Consumerism Legislation

Index Consumerism Legislation

SB 99 (Hughes-D) Unruh Act: home improvements contracts

Requires, in retail installment sales contracts involving home improvements that create a security interest in the real property in excess of $5,000, a seller to determine whether: (1) a buyer is an "at-risk" buyer, as specified, and provide notice to all at-risk buyers of the possibility of foreclosure on the buyer's home; and (2) the loan would be an "at-risk" loan to an at-risk buyer and require such buyers to obtain independent advice and counseling before completing the sale and loan.

Vetoed by the Governor

SB 129 (Peace-D) Privacy: personal information

Creates the Office of Privacy Ombudsman under the Secretary of State with specified authority regarding privacy violations by commercial or governmental entities, and authorizes an individual to bring a cause of action for the unlawful release of personal information.

(In Conference)

SB 185 (Peace-D) Billing practices: customer marital status

Makes it unlawful for any business to use words that specifically reference an individual's marital status as part of the customer's mailing address. Exempts from this prohibition the use of the prefixes "Mr.," "Mrs.," "Ms.," or "Miss." Provides that any violation of this bill is to be punishable by a civil penalty of up to $250 for each violation.

Chapter 343, Statutes of 1999

SB 187 (Hughes-D) Home improvement contracts

Prohibits the seller of a home improvement contract from taking a security interest, other than a mechanics lien, in the principal residence of a buyer who is 65 years of age or older. Imposes civil remedies and penalties for a violation of the law prohibiting a lender in a home improvement contract from making direct payments solely to the home improvement contractors.

Chapter 512, Statutes of 1999

SB 313 (Figueroa-D) Debit cards: cardholder liability

Generally limits consumer liability for unauthorized debit card charges to a maximum of $50. Requires consumers to report any unauthorized uses of a debit card that appears on their periodic statement within 60 days of the card issuer's transmittal of the statement and can be extended under extenuating circumstances. If the consumer fails to report the unauthorized use within 60 days, the consumer is to be liable for the amount of each unauthorized transfer that occurs after the close of the 60 days and before notice to the debit card issuer.

Chapter 244, Statutes of 1999

SB 417 (Bowen-D) Supermarket club cards

Enacts the Supermarket Club Card Privacy Act of 1999, requiring, on and after July 1, 2000, any application form or written solicitation for a supermarket club card account to be used for personal, family, or household purposes which is obtained on or after July 1, 2000, by a consumer residing in this state and issued by or on behalf of a supermarket, to contain or be accompanied by certain disclosures, except as specified. Requires a specified notice to be provided to all persons who obtained a supermarket club card prior to that date. Provides that a violation of these provisions constitutes "unfair competition" and is subject to specified civil penalties.

(Failed passage in Assembly Appropriations Committee; reconsideration granted)

SB 419 (Speier-D) Dairy products: milk price surveys

Requires the Department of Food and Agriculture, over the next two years, to conduct statewide monthly retail milk price surveys and a public information program that provides the survey's findings, and to report to the Legislature by June 30, 2001 on the program.

Chapter 682, Statutes of 1999

SB 545 (Dunn-D) Credit: notice

Requires disclosure requirements for credit card company issued checks or drafts constituting a charge against the cardholder's account.

Chapter 171, Statutes of 1999

SB 556 (Peace-D) Unsolicited commerce

Revises the law pertaining to contractual agreements for goods or services shipped or provided consumers through the mail by repealing the use of the so-called "negative option" contract--where the company will ship the monthly item unless the consumer notifies the company that he or she does not want the item by sending a "negative option" notice in a timely manner.

(Failed passage in Senate Judiciary Committee; reconsideration granted)

SB 820 (Sher-D) Electronic transactions

Enacts the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. Generally applies to all transactions in which records or signatures are transmitted electronically, but excludes from coverage transactions subject to laws on wills, codicils or testamentary trusts and other specified transactions. Establishes rules and procedures for the sending and receiving of electronic record and signatures, the formation of contracts using electronic records, the making and retention of electronic records and signatures, and the procedures governing changes and errors in electronically transmitted records. Establishes the validity of transactions formed, transmitted and recorded electronically, and establishes the admissibility of electronic records in a legal proceeding.

Chapter 428, Statutes of 1999

SB 822 (Escutia-D) Tobacco product settlement

Enacts model legislation as recommended in the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement to create a reserve fund from which tobacco manufacturers not participating in the settlement may pay future litigation claims.

Chapter 780, Statutes of 1999

SB 865 (Hughes-D) Real property: notaries public and contractors

Requires revocation of the commission of a notary public who falsely acknowledges a signature on a document that affects title to real property, or who fraudulently performs any notarial act that affects title to such property and requires the suspension or revocation of the license of any home improvement contractor who violates regulations governing financing provisions of home improvement contracts.

(In Assembly Consumer Protection, Governmental Efficiency, and Economic Development Committee)

SB 926 (Speier-D) Personal information: supermarkets

Enacts the Supermarket Club Card Disclosure Act of 1999 which prohibits supermarkets from requesting or requiring a customer to provide a driver's license number or social security number to obtain a supermarket club card unless the card is also a check cashing card.

Chapter 586, Statutes of 1999

SB 930 (Hughes-D) Credit cards

Requires additional notification for credit cardholder address change, requests for new credit cards and regulates credit and transaction receipt information, as specified.

Chapter 423, Statutes of 1999

SB 974 (Speier-D) Vehicle auction

Applies certain requirements to a licensed vehicle dealer when conducting an auction of vehicles to the public.

Chapter 672, Statutes of 1999

SB 988 (Figueroa-D) Telephone solicitations

Requires the Attorney General to establish a "do not call" list consisting of the telephone numbers of telephone subscribers who do not wish to receive unsolicited telephone solicitations. The list will be updated quarterly. Allows the Attorney General to charge a fee of up to $10 for the first year and $5 for each subsequent year to telephone subscribers who request replacement on the list.

(Failed passage in Senate Appropriations Committee; reconsideration granted)

SB 1050 (Murray-D) Consumer credit: home loans

Requires that, when a consumer credit reporting agency provides a consumer credit report in connection with a consumer's application for a home loan, the agency is to make specified written disclosures to the consumer regarding any credit scoring system used to assess the consumer's creditworthiness.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

SB 1092 (O'Connell-D) Conditional sales contracts: motor vehicles

Clarifies the "total cash price" and "downpayment" disclosure requirements in a conditional sale contract for a motor vehicle when trade-ins are involved in the sale. Repeals obsolete provisions of law relating to smog check exemption and donation provisions that have been repealed.

Chapter 212, Statutes of 1999

SB 1124* (Vasconcellos-D) Brokerage contracts

Validates a brokerage agreement entered into by electronic transmission, if the agreement electronically transmitted back to the customer to the broker-dealer is accompanied by the customer's digital signature, as defined.

Chapter 213, Statutes of 1999

SB 1171 (Johnson-R) Public accommodations

Allows an innkeeper to evict a guest who stays beyond the contractual period, as specified. Allows a hotel to prohibit the distribution of handbills on the premises and makes a prohibited distribution of handbills on the premises punishable by a civil penalty as unfair competition under existing law. Specifies that where a minor, 12 or younger, is accompanied by an adult, the innkeeper may require the adult to agree in writing not to leave the minor unattended on the innkeeper's premises during their stay and to monitor and control the minor's behavior.

Chapter 354, Statutes of 1999

SB 1212 (Perata-D) Product liability: firearms

Repeals the law which provides that, in a product liability action, no firearm or ammunition is to be deemed defective in design on the basis that the benefits of the product do not outweigh the risk of injury posed by its potential to cause serious injury, damage, or death when discharged.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

SB 1228 (Vasconcellos-D) Rental vehicles

Requires rental car companies at the San Jose International Air[port to collect a city-imposed fee on users of rental car services at the airport for the purpose of funding rental car facility and transportation improvements.

Chapter 760, Statutes of 1999

SB 1284 (Bowen-D) Milk fat and milk solids

Allows milk products that meet national nutritional standards, but not those of California, to be sold in this state if it contains specified information on the container.

(Failed passage in Senate Agriculture Committee; reconsideration granted)

SB 1285 (Bowen-D) Agricultural produce: consumer information

Establishes a consumer information process for the purpose of identifying the county of origin or agricultural produce.

(In Senate Appropriations Committee)

SB 1306 (Senate Business And Professions Committee) Department of Consumer Affairs: regulatory board

Provides that whenever a regulatory program of a board within the Department of Consumer Affairs is subject to review by the Joint Legislative Sunset Review Committee and is taken over by the department, it is designated as a "bureau."

Chapter 656, Statutes of 1999

AB 396 (Havice-D) Outdoor advertising displays

Exempts, from the prohibition against placing advertising displays adjacent to landscaped freeways, a nonconforming billboard or advertising sign erected within specified smaller urbanized municipalities of limited population.

Chapter 280, Statutes of 1999

AB 425 (Corbett-D) Check cashing: deferred deposit

Reduces the fee that a state licensed check cashing business can charge for a deferred deposit and limits the number of transactions a store can enter into with a single customer.

(Sent to interim study)

AB 453 (Havice-D) Consumer credit reports

Prohibits consumer credit reporting agencies from including in any consumer credit report a statement that the consumer's debt payments are being, or have been, managed by a credit management counseling service. Prohibits these agencies from providing to a credit scoring organization, and a credit scoring organization from using, the number of inquiries received by the agency for transactions initiated by the consumer with a specified period.

(Failed passage in Assembly Banking and Finance Committee; reconsideration granted)

AB 531 (Soto-D) Service stations: air and water and restrooms

Requires all service stations to provide free air and water service to customers who purchase motor vehicle fuel and notify customers of this requirement and the requirement that their restroom facilities are clean and functioning.

Chapter 583, Statutes of 1999

AB 648 (Strickland-R) Dance studio contracts

Deletes the statutory price cap on dance studio contracts and requires such a contract to provide that performance of the contract will begin with six months and provides that the period of payments or financing by the buyer may not exceed one year and revises provisions regarding cancellation.

Chapter 1024, Statutes of 1999

AB 659 (Wiggins-D) Point-of-sale stations

Requires a retail establishment to pay a customer between $1 and $7.50 if that establishment is notified by the customer that, as a result of a completed retail sales transaction, a customer was charged a price for an item or commodity that is greater than the advertised, posted or quoted price. A customer opting for this remedy would forego any other remedy.

(Failed passage in Senate Judiciary Committee; reconsideration granted)

AB 713 (Firebaugh-D) Motor vehicle leases: Spanish translation

Requires as of January 1, 2001 any prospective assignee (a bank or other lending institution) that provides a lessor under a lease contract with any preprinted form for use as a lease contract to, upon the request of a lessor, provide the lessor with a Spanish language translation of the preprinted form.

Chapter 235, Statutes of 1999

AB 742 (Honda-D) Mechanic's lien

Prohibits a person, other than a general contractor, from recording a mechanic's lien against an owner-occupied dwelling where the homeowner has paid the general contractor in full, and creates a Contractor's Default Recovery Fund to provide financial assistance for laborers and suppliers who were not adequately paid for their services due to the default of the general contractor.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

AB 758 (Thomson-D) Consumer credit reporting

Provides that prevailing plaintiffs, rather than all prevailing parties, are entitled to recover court costs and reasonable attorney's fees in civil actions involving violations of the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act, and eliminates the exemption for out-of-state credits from the provisions of the Act.

Chapter 836, Statutes of 1999

AB 828 (Baldwin-R) Consumer guide: funeral and cemetery purchases

Requires funeral establishments to provide consumers with a business guide produced by the Federal Trade Commission for use by funeral business entities.

(Failed passage in Assembly Consumer Protection, Governmental Efficiency, and Economic Development Committee; reconsideration granted)

AB 884 (Kuehl-D) Advance-fee talent agencies

Regulates advance-fee talent services, including the contents of contracts with artists, and the posting of surety bond.

Chapter 626, Statutes of 1999

AB 966 (Papan-D) Car rentals

Requires a rental company to disclose additional prescribed information regarding the renter's insurance coverage and that the credit card used to pay for the rental may provide liability coverage. Deletes the maximum amount that a rental company may charge for an optional damage waiver.

(In Assembly Judiciary Committee)

AB 969 (Papan-D) Debt collectors

Incorporate by reference selected provisions from the Federal Debt Collection Practice Act. Renames Robbins-Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Chapter 319, Statutes of 1999

AB 1004 (Papan-D) Loan charges

Permits finance lenders and premium finance agencies to increase the maximum fee for a nonsufficient funds check to $20 on January 1, 2000. A nonsufficient funds fee of up to $25 could be charged on January 1, 2001. The increase in fees applies to consumer and commercial loans made by finance lenders.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

AB 1007 (Wayne-D) Consumers Internet Privacy Protection Act

Enacts the Internet Privacy Protection Act of 1999 which prohibits internet service providers from disclosing personal information about a subscriber to a third party for marketing or other purposes without the knowledge and affirmation consent of the subscriber.

(Sent to interim study)

AB 1024* (Dutra-D) Disasters: price gouging

Makes it a misdemeanor for any person to sell specified goods or services for 10% more than the price charged prior to October 1, 1999 if those items become scarce due to the "year 2000" problem.

(In Assembly Appropriations Committee)

AB 1138 (Strom-Martin-D) Financial planning services: seniors

Requires the Department of Justice to conduct a study of the advertising and sales practices employed in the sale of estate and financial planning services and financial products to senior citizens, as specified.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

AB 1156 (Gallegos-D) Motorcycle safety

Enacts the Adrian Millan Motorcycle Safety Act making it unlawful for a licensed motor vehicle dealer to sell or lease a motorcycle to any person requiring the licensed purchaser or lessee who intends to drive the motorcycle off the dealer's premises to sign a form attesting that the person is licensed to operate the motorcycle, and that the person releases the dealer from any civil liability for injuries that may be incurred, due to the driver's negligence, from driving the motorcycle off the premises.

(Failed passage on Senate Floor; on Senate Inactive File)

AB 1231 (Machado-D) Advertising: coupons

Makes it unlawful to offer a coupon, as defined, that is untrue or misleading, or to represent that a coupon is a gift or prize if the recipient must pay any money or purchase, lease or rent any goods or services under specified conditions.

Chapter 907, Statutes of 1999

AB 1290 (Davis-D) Warranties: motor vehicle manufacturers

Revises the so-called "lemon law" to apply its presumptions for 18 months or 18,000 miles rather than one year or 12,000 miles.

Chapter 448, Statutes of 1999

AB 1304 (Maddox-R) Home solicitation contracts

Revises the definition of "services" in the law regulating home solicitation contracts to exclude services of licensed private investigators.

(In Assembly Judiciary Committee)

AB 1331 (Papan-D) Consumer credit reports

Corrects a reference error in the provisions relating to furnishing credit reports and provides for disclosures following reports of violation to police.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

AB 1375 (House-R) Advertising: telephone directory listings

Prohibits providers or vendors of floral or ornamental products from listing a local telephone number if they are not located in that area, unless the true business location is identified.

Vetoed by the Governor

AB 1379 (Granlund-R) Preneed funeral arrangements

Allows the trustee of a preneed funeral trust to pay taxes directly on behalf of the consumer.

Chapter 241, Statutes of 1999

AB 1413 (Shelley-D) Outdoor advertising: street furniture

Permits advertising displays located on street furniture within the City and County of San Francisco on, or adjacent to, any street designated as a state or federal highway unless such displays would result in the loss of federal highway funds.

Chapter 320, Statutes of 1999

AB 1443 (Zettel-R) Product liability

Enacts the California Product Liability Reform Act of 1999 establishing specific provisions governing the determination of strict liability for design defects, and exempting prescription drug manufacturers from strict liability for design defects.

(In Assembly Judiciary Committee)

AB 1462 (Cox-R) Preneed burial containers

Establishes trust requirements for preneed burial container arrangements.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

AB 1509 (Machado-D) Credit cards: marketing information

Amends the notice requirements provided by credit card issuers to cardholders, regarding the cardholder's right to prohibit the disclosure of marketing information by the credit card issuer, as specified.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 1520 (Leach-R) Bunk beds

Enacts the Bunk Bed Safety Act of 1999 to prohibit any commercial user from manufacturing, retrofitting, selling, leasing, subletting, or otherwise placing in the stream of commerce a bunk bed that is unsafe for children, except as specified, on or after January 1, 2000.

Chapter 920, Statutes of 1999

AB 1595 (Migden-D) Cigar labeling

Requires each manufacturer or importer of cigars to place, or cause to be placed, one of three specified warning labels on each retail package of cigars packaged for sale after September 1, 2000, and shipped for distribution in California.

Chapter 693, Statutes of 1999

ACR 70 (Washington-D) Y2K price stabilization

Requests business owners and essential service providers in the state to refrain from raising prices of goods, services, and public utilities beyond acceptable levels as a result of the Y2K computer conversion.

(In Assembly Information Technology Committee)



Top Index (in Bill Order)

Bill Author and Bill Title Reference Links

SB 99

Unruh Act: home improvements contracts

SB 129

Privacy: personal information

SB 185

Billing practices: customer marital status

SB 187

Home improvement contracts

SB 313

Debit cards: cardholder liability

SB 417

Supermarket club cards

SB 419

Dairy products: milk price surveys

SB 545

Credit: notice

SB 556

Unsolicited commerce

SB 820

Electronic transactions

SB 822

Tobacco product settlement

SB 865

Real property: notaries public and contractors

SB 926

Personal information: supermarkets

SB 930

Credit cards

SB 974

Vehicle auction

SB 988

Telephone solicitations

SB 1050

Consumer credit: home loans

SB 1092

Conditional sales contracts: motor vehicles

SB 1124*

Brokerage contracts

SB 1171

Public accommodations

SB 1212

Product liability: firearms

SB 1228

Rental vehicles

SB 1284

Milk fat and milk solids

SB 1285

Agricultural produce: consumer information

SB 1306

Senate Business And Professions Committee
Department of Consumer Affairs: regulatory board

AB 396

Outdoor advertising displays

AB 425

Check cashing: deferred deposit

AB 453

Consumer credit reports

AB 531

Service stations: air and water and restrooms

AB 648

Dance studio contracts

AB 659

Point-of-sale stations

AB 713

Motor vehicle leases: Spanish translation

AB 742

Mechanic's lien

AB 758

Consumer credit reporting

AB 828

Consumer guide: funeral and cemetery purchases

AB 884

Advance-fee talent agencies

AB 966

Car rentals

AB 969

Debt collectors

AB 1004

Loan charges

AB 1007

Consumers Internet Privacy Protection Act

AB 1024*

Disasters: price gouging

AB 1138

Financial planning services: seniors

AB 1156

Motorcycle safety

AB 1231

Advertising: coupons

AB 1290

Warranties: motor vehicle manufacturers

AB 1304

Home solicitation contracts

AB 1331

Consumer credit reports

AB 1375

Advertising: telephone directory listings

AB 1379

Preneed funeral arrangements

AB 1413

Outdoor advertising: street furniture

AB 1443

Product liability

AB 1462

Preneed burial containers

AB 1509

Credit cards: marketing information

AB 1520

Bunk beds

AB 1595

Cigar labeling

ACR 70

Y2K price stabilization