2013-14 Legislation

Senator Bill Monning’s 2013-14 Legislative Bill Package

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 to provide the names and addresses of their customers who have purchased chemicals or products containing chemicals, and their proportions, to the Hazardous Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS).  The information HESIS gains from its request will help it target workers known to be at risk, thereby protecting employers from increased liability and employees’ health from harmful exposure to toxic chemicals.  (Status:  Chapter 830, Statutes of 2014)

SB 494 – Expands the definition of a primary care provider to include Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants under the classification as “non-physician medical practitioner.”  Until January 1, 2019, the bill allows up to 1,000 additional enrollees for each full-time equivalent non-physician 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: Held in the Senate Committee on Appropriations)

SB 1000 – Requires a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages, which contain 75 calories or more per 12 ounces and sold in California, to inform consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.  (Status: Failed passage in the Assembly 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.  It also prohibits group health care benefit plans from imposing any waiting or affiliation period.  (Status:  Chapter 195, Statutes of 2014)

SB 1315 - Authorizes the Department of Health Care Services to enforce corrective actions against Medi-Cal fee-for-service providers who fail to remediate deficiencies and are subject to existing temporary suspension and deactivation requirements.  It also requires providers to become compliant, within a specified time period or be deactivated as a participating provider, in the Medi-Cal program, under specified conditions.  (Status:  Chapter 844, Statutes of 2014)

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.  It also expands these provisions to require a “state” agency to be included as an awarding authority.  (Status: Held in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations)

Consumer Legislation

SB 994 – Establishes consumer protection safeguards for vehicle owners with onboard computing technologies by requiring consumers to be given clear notification about the type of information their vehicle generates, stores and transmits to automakers.  Consumers would have access to the information their car generates and be able to opt-out of the collection of car data by manufacturers.  Automakers would be required to receive consumer consent prior to sharing or selling a consumer’s vehicle data to a third party.  (Status: Failed passage in the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing)

Education Legislation

SB 1107 – Requires the Attorney General and the Superintendent of Public Instruction 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:  Held in the Senate Committee on Appropriations)

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: Held in the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality)

SB 1117 – Allows the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to better ensure that harmful pesticides stay out of California’s groundwater by enabling 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:  Chapter 626, Statutes of 2014)

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 the financial agreements to receive cash advances by 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 principal 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.  (Status:  Chapter 745, Statutes of 2012)

SB 232 – Appropriates $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 to allow the use of an alternative financing mechanism, known as “Water Rate Relief Bonds,” by the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District and other financing entities to finance water supply infrastructure.  The issuance of water rate relief bonds will result in lower costs to California American Water Company customers when compared to traditional utility financing mechanisms.  (Status:  Chapter 482, Statutes of 2014)

Insurance Legislation

SB 1011 - Authorizes nonprofits that offer health and human services to “self-insure” property coverage through a charitable risk pool.  (Status:  Chapter 556, Statutes of 2014)

SB 1065 - Authorizes certain reports required under the Insurance Code to be submitted electronically rather than by hardcopy, and establishes standards and procedures for transmitting electronic copies.  (Status:  Held on the Assembly Inactive File)

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.  It also clarifies that the health and disability fraud fee applies to blanket insurance policies.  (Status:  Chapter 251, Statutes of 2014)

SB 1205 - Requires the California Department of Insurance Curriculum Board to develop or recommend courses of study on commercial earthquake risk management that include courses relating to understanding risk zones, options for insurance coverage to cover potential loss, mitigation strategies, and post-event recovery, to ensure insurance agents and brokers have access to training on the complex issues of commercial earthquake insurance and mitigation.  (Status:  Chapter 252, Statutes of 2014)

SJR 28 – Memorializes to the President of the United States and to the Congress of the United States to enact the Earthquake Insurance Affordability Act (S. 1813 Feinstein/Boxer).  (Status: Resolution Chapter 92, Statutes of 2014)

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, as well as requires all non-supervisorial employees, including agricultural employees, be trained in identifying, preventing, documenting, and reporting sexual harassment in the workplace.  It allows the Labor Commissioner to take adverse license action against sexual predators and increases surety bond requirements in order to protect farm workers from wage theft.  (Status:  Chapter 750, Statutes of 2014)

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 it responds to or about which it receives a report, as a condition of receiving any funding from the Department.  (Status:  Chapter 165, Statutes of 2013)

SB 564 – Requires ski resorts to submit summary accident reports to the Injury Surveillance and Epidemiology Unit of the Safe and Active Communities Branch in the Department of Public Health (DPH).  A summary accident report must contain information regarding the number of fatal and nonfatal accidents reported at the resort, in addition to the number of skier days and the number of full or partial operation days during the reporting period.  DPH would be required to post the reports on their website.  (Status:  Held in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations)

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:  Chapter 433, Statutes of 2014)

SB 1236 – Authorizes a transit district to designate district employees, except as specified, or security officers contracted by the district, to enforce state laws relative to certain prohibited acts on or in public transportation systems, if the employees or officers satisfy specified training requirements.  (Status:  Chapter 253, Statutes of 2014)  

Senior Legislation

SJR 4 - Asks the United State 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 – Clarifies that a person representing a party in international commercial arbitration need not be a member of the legal profession or licensed to practice law in California.  (Status:  Held in the Assembly 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:  Chapter 621, Statutes of 2014)

SB 1050 – Requires notarized certificates to have a consumer protection statement indicating that a notary seal attests to only the identity of the consumer, and not to the content of the document being notarized.  (Status:  Chapter 197, Statutes of 2014)

SB 1314 - Extends the deadline from 20 days to 30 days for appealing the denial of unemployment insurance benefits by the California Employment Development Department to an administrative law judge.  (Status:  Chapter 399, Statutes of 2014)

SCR 81 – Declares March 2014 as California Essential Tremor Awareness Month to generate public awareness about the most common neurological condition that affects the quality of life of an estimated 10 million Californians.  (Status: Resolution Chapter16, Statutes of 2014)

SCR 83 – Authorizes the most recent version of the California Law Revision Commission’s (Commission’s) proposed calendar of topics.  The resolution continues 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:  Resolution Chapter 63, Statutes of 2014) 

Other Highlights

AB 1478 (Assembly Budget Committee) – Makes various technical adjustments to the 2014-15 resources, environmental protection, energy, and agriculture budget actions and include increasing the state expenditure cap from $25 million to $30 million for the removal of San Clemente Dam in Monterey County.  (Status: Chapter 664, Statutes of 2014)

AB 2453 (Achadjian) - Authorizes the formation, governing board structure and powers of the Paso Robles Basin Water District in San Luis Obispo County, with the district’s boundaries to be established by the San Luis Obispo County Local Agency Formation Commission, until January 1, 2019.  (Status: Chapter 350, Statues of 2014)

SB 4 (Pavley) – Establishes a comprehensive regulatory program for oil and gas well stimulation treatments, (i.e. hydraulic fracturing and acid well stimulation), which includes but is not limited to a study, the development of regulations, a permitting process, and public notification and disclosure.  (Status:  Chapter 313, Statutes of 2013)

SB 365 (Wolk) – Secures funding for the Monterey County jail.  Monterey County will receive close to $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