Sunday, 14 April 2024

Wiggins leads Legislature with most bill signed into law this year; Berg has 10 bills signed

SACRAMENTO – When it came to getting bills signed into law in the state Legislature this year, state Sen. Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) led the pack.


Wiggins had 17 bills signed this year, up from 11 last year, according to her spokesman, David Miller. That number doesn't include the bills she co-authored with another legislator.


Those 17 bills put Wiggins ahead of the other 39 state senators and all of the Assembly.


Assembly member Patty Berg (D-Eureka) had 10 bills signed into law this year, with two vetoed, according to her office.


Legislators sent a total of 1187 bills to the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008, and he vetoed 415 of those measures, for a record rejection rate of 35 percent, Miller reported. Wiggins had seven bills vetoed.


“All of us who work for members of the legislature feel each and every one of our respective bosses’ bills are important of course, but in a practical sense, Sen. Wiggins’ bills included measures that removed obstacles for businesses – a sentiment this governor obviously shares – measures which protected consumers, measures which protected both business and consumers alike, and measures which were good for both people and the environment,” said Miller.


He added, “She had some other very practical bills that were vetoed, as well, but by and large she was able to successfully move a large number of bills that will positively impact a broad range of Californians.”


Lists of the signed and vetoed bills follow, with brief summaries of what each bill was intended to do.


WIGGINS' SIGNED BILLS


SB 157: Non-Profit Organizations

Over the past several years, there have been a number of laws passed pertaining to winemakers and winegrape growers participating with nonprofit organizations at charity events, including pouring wine for tasting as well as taking orders for wine to be filled back at their wineries or businesses. This bill would make all of those laws consistent, has passed both houses of the Legislature. Signed Sept. 26.


SB 562: Salmon Restoration Funding

Allocates nearly $5.3 million in Proposition 84 funds to the state Department of Fish and Game for coastal salmon and steelhead fisheries restoration. Prop. 84 (the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act) was approved by California voters in 2006. Gov. Schwarzenegger signed this bill into law on April 11, a move which also enable our state to leverage up to $20 million in federal funds for salmon this year.


SB 579: Firefighters

Authorizes Los Angeles County to permit firefighters who retired after April 1, 2007 to reinstate from retirement and work beyond the retirement age, as long they meet certain physical requirements. Signed June 2.


SB 607: Home Winemakers

According to the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, a section of state code forbad competitions for wines made by home winemakers, including those held at county fairs or the state fair. This bill, which Gov. Schwarzenegger signed on June 6, updates the law to officially legalize such events.


SB 608: Judges’ Retirement

This bill makes several changes to the provisions governing the ability of a member of the Judges Retirement System I to elect an optional settlement prior to retirement. It restores the ability of judges that have attained the minimum age for service retirement with at least 20 years of service to elect to designate their spouse to receive an optional settlement in lieu of a pre-retirement death benefit. Signed on Feb. 28.


SB 634: Olive Oil Standards

Each year sees increases in the volume and types of high quality olive oil produced in California, some of which rivals the best oils produced in the world. This bill recognizes that growth and progress by establishing standards for olive oil in California, in line with international standards. Signed on Sept. 30.


SB 662: Veterans Homes

This bill makes technical clarifying changes to the Military and Veterans code regarding management of the state’s Veterans Homes. Gov. Schwarzenegger signed this bill into law on July 22.


SB 780: Funding for Rural and Underserved Telephone Services

Allows for the continued funding of a program paid for by all customers of home and cellular telephone services to protect rural and underserved areas of the state from outrageous phone bills. Signed on Sept. 26.


SB 911: Hot Air Balloons

Allows for the continued exemption of hot air balloon operators from regulation by the California Public Utilities Commission (the PUC) in order for the industry to be able to maintain reasonable priced liability insurance for carrying passengers. Signed on Sept. 30.


SB 1016: Landfill Disposal

Requires cities and counties to measure the amount of waste that is actually deposited in a landfill as opposed to the amount that they could supposedly divert. Will give the California Integrated Waste Management Board a more accurate and timely portrayal of how cities and counties meet the 50% diversion requirement. Signed on Sept. 26.


SB 1093: San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority

This bill is a cleanup measure to last year’s SB 976, which transferred multiple city-operated ferry systems under one state organized ferry system. Specifically, SB 1093 ensures that the level of ferry service in the cities of Vallejo and Alameda are not diminished, and that no downtown redevelopment projects designed around the ferry system are negatively impacted. This bill also requires that if the state takes possession of any ferry facilities or vessels, the city will receive just and reasonable compensation. Signed on Sept. 27.


SB 1123: PERS-Governor’s Pension Commission

Proposes to enact certain recommendations of the Governor's Pension Commission, which met during 2007, relating to: a) retirement and health benefits for employees and retirees being adopted by various California public governing bodies in open, public session, and b) the creation of a State Advisory Actuarial Panel, composed of professional pension actuaries, to discuss and suggest "best practices" for actuaries employed by public retirement systems. Signed on Sept. 27.


SB 1149: Rural Telephone Grants

This bill continues funding for a grant program that provides residential telephone services and cellular coverage to people who are considered to be low-income and/or live in rural areas where no telephone services are currently offered. Signed on Sept. 27.


SB 1431: State Park Easements

This bill seeks to clarify that the state Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) can use conservation easements to protect and preserve state park lands, and enable DPR to make grants to state or local government agencies, or nonprofits, to purchase and hold conservation easements for protection and preservation. Signed on July 17.


SB 1627: Accountability of Board of Pilot Commissioners

This bill places the Board of Pilot Commissioners (Board) under the jurisdiction of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency for the purpose of ensuring appropriate oversight, accountability, and transparency of the Board. The board should be as robust as possible to make certain pilots are properly trained and licensed, so that environmentally devastating accidents, such as the Cosco Busan incident, are minimized or, prevented. Signed on Sept. 29.


SB 1690: Crab Bill

This bill will create an industry advisory group for California crab fishermen, which will ultimately develop recommendations for a sustainable crab fishery. Signed on Sept. 30.


SB 1699: Design Build for Hospitals

This bill allows Sonoma Valley Hospital to use a “design-build” bidding process to build new hospitals or retrofit existing hospitals. The design-build process is different from a typical bidding process for construction projects because it consolidates the design and construction phases for constructing a building to be done by a single entity, which will save SVH time and money. Signed on Sept. 27.


WIGGINS' VETOED BILLS


SB 623: Posted Prices of Gasoline

This bill would have required owners of gas stations to post the price differences between purchases of gasoline with cash and with credit cards. Vetoed by the governor.


SB 992: Adult Recovery Maintenance Facilities

Creates a new category of licensed rehabilitation facilities called Adult Recovery Maintenance Facilities, and gives the Alcohol and other Drug Programs (ADP) authority to ensure these facilities are offering quality services to people in rehabilitation. Vetoed by the governor.


SB 1167: Auto Insurance/Steering Consumers

This bill requires the insurance commissioner to convene a task force that would address “steering” issues and issue a report of their findings and recommendations to the Legislature by December 2009. Some auto insurance representatives continue to persuade consumers to make their vehicle repairs at certain auto body shops, even if the consumer has already selected a shop. Such “steering” is a result of lax existing anti-steering laws that need to be reevaluated in order to protect consumer choice. This bill has passed both the Senate and Assembly. Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 1167 on Sept. 26.


SB 1376: PERS Omnibus Bill

This bill is the annual "housekeeping omnibus bill for the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) that makes many technical, non-substantive word changes in the STRS Law, or repeals obsolete or non-operative sections of that law. Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed this bill on Sept. 26.


SB 1442: Supplemental Instruction/Career Technical Education

This bill clarifies that schools can teach career technical education courses in their after-school or summer school programs. This bill has passed both houses of the Legislature. Vetoed on Sept. 28.


SB 1557: Smart Growth Planning

This bill adds a provision to the State’s Smart Growth planning priorities that seeks to address green house gas emissions. It would strengthen state law with regard to land use by updating Assembly Bill 857, a landmark piece of legislation (signed into law in 2002) to address state practices re: land use. Unfortunately, the provisions of AB 857 have largely been ignored, making SB 1557 necessary. Vetoed by the governor.


SB 1645: Energy Design Element

This bill would require the Energy Commission to update its Energy Aware Planning Guide, and require the Commission to work with the state to develop climate change and energy models for local government general plans. This bill has passed both houses of the Legislature. Vetoed by the governor on Sept. 28.


BERG'S SIGNED BILLS


AB 572: Adult Day Health Care

Modernizes current statute regarding job descriptions and definitions for adult day health care centers, conforms existing law with recent industry reforms, and provides flexibility for transportation and meals.


AB 990: Spud Point Marina

Provides Sonoma County with a process to adjust fees that the marina can levy on consumers.


AB 1889: Potter Valley Unified School District

Allows the district to convert to a four day week.


AB 1952: Veterans' Business Licenses

Code clean-up to ensure all veterans receive waiver of city, county and state business license fees.


AB 2149: Elder Financial Abuse Prevention

Prohibits financial advisors from using titles like "certified senior advisor" unless they are recognized by an accreditation organization and meet certain standards.


AB 2150: Elder Financial Abuse Prevention

Prohibits insurance agents from using titles such as "Senior Life Insurance Expert" or Certified Senior Financial Advisor" unless the Insurance Commissioner has specifically authorized the use of the title.

 

AB 2527: Targeted Case Management

Fixes language in statute that prevents non profits and joint powers agreement entities from claiming Targeted Case Management funds.


AB 2747: End-of-Life Care

Requires health care providers to discuss all legal options for end-of-life care upon request of a terminal patient.


AB 2840: Congressman Mike Thompson

Names a portion of land in “south spit” after Mike Thompson.


AB 2842: Medicare Part D Fraud Prevention

This bill, modeled after a Maine law, prohibits cold-calling and bait and switch tactics used in Medicare sales.


BERG'S VETOED BILLS


AB 317: Adult Day Health Care

Allows an adult day health care center to receive reimbursement for partial days of attendance if the center is forced to evacuate during a declared emergency.


AB 2543: Geriatric and Gerontology Student Loan Repayment Program

Establishes a student loan repayment program for social workers and marriage and family therapists who work in geriatric care settings. Also prioritizes physician loan repayment for geriatrics.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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