 (Scott) increases fines for misrepresentation of insurance policies and increasing the penalty for violations relating to the senior insurance law; SB 620 (Scott) creates additional restrictions on advertising practices that target seniors and expanding the scope of existing restrictions to life insurance and annuities; SB 621 (Battin) establishes priorities and procedures for funding to local governments from the Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund for the purpose of mitigating impacts from tribal casinos; SB 633 (Ashburn) allows formation of Table Grape Pest and Disease Control Districts to combat the threat to the grape industry posed by the glassy-winged sharpshooter and Pierce’s disease; SB 748 (McPherson) creates the Governors Commission on State Veterans’ Cemeteries to establish the need for state veterans’ cemeteries, and locates and prioritizes sites for the future construction of these cemeteries; SB 841 (Perata) allows an insurer to use persistency of auto insurance coverage as an optional rating factor in determining rates and premiums; and SB 930 (Ducheny) ratifies the tribal-state gaming compact entered into between the Torres-Martinez Tribe and the state of California; AB 71 (Jerome Horton) establishes a statewide licensing program for tobacco manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers administered by the State Board of Equalization; AB 309 (Chu) requires a person in a trade or business who negotiates specified contracts or agreements primarily in Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean language to deliver to the other party prior to execution thereof, a translation of the contract or agreement; AB 326 (Dutton) provides that applicable governmental entities in charge of issuing dog licenses may allow veterinarians to issue licenses to owners of dogs that make application; AB 702 (Jackson) removes the State Fire Marshal from, and adds the Fair Employment and Housing Commission, the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, and the California African-American Museum to the State and Consumer Services Agency; AB 776 (Matthews) creates within the State Department of Food and Agriculture the Milk and Dairy Food Safety Branch; AB 846 (Vargas) prohibits smoking inside a public building and within 20 feet of a main exit, entrance, or operable window of a public building; AB 944 (Steinberg) allows assessments made by property and business improvement districts to be levied for the purpose of making improvements and promoting activities of benefit to the businesses within the district; AB 965 (Kehoe) establishes “The Californian” as the official state tall ship; AB 1355 (Wiggins) allows the Commissioner of the State Department of Financial Institutions to impose civil money penalties for acts that violate applicable laws relating to financial institutions; and AB 1492 (Laird) creates a new procedure for the Williamson Act contracted land that identifies contract breaches.