2013-14 Legislation

Health Legislation

SB 189 - Establishes consumer protections for wellness programs offered by group health care plans or insurers.  Wellness programs would need to be reasonably designed to promote health and prevent disease, as well as ensure fairness to all individuals who voluntarily participate.  The measure allows for wellness program incentives that are linked to premiums, cost sharing for participation based programs, and prohibits financial penalties.  (Status:  Failed passage in the Senate Committee on Appropriations)

SB 193 - Requires chemical manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, importers and their agents, when requested by the Hazardous Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS) and when data is jointly maintained at the Department of Industrial Relations and the Department of Public Health, to provide the names and addresses of their customers who have purchased chemicals or  products containing chemicals, and their proportions, to the repository maintained by HESIS under the condition of confidentiality.  (Status:  Assembly Committee on Appropriations)

SB 494 – Expands the definition of a primary care provider to include Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants under the classification as “nonphysician medical practitioner.”  Until January 1, 2019, the bill allows up to 1,000 additional enrollees for each full-time equivalent nonphysician medical practitioner to be added to the supervising physician’s panel in order to increase network capacity.  (Status:  Chapter 684, Statutes of 2013)

SB 622 – Until July 1, 2024, levies an excise tax of one cent ($0.01) per fluid ounce on any beverage that adds caloric sweeteners, such as sodas, energy drinks, sweet teas, and sports drinks.  The funds generated would support statewide childhood obesity prevention activities and programs.  (Status:  Died on the Senate Committee on Appropriations Suspense File)

SB 1000 - Requires a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages, which contain 75 calories or more per 12 ounces, sold in California.  SB 1000 provides information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.  The warning label will allow consumers to make choices informed by the latest scientific evidence linking sugary drink consumption to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.  (Status: Senate Committee on Health)

SB 1034 – Removes the requirement that health plans and insurance policies may provide a waiting period of up to 60 days as a condition of employment for health care coverage.  The bill prohibits group health care benefit plans from imposing any waiting or affiliation period.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Health)

Underground Economy Legislation

SB 261 - Allows the Contractors’ State License Board (CSLB) to issue administrative citations whether or not these violations are pursued by a district attorney, and enables the CSLB to establish a relevant record against licensees and non-licensees.  (Status:  Chapter 163, Statutes of 2013)

SB 262 - Provides that the failure of a qualified individual to exercise direct supervision and control of a construction project, in accordance with statue and regulations adopted by the Contractors’ State License Board, constitutes grounds for disciplinary action with violations punishable as misdemeanors.  (Status:  Chapter 180, Statutes of 2013)

SB 263 – Current law requires a local government agency to give a 10% preference to any bidder on a service public transit contract who agrees to retain employees of the prior contractor or subcontractor for a period of not less than 90 days.  This measure would expand these provisions to require a “state” agency to be included as an awarding authority.  (Status:  Assembly Committee on Rules)

Labor Legislation

SB 1314 - Extends the deadline from 20 days to 30 days to appeal an administrative law judge’s decision of a denial of unemployment insurance benefits by the California Employment Development Department.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations)

SB 1315 - Establishes in statute the requirement that the Employment Development Department (EDD) issue a notice of probable overpayment of unemployment insurance benefits and provide related assistance to claimants.  It would also require EDD to provide a minimum of 20 days in which to respond to the notice.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations)

Education Legislation

SB 1107 – Requires the Attorney General to report annually on truancy and chronic absenteeism in California’s elementary schools.  The annual report would contain information on truancy rates, chronic absenteeism rates, best practices used by districts in preventing truancy, and information on intervention efforts used by schools, including the use of school attendance review boards and parent notification.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Education)

Environmental Legislation

SB 1020 - Requires photovoltaic (PV) panel manufacturers, individually or collectively, or in conjunction with PV panel vendors, to establish a program for the collection, transportation, reuse, recycling, and proper disposal of end-of-life PV panels.  The Department of Toxic Substances Control would approve the program and prohibit those who fail to comply from selling or offering for sale PV panels in California.  (Status: Senate Committee on Environmental Quality)

SB 1117 – Enables the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to update the statistical method used to identify potential groundwater pollutants and to mitigate or cancel the use of a pesticide if its breakdown product is found to pollute groundwater.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Environmental Quality)

Veterans Legislation

SB 106 - Adds technical clean-up language to Assembly Bill 1842, authored by then Assemblymember Monning, (Chapter 745, Statutes of 2012), to ensure that financial agreements to receive cash advances in the Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Ord Endowment Fund are first approved by the Department of Finance and do not require the state to repay or make payments on cash advances.  

The bill also clarifies how to calculate the principle amount required to be retained in the Endowment Fund in order to pay for the annual operations and maintenance costs of the Cemetery, and ensures that any entity, including the state, that deposits funds into the Endowment Fund will be refunded in full should the grant application be rejected.  These clarifying changes ensure the cemetery’s position on the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran’s Cemetery Grant Program priority list.  (Chapter 745, Statutes of 2012)

SB 232 – Provides an appropriation of $1 million to the Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Ord to be applied toward the non-reimbursed costs determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.  In addition, it amends current statute regarding operations and maintenance funds to provide for ongoing federally reimbursed burial fees to apply to funding calculations.  (Status:  Chapter 694, Statutes of 2013)

Water Legislation

SB 936 - Authorizes the California Public Utilities Commission to issue a financing order allowing the use of an alternative financing mechanism known as “Water Rate Relief Bonds;” authorizes the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to issue water rate relief bonds for the purpose of purchasing water rate relief bonds issued by another financing entity pursuant to a financing order; and only applies to water supply property serving the Monterey Peninsula.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Governance and Finance)

Insurance Legislation

SB 1011 - Authorizes nonprofits that offer health and human services to “self-insure” property coverage through a charitable risk pool.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Insurance)

SB 1142 - Clarifies that the annual health and disability fraud fee collected by the California Department of Insurance to fund the investigation and prosecution of disability fraud applies to each person in California covered under an individual or group insurance policy regardless of the status of the contract or master policy holder; and would clarify that the health and disability fraud fee applies to blanket insurance policies.  (Status:  Senate Committee on IN(Status:  Senate Committee on Insurance)

Worker-Related Legislation

SB 168 - Holds a successor to any licensed or unlicensed farm labor contractor, which owes wages or penalties to the predecessor’s former employees, liable for those wages or penalties if the successor meets specified criteria, such as use of the same facilities and workforce or if the shared ownership and management of the successor contractor includes an immediate family member of the owner, partner, officer, licensee, or director of the predecessor employer.  (Status:  Chapter 715, Statutes of 2013)

SB 462 – Clarifies current law and affirms the rights of a worker to bring court action against an employer for wages or financial benefits owed to them without fear of paying the employer’s attorneys’ fees if they do not prevail.  (Status:  Chapter 142, Statutes of 2013)

SB 1087 - Amends the state Farm Labor Contractor Act to mandate sexual harassment training for licensees and their supervisors; allows the Labor Commissioner to take adverse license action against sexual predators; increases surety bond requirements; requires the disclosure of labor contractors’ fee arrangements to ensure compliance with the California’s Financially Responsible Labor Contractor Act; and increases the annual educational training requirements for licensees.  (Status:  Senate Labor and Industrial Relations)

Public Safety Legislation

SB 427 - Amends existing law as it pertains to life jacket requirements for boating safety and clarifies the existing statutory definition of a vessel.  These items together update California’s boating safety laws and makes them general enough to remain relevant as life jackets and other boating equipment change over time.  (Status:  Chapter 256, Statutes of 2013)

SB 457 - Revises boating accident reporting requirements to improve compliance with federal regulations by requiring boating law enforcement agencies to report to the Department of Boating and Waterways all boating incidents they respond to or about which they receive a report, as a condition of receiving any funding from the Department.  (Status:  Chapter 165, Statutes of 2013)

SB 564 – Requires ski resorts to prepare an annual safety plan and create a monthly summary report stating the number of deaths at a resort.  The reports would be available upon request.  (Status:  Assembly Committee on Health)

SB 941 - Requires an individual to pass an examination and obtain a vessel operator card from the Division of Boating and Waterways in order to operate a motorized vessel on waterways in the State of California.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water)

SB 1236 - Allows the Board of Directors of the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO) to adopt and enforce ordinances that prohibit specific behaviors on Santa Cruz METRO’s buses or in its transit facilities.  It would also authorize contracted security officers and select employees to issue citations for prohibited behaviors that take place in a Santa Cruz METRO facility or on its property.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing)  

Senior Legislation

SJR 4 - Asks Congress and the President of the United States to enact legislation that reauthorizes the federal Older Americans Act.  (Status: Resolution Chapter 36, Statutes of 2013)

Miscellaneous Legislation

SB 112 - Allows historic voter records to be made available to the public 100 years after their creation.  Historic voter registration records are often contained in bound books called Great Registers and are valuable sources of historic information to archivists, historians, and those interested in their genealogical roots.  SB 112 is similar to federal Census laws, which allow public access to analogous records after 72 years.  (Status:  Chapter 118, Statutes of 2013)

SB 907 - Fixes a technical ambiguity in the International Commercial Arbitration and Conciliation Act to allow international commercial arbitration in California.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Judiciary)

SB 987 - Authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife to use a portion of the funds received from the California Sea Otter Fund tax check-off to publicize information about the Fund.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Rules)

SB 1050 – Requires that notarized forms contain a consumer protection statement specifying that the notary public’s seal verifies only the identity of the consumer and not the validity of the entire document.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Judiciary)

SCR 81 – Declares the month of March 2014 be designated as California Essential Tremor Awareness Month to generate public awareness about the most common neurological condition that affects the quality of life for an estimated 10 million Californians.  (Status:  Assembly Committee on Rules)

SCR 83 – Authorizes the most recent version of the California Law Revision Commission’s (Commission’s) proposed calendar of topics.  The resolution would continue the Commission’s existing study authority without change.  It also directs the Commission to provide a detailed description of any new study to the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Judiciary Committees in both the Senate and Assembly, as well as to any policy committees that have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the study, and provides guidance relating to the distribution of Commission reports and the appearance of Commission staff as witnesses at committee hearings.  (Status:  Senate Committee on Judiciary) 

Other Highlights

SB 4 (Pavley: Monning Coauthor) – Establishes a comprehensive regulatory program for oil and gas well stimulation treatments (e.g., hydraulic fracturing, acid well stimulation), which includes, among other things, a study, the development of regulations, a permitting process, and public notification and disclosure.  (Status: Chapter 313, Statutes of 2013)

SB 365 (Wolk; Monning Coauthor) – Secures jail funding for Monterey County.  Monterey County will receive nearly $44 million from an $80 million pool of funds.  (Status:  Chapter 627, Statutes of 2013)

 *Full text of bills can viewed at www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov