Consumer Legislation




Consumer Legislation

SB 67 (Kopp-I) Product liability actions: tobacco

Repeals the current immunity from product liability actions conferred upon tobacco manufacturers, tobacco industry research groups, and their successors in interest, but not limited to retailers and distribution of tobacco products.

Chapter 570, Statutes of 1997

SB 107 (Kelley-R) Automotive repair

Removes the sunset date exemption from Bureau of Automotive Repair registration persons whose primary business is as a supplier of new or rebuilt wholesale automotive parts and who solely remachines individual parts.

Chapter 107, Statutes of 1997

SB 170 (Lewis-R) Trading stamp companies

Repeals statute requiring regulation of the trading stamp industry by the State Department of Corporations and, instead provides civil remedies and criminal penalties for violation of statutory requirements of the trading stamp industry.

Chapter 310, Statutes or 1997

SB 184 (Polanco-D) Barbering and cosmetology

Reinstates the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology in the State Department of Consumer Affairs and sunsets the board July 1, 2001.

(On Senate Inactive file)

SB 189 (Kelley-R) Weights and measures

Provides for the continuation of the current administrative penalty program and the current registration fees under the weights and measures laws by extending the sunset date 3 years to January 1, 2001. Requires the Legislative Analyst to study the effectiveness of the civil penalties and to report findings to the Legislature and the Governor by January 1, 2000.

Chapter 476, Statutes of 1997

SB 214 (Hughes-D) Home improvement contracts

Prohibits home improvement contractors from taking a security interest in an elder person's primary residence to secure payment of the contract.

Vetoed by the Governor

SB 289 (Calderon-D) Automobile warranties: lemon law

Expands the time, mileage, public notification and other qualified provisions of the Tanner Consumer Protection Act relative to new motor vehicles.

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

SB 322 (Craven-R) Auto body repair: shop certification

Creates a Better Auto Body Repair Shop Gold Star Program to require the Bureau of Automotive Repair to establish standards for the voluntary certification of auto body repair facilities.

(In Senate Business and Professions Committee)

SB 338 (Karnette-D) Contracts: rental purchase: dance studios

Makes clarifying technical changes to the Karnette Rental-Purchase Act to correct erroneous cross-references. Revises a reference to the Secretary of State's street address in the laws governing dance studio contracts.

Chapter 112, Statutes of 1997

SB 340 (Sher-D) Product liability: tobacco companies

Provides that Civil Code Section 1714.45 does not (and declares it never did) apply to any action, including product liability actions, against a tobacco company, its successor-in-interest, or a tobacco industry research organization brought by individuals who claim they did not voluntarily consume the products, or were subjected to fraud, misrepresentation or conspiracy by the tobacco industry.

Vetoed by the Governor

SB 369 (Kopp-I) Scanning devices

Requires the State Department of Food and Agriculture to adopt regulations for point-of-sale stations to verify the accuracy of advertised prices and to determine the correct use of sale equipment. Enacts the California Shops with Confidence Consumer Protection Act, making it unlawful to operate a point-of-sale station in any county without registering with the county.

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

SB 382 (Thompson-D) Home protection contract

Requires a written disclosure to be made to the purchaser of a home protection contract, as specified.

(In Senate Insurance Committee)

SB 589 (Hughes-D) Home improvement installment loans

Requires, in retail installment sales contracts involving home improvements that create a security interest in real property, that a seller consider the buyer's ability to repay the loan, and that a seller require an "at risk" buyer to obtain independent advice and counseling before completing the sale and loan.

Vetoed by the Governor

SB 597 (Peace-D) Internet use

Provides that any solicitation, transaction, or communication made over the Internet be unlawful if that solicitation, transaction, or communication is unlawful if made in person, by mail, by means of a telephone, or in any other manner under the Business and Professions Code or other provision of law.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

SB 621 (Rosenthal-D) Dog breeders

Requires every dog breeder to obtain an annual dog breeder permit from the local health officer or local animal contract agency, as specified.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

SB 690 (Polanco-D) New Motor Vehicle Board

Revises procedures applicable to new Motor Vehicle Board proceedings by allowing the board to make determinations on appeals, protest and on other specified areas related to new car dealers, businesses and manufacturers. Maintains that counties have jurisdiction over all common law and statutory claims cognizable in the courts (i.e., breach of contract or fraud) and allows any party to initiate legal action directly with a court of competent jurisdiction in those instances.

Chapter 356, Statutes of 1997

An identical bill is SB 1284 (Hughes-D), which is on Assembly Inactive File.

SB 709 (Rosenthal-D) Self-help legal services

Specifies that provisions by legal technicians of self-help legal services does not constitute practice of law.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

SB 816 (O'Connell-D) Funeral practices: casket sales

Provides, until January 1, 2001, that it is unlawful for any person, other than licensed funeral directors, to sell, or offer to sell, on a retail basis, a casket or alternative container unless the person complies with certain price and disclosure requirements.

Vetoed by the Governor

SB 825 (Greene-D) Contractors' State License Board

Extends the sunset of the Contractor's State License Board for 2 years and requires the board to report to the Legislature on consolidating or eliminating some specialty licenses, and on whether a separate classification or certification of some improvement contractors is appropriate.

Double-joined with SB 857 (Polanco-D).

Chapter 813, Statutes of 1997

SB 827 (Greene-D) State professional licensing boards

Extends the sunset date for the Registered Nursing Board, Board of Vocational Nurses and Psychiatric Technician Examiners, Board of Pharmacy, Board of Architectural Examiners, Veterinary Medical Board and Structural Pest Control Board from 1999 to 2004. Changes the number of members and composition of these boards and amends various technical, licensing and regulatory provisions.

Chapter 759, Statutes of 1997

SB 828 (Greene-D) Professional engineers

Extends the sunset date for the Board of Registration for Engineers and Land Surveyors to July 1, 2000 and expands the industrial exemption to cover certain employees of high-technology industries.

Chapter 705, Statutes of 1997

SB 857 (Polanco-D) Contractors

Permits the Contractor's State License Board to restrict the type of work a general building contractor can perform and requires the board to furnish documents, as specified.

Chapter 812, Statutes of 1997

SB 920 (Thompson-D) Olive oil: labeling

Specifies that olive oil labeled as California olive oil must be made from California olives. If olive oil is labeled as coming from a viticultural area, as specified in federal law, 75% of the oil must be from olives grown in that viticultural area. Permits the blending of olive oil if the contents and proportions of the blend are prominently displayed on the container's label.

Chapter 543, Statutes of 1997

SB 930 (Rosenthal-D) Consumer credit

Allows consumers annual free access to their credit report, allows consumers to block access to their credit report, and increases change of address verification requirements on credit card issuers.

(In Assembly Banking and Finance Committee)

SB 1086 (Schiff-D) Self-service storage facilities

Revises, until January 1, 2000, the definition of self-service storage facility and provides that the owner or operator of a self-service storage facility or a household goods carrier may transport and store undivided storage containers subject to certain restrictions.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

SB 1280 (Leslie-R) Coffee: misbranding

Provides that any coffee is misbranded if it purports, or is represented to consist of, a particular type of coffee bean, by packaging, labeling, or advertising, and it does not consist of 100% of the identified type of coffee bean.

(In Senate Health and Human Services Committee)

SB 1291 (Calderon-D) Motor vehicle leasing and advertising

Requires state motor vehicle leasing laws to meet federal lease contract regulations, and requires specific disclosure on consumer motor vehicle lease contracts.

Chapter 800, Statutes of 1997

SB 1346 (Senate Business and Professions Committee) Professional boards

Makes changes to various professional licensing laws and brings the State Department of Consumer Affairs licensing boards into compliance with federal regulation that mandates statutory authorization for obtaining criminal records.

Chapter 758, Statutes of 1997

SB 1348 (Senate Business and Professions Committee) Professions

Makes various changes in the law concerning the regulation of sellers of travel, real estate appraisers, yacht brokers and immigration consultants.

Chapter 790, Statutes of 1997

AB 46 (Sweeney-D) Service charges and surcharges

Prohibits penalties for proponents of credit card debt and prohibits surcharges for the use of certain ATM machines.

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

AB 156 (Murray-D) Credit reporting agencies and personal information

Makes numerous changes in the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act to require credit agencies to conduct a more thorough investigation when consumers complain of fraud and to provide consumers with rights and remedies that are not currently available. Provides for unblocking of credit information on a preponderance of the evidence based on specified facts. Makes it a misdemeanor for a person to willfully obtain personal identifying information of another person and use the information to obtain, or attempt to obtain credit, goods, or services in the name of the other person without the consent of that person.

Chapter 768, Statutes of 1997

AB 183 (Richter-R) Automotive Repair Bureau: ombudsperson

Requires the Director of Consumer Affairs to appoint an ombudsperson for the Bureau of Automotive Repair to have the authority to overrule a decision of the bureau to enforce or apply regulations on a case-by-case basis.

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

AB 225 (Woods-R) Motor vehicle lease: advertisements

Requires radio advertisements for motor vehicle leases to include a referral to either a toll-free number or to a printed advertisement with general information, as specified.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

AB 268 (Campbell-R) Retail food stores

Exempts from the California Uniform Retail Food and Facilities Law a self-service bulk beverage dispensing operation that meets specified requirements.

Chapter 224, Statutes of 1997

AB 362 (Bowen-D) Environmental advertising

Provides guidelines for advertising of consumer goods as "ozone friendly;" "biodegradable," "photodegradable," or "recyclable" and makes it unlawful to represent goods as such if they do not meet the definitions established by the bill or the Federal Trade Commission.

(Failed passage in Assembly Appropriations Committee)

AB 396 (Kaloogian-R) Food facilities

Requires ready-to-eat food prepared at food facilities to be heated and/or reheated to specified internal temperatures in order to increase consumer safety.

Chapter 366, Statutes of 1997

AB 459 (Firestone-R) Adulterated shellfish

Creates a pilot project to warn the public in order to prevent the taking and consumption of adulterated shellfish for human consumption.

Chapter 770, Statutes of 1997

AB 593 (Cardoza-D) Raw eggs

Makes it a crime to handle eggs for human consumption which are not maintained at an average temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or at the temperature established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations, with specified exemptions. Requires egg handlers to label human consumption eggs with notice of refrigeration requirements and "sell-by" information. Specifies that failure to do so is a crime.

Chapter 403, Statutes of 1997

AB 752 (Migden-D) Tobacco advertising

Prohibits the advertising of any tobacco product on an outdoor billboard within 1,000 feet of any public or private elementary school, junior high school or public playground.

Chapter 219, Statutes of 1997

AB 757 (Escutia-D) Infant safety

Prohibits unsafe cribs in child care facilities and provides for information and instructional material relating to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome to parents and care facilities.

Chapter 263, Statutes of 1997

AB 764 (Davis-D) Food and drug inspections

Permits the advertising of drugs and devices for the treatment or specified diseases, provided certain approvals are obtained. Changes the annual inspection of drug and device manufacturers to once every 2 years. Requires, if the federal Food and Drug Administration has conducted its own inspection within the previous 2 years, that the State Department of Health Services use the information contained in the written Food and Drug Administration documentation prior to conducting its own inspection.

Chapter 516, Statutes of 1997

AB 872 (Wright-D) Consumer credit contracts: liens

Provides that no seller is to enter into or obtain a consumer credit contract for the sale of home improvement goods or services offered by door-to-door sale that contains or is secured by a lien to be attached to real property, except as specified.

(Failed passage in Assembly Judiciary Committee; reconsideration granted)

AB 996 (Sweeney-D) Advertising

Clarifies and makes permanent certain provisions within the Outdoor Advertising Act which provide that on-premises advertising displays located within business centers are exempt from reclassification if the property where the sign is located is subdivided and the display still conforms with existing laws pertaining to on-premises signs.

Chapter 471, Statutes of 1997

AB 1054 (Goldsmith-R) Gift certificates

Exempts gift certificates from the prohibition on expiration dates if they are sold at a volume discount to an employer or for fundraising purposes. Exempts gift certificates that are for food products.

Chapter 472, Statutes of 1997

AB 1213 (Miller-R) Home improvement contractors

Establishes a certification program for home improvement contractors, licensed by the Contractor's State License Board, until January 1, 2004.

Chapter 888, Statutes of 1997

AB 1277 (Thomson-D) Refuel service: disabled drivers

Makes various changes with respect to the requirement that service stations provide assistance to persons displaying a disabled person's placard by requiring notices and signs of the requirement and imposes enhanced fines for violations.

Chapter 836, Statutes of 1997

AB 1289 (Pringle-R) Amusement rides

Enacts the California Rider Safety Notification Act imposing duties upon amusement facilities, riders of amusement rides, and parents or guardians of minor riders.

(In Assembly Labor and Employment Committee)

AB 1394 (Figueroa-D) Packaging and labeling

Allows packaging for non-food commodities containers to contain excess space (back-fill) for specified reasons.

Chapter 711, Statutes of 1997

AB 1399 (Cardenas-D) Home protection insurance contracts

Exempts affiliates of electric companies which are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission from the home protection contract provisions of the Insurance Code when they provide home electric and telephone wiring warranty contracts. Sunsets January 1, 2001.

Chapter 523, Statutes of 1997

AB 1435 (Machado-D) Credit cards: marketing information

Requires credit card issurers to provide written notice to a cardholder before the issuer discloses information about that cardholder.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

AB 1458 (Papan-D) Outdoor advertising

Provides an exemption from the Outdoor Advertising Act for advertising displays located in the City and County of San Francisco on street furniture. Defines street furniture as any kiosk, trash receptacle, bench, public toilet, newsrack, or public telephone placed on, or adjacent to, a street designated as a state or federal highway.

Vetoed by the Governor

Similar legislation is SB 280 (Brulte-R), which is on the Assembly Inactive File.

AB 1498 (Campbell-R) Drive-thru facilities: accessibility

Makes legislative findings and declarations regarding the importance of drive-thru facilities in providing access to the disabled and the elderly. Limits the ability of local agencies to disapprove, or conditionally approve, a drive-thru facility or modify the conditions on existing drive-thru facilities that would make the application or existing business "infeasible" unless certain findings are made.

(In Assembly Local Government Committee)

AB 1546 (Assembly Consumer Protection, Governmental Efficiency and Economic Development Committee) Consumer affairs

Makes various changes in the law concerning architects, landscape architects and funeral directors and embalmers. Extends the sunset date on the State Board of Guide Dogs for 5 years. Allows the Director of Consumer Affairs to enter into an interagency agreement with an appropriate state entity within the department to delegate the duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities and jurisdictions that have been succeeded to and vested with the department, as specified. Makes revisions to the law governing disposition of the remains of a deceased person.

Chapter 475, Statutes of 1997

AB 1548 (Assembly Consumer Protection, Governmental Efficiency and Economic Development Committee) Seller assisted marketing plans

Requires a seller (or its representatives) of a seller-assisted marketing plan to disclose if it, or any other company managed by an officer of the selling company, has been convicted of fraudulent activity or has had a civil judgment filed against it for fraudulent activity.

Chapter 377, Statutes of 1997

AB 1603* (Bustamante-D) Liability: common consumer products

Clarifies that the statute conferring immunity from liability actions brought on behalf of public entities to recover state paid tobacco-related costs. Provides that the barring of an injured individual's claim is not to constitute a defense to an action brought by a public entity. Specifies the bill does not constitute a change in, but is declaratory of, existing law.

Chapter 25, Statutes of 1997

ACR 4 (Perata-D) Tobacco products: advertising

Provides legislative endorsement of the federal Trade Commission requirement that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company conduct teenage anti-smoking education and provide data regarding adolescent tobacco consumption.

Resolution Chapter 91, Statutes of 1997