General Government

Other legislation of note that was chaptered into law included SB 2 (Wiggins) extending the sunset date of the Pierce’s Disease Control Program relating to eradicating the glassy-winged sharpshooter which affects the grape industry; SB 39 (Benoit) clarifying that disaster service workers are not liable for civil damages resulting from an act or omission while performing disaster services of the act or omission is willful (Good Samaritan Law); SB 40 (Correa) providing increased privacy protection for individual’s social security numbers; SB 43 (Alquist) enhancing the ability of the Santa Clara Stadium Authority to construct a new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers Football Team; SB 66 (Price) enhancing small business development; SB 75 (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) ensuring that the intent of the court closure legislation--that a furlough not impact an employee’s service credit or benefit for retirement purposes--be effectuated; SB 93 (Kehoe) distinguishing between the public works projects that a redevelopment agency can finance inside and contiguous to redevelopment project areas and the public works projects that an agency can finance outside project areas; SB 116 (Calderon) improving the state’s ability to sell registered reimbursement warrants; SB 135 (Florez) prohibiting tail docking of cattle; SB 140 (Corbett) developing and establishing, by the Department of Food and Agriculture, a Citrus Nursery Stock Pest Cleanliness Program; SB 200 (Correa) allowing private, nonprofit, and eligible organizations, as specified, to advertise raffles on the Internet; SB 215 (Wiggins) adding a regional transportation plan to the list of factors that local agency formation commissions must consider before making boundary decisions; SB 254 (Wiggins) revising the horse racing law relative to the sale of equines; SB 260 (Wiggins) increasing from $0.02 to $0.05, the maximum fee paid to the Division of Measurement Standards of the Department of Food and Agriculture (DFA) for each gallon of motor oil sold or purchased on or after January 1, 2010, and authorizing the Secretary of DFA to apply a fee of $0.03 for each gallon of motor oil sold or purchased prior to the adoption of regulations; SB 285 (Wright) ensuring that California law regarding veterans’ disability benefits conforms to existing federal law which protect such benefits from creditors and attachments; SB 300 (Yee) establishing a surcharge for payment of navigational aids for bar pilots and revises the pilotage rate; SB 340 (Yee) requiring any business making an “automatic renewal” or “continuous service” offer to clearly and conspicuously, as defined, disclose terms of the offer and obtain the consumer’s affirmative consent to the offer; SB 510 (Corbett) strengthening and refining the provisions of California’s Transfers of Structured Settlement Payment Rights Act in order to better protect consumers who wish to transfer to a financial entity their structured settlement payment rights (i.e., periodic payment rights) for a lump sum payment; SB 548 (Huff) requiring prime contractors who have stipulated they would use a disabled veteran-owned business enterprise (DVBE) in the performance of the contract to require certification at the completion of the contract that all related payments have been made to the DVBE; SB 572 (Leno) designating May 22 of each year as Harvey Milk Day, and calling for the day to be observed by public schools as a day of special significance, and requiring the Governor to annually proclaim May 22 as Harvey Milk Day; SB 644 (Denham) increasing veterans points on state service examinations for veterans without prior state service; SB 786 (Yee) enhancing the protection of government transparency laws; AB 31 (Price) increasing the maximum amount of a public contract for goods, services, or information technology to a certified small business from $100,000 to $250,000 without complying with specified competitive bidding requirements; AB 32 (Lieu) enhancing the Internet privacy rights under current law to make the opt-out process easier for public office; AB 63 (Mendoza) requiring a retailer selling a service contract to maintain the service contract information and make the contract available to the purchaser upon request, as specified; AB 83 (Feuer) encouraging individuals to volunteer, without compensation, to assist others in need during an emergency, while ensuring that those volunteers who provide care or assistance act responsibly without fearing a lawsuit (Good Samaritan Law); AB 121 (Hernandez) allowing a judgment lien to be renewed prior to the five-year expiration of the lien; AB 131 (Evans) requiring the Judicial Council to establish a cost-recovery program for appointed counsel in dependency cases; AB 138 (Hayashi) requiring California-licensed accounting firms to undergo peer review of their accounting and auditing services; AB 210 (Hayashi) clarifying that cities and counties are authorized to adopt green building standards; AB 281 (De Leon) creating the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee to prevent and control citrus diseases in California; AB 370 (Eng) increasing the maximum criminal penalties for unlicensed contractors; AB 399 (Brownley) ensuring that a furloughed state employee receives the same amount of retirement service credit he/she would have received absent the furlough; AB 400 (De Leon) requiring the Financial Information System for California to list state General Fund and federal fund expenditures in the amount of $5,000 or greater on a public Web site; AB 459 (B. Lowenthal) providing process whereby a party to a dissolution or nullity or marriage or legal separation can waive disclosure of specified financial declarations; AB 470 (Niello) authorizing an insurer to provide accident reports to the attorney for the insured; AB 490 (Smyth) revising the guidelines by which a pet store operator or employee may euthanize rodents and rabbits intended as food for another animal, and modifying the definition of a pet store, as specified; AB 567 (Villines) enhancing and strengthening the California Whistleblower Protection Act; AB 590 (Feuer) prohibiting the use of the term “legal aid” by an entity unless the entity is a nonprofit organization that provides civil legal services to the poor without charge; AB 606 (Ma) creating the California Blueberry Commission to provide better marketing knowledge and options for growers, who would levy an industry assessment; AB 717 (Cook) designating March 30 of each year as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,” calling for the day to be observed by public schools as a day of special significance, and requiring the Governor to annually proclaim March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day”; AB 720 (Caballero) expanding the timeline for a local government to provide committed assistance for the rehabilitation of affordable housing units; AB 904 (V. M. Perez) specifying that a business engaged in the manufacturing of parts or components related to the production of electricity using solar, wind, biomass, hydropower, or geothermal resources on or after July 1, 2010, is eligible under the California Investment Incentive Program; AB 1046 (Anderson) increasing homestead exemptions and requiring the Judicial Council to determine, at three-year intervals, the amount by which the exemption should be increased, and reporting that amount to the Legislature; AB 1084 (Adams) providing a time frame for notice relating to an increase or change in fees levied under the Mitigation Fee Act and establishing procedures for requesting an audit of those fees; AB 1160 (Fong) requiring a financial organization that negotiates a contract in one of five specified languages to provide the consumer with a summary of loan terms translated into the language in which the contract was originally negotiated; AB 1191 (Conway) allowing licensees selling alcoholic beverages to accept United States passports and foreign passports as proof of age; AB 1196 (Blumenfield) enhancing and strengthening the California False Claims Act; AB 1245 (Monning) establishing a procedure by which the Secretary of State, on behalf of the California State Archives could recover governmental records, belonging to the state or a local agency that are found in possession of non-governmental entities or persons; AB 1291 (Niello) enhancing and strengthening the Unclaimed Property Law; AB 1388 (Hernandez) allowing local agencies to issue and sell general obligation bonds through the negotiated sale method for a price above or below par value, as specified; AB 1470 (Evans) permitting an on-sale beer and wine public premises licensee and a licensed winegrower to allow a person who has purchased and partially consumed a bottle of wine to remove the partially consumed bottle from the premises upon departure; AB 1549 (Assembly Banking and Finance Committee) restoring the ability of judgment creditors to obtain judgment liens against the assets of a judgment debtor organization that is incorporated or registered in another state but has assets located in California; AB 1566 (Assembly Banking and Finance Committee) extending the sunset date on a provision of law which describes the information a depository or institution is required to provide a customer, in lieu of a cancelled check, to allow that customer to reasonably identify the items paid from that customer’s account; AB 1568 (Salas) providing disaster relief for local governments subject to the Governor’s proclamation in October 2008, November 2008, and May 2009 in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties; and AB 1584 (Hernandez) increasing disclosure and accountability of investment placement agents, board members, and others associated with public pension funds in California.

Vetoed legislation of note included SB 20 (Simitian) which would have changed the current security breach notification statutes to enhance consumer knowledge about, and understanding of, security breaches by requiring that the customer notification required by current law contain specified information; SB 115 (Lowenthal) which would have established an alternative oath for public employees and applicants for public employment who are precluded by their moral, ethical, or religious beliefs from taking and subscribing to the loyalty oath specified by Section 3 of Article XX of the California Constitution (the state loyalty oath); SB 213 (Florez) which would have extended the moratorium on the issuance of new gambling licenses for card rooms from January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2020; SB 257 (Pavley) which would have required every state agency and department, including local offices, when notified by a female employee that she is nearing maternity leave, to notify the employee, through its usual channels of communication with state employees and in the most cost-effective manner, of specified information regarding breast-feeding; SB 279 (Hancock) which would have added the acquisition, installation, and improvement of energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy improvements to the types of facilities that a community facilities district may finance, or refinance, regardless of whether the buildings or property are privately or public owned; SB 397 (R. Calderon) which would have exempted the sale of certain life insurance policies for funeral and burial expenses from the requirement that the agent provide the senior with a notice of at least 24 hours prior to their initial meeting when certain disclosures are made; SB 406 (DeSaulnier) which would have authorized an additional fee of $1 or $2 on vehicle registration through an existing fee mechanism to be used for planning purposes related to SB 375 (Steinberg) Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008, proposed new duties, membership, and funded the Strategic Growth Council and the Planning Advisory and Assistance Council; SB 505 (Kehoe) which would have expanded the required contents of safety elements that cover state responsibility area lands and very high fire hazard severity zones, as specified; SB 549 (Correa) which would have authorized the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to collect gender, language and ethnicity data from new licensure applicants and renewal licenses and required that the information be posted on the Board’s Internet Web site; SB 555 (Kehoe) which would have required a person seeking to acquire, by eminent domain, a property subject to a conservation easement to give the holder of the conservation easement a notice containing specified information and an opportunity to comment on the acquisition; SB 641 (Corbett) which would have continued the State Bar’s authority to assess and collect dues from licensed attorneys in California in order to support the State Bar’s operations, including discipline; SB 802 (Leno) which would have prohibited a public entity from retaining more than 5% of a contract price until final completion and acceptance of a project; AB 338 (Ma) which would have allowed local officials to divert property tax increment revenues to pay for public facilities and amenities within transit village development districts; AB 442 (Arambula) which would have provided that a notary public may reasonably rely on a Matricula consular issued by the government of the United States of Mexico as proper identification to prove the identity of an individual who executes a written instrument; AB 443 (Galgiani) which would have enacted the California Apple Pest and Disease Prevention Act; AB 472 (Blumenfield) which would have required any state agency, to maintain on its homepage a link that will direct a user to earthquake and emergency preparedness information for the home and workplace; AB 538 (Arambula) which would have authorized agencies that provide emergency medical services to report misuse of the 911 system to the public safety entity that originally received the call; AB 611 (Fong) which would have required the California Emergency Management Agency to take measures to help people with limited-English proficiency prepare for emergencies and understand information conveyed during disasters; AB 632 (Davis) which would have required social networking Internet Web sites to provide a disclosure to users regarding images posted on their sites, as specified; AB 666 (Jones) which would have required the legislative body of a county to make three specified findings before approving a tentative map or a parcel map for an area located in a state responsibility area or a very high fire hazard severity zone as designated by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection; AB 716 (Huber) which would have provided that the Employment Development Department and the Department of Motor Vehicles may, in consultation with the Department of Veterans Affairs, make available in their field offices brochures, forms, and posters in order to inform veterans of benefits and services; AB 725 (Jones) which would have extended from January 1, 2011, to January 1, 2016, the sunset date of the Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Program, and renamed the Program the Martha Escutia and Jackie Speier Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Program; AB 772 (Ammiano) which would have established the Local Government Identification Act, authorizing counties to issue local identification cards to persons who can provide proof of identity and proof of residency with the county; AB 888 (Price) which would have prohibited as an infraction, the possession of an alcoholic beverage container, or consumption of an alcoholic beverage, on a public street, alley, or sidewalk within 600 feet of the property line of a public or private school (K-12) with specified exceptions; AB 1185 (Lieu) which would have provided that an individual who has undergone a sex change operation may obtain, by court order, a new birth certificate reflecting his/her change of sex and any name change requested, from his/her county of birth, in addition to his/her county of residence; AB 1276 (Skinner) which would have prohibited a state official, including the Governor, from binding the state to provisions of a Proposed International Trade Agreement without specified statutory authorization; AB 1312 (Swanson) which would have made the current requirements for health studios to purchase, maintain, and train staff in the use of automatic external defibrillators applicable to amusement parks and golf courses; AB 1357 (Coto) which would have allowed a pawnbroker to charge an interest rate of 2.5% per month on all unpaid balances of a loan; AB 1401 (Ma) which would have created the Transition to Organics Fund and the Transition to Organic Act to assist farmers who are transitioning from conventional farming practices to certified organic practices; and AB 1567 (Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee) which would have required the Employment Training Panel’s strategic plan to include training goals, strategies, and objectives to support target populations, including military veterans.

One of the major accomplishments in the area of state government was the approval of the Governor’s Reorganization Plan (GRP) which consolidates statewide information technology (IT) functions under the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). The GRP is based on a Little Hoover Commission report that proposed realigning IT resources, including the Department of Technology Services (DTS) under the leadership of the OCIO to enhance efficiency and bolster performance. The reorganization is assigned to create more accountability and provide a framework to enhance the IT workforce that supports the computer systems, among other things. It is estimated to achieve a cost savings and cost avoidance of $1.5 billion. Specifically, the GRP (1) integrates four agencies, OCIO Office of Information Security and Privacy Protection (Office of Information Security) DTS and the Department of General Services’ Telecommunications Division into an expanded OCIO; (2) provides the State Chief Information Officer with authority for IT procurement policy and enterprise IT management; (3) achieves consolidation of software contracts, office automation tools, data centers/computer rooms, servers, storage and networks over the course of five years; and (4) preserves program-specific IT systems and budgets at the agency level. The GRP will take effect on May 10, 2009, unless either house of the Legislature takes up a negative resolution to reject it.