Advertisement

California Laws 1999

In his eighth and final year in office, Gov. Pete Wilson signed 1,081 bills into law. That’s 122 more than in 1997, but short of his personal record of 1,386 bill-signings back in 1992.

Some of the measures are arcane, affecting small numbers of people or government agencies. But many affect us all. Vehicle owners will see the cost of registering their cars drop. Schoolchildren will have a longer school year, to their dismay and their parents’ glee.

Penalties continue to get worse for drunk drivers and other scofflaws. The elderly will gain more protection against abuse. So will children in foster care. Wilson vetoed many bills aimed at overhauling the health care system. But he also signed some that promise to give patients added rights.

That said, here’s a look at some of the more far-reaching bills, as well as some not so sweeping.

Advertisement

To find out more about a bill, write to the Legislature at: State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, or visit the California government web site at https://www.ca.gov/s/

Taxes

Tax cuts--People whose car registration is due after Jan. 1 will see a 25% reduction in their vehicle license fee. On a vehicle worth $20,000, the car tax cut will be about $100. Income tax credits for people with children and other dependents will rise to $253 per dependent a year for the 1998 tax year. Individual renters earning $25,000 or less annually will be able to claim a $60 credit on their income tax bill. Couples who rent and earn $50,000 or less can claim a credit of $120 a year. (AB 2797 by Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced)

Self-employed--People who are self-employed can now deduct 40% of the cost of health insurance premiums from their state income tax, rather than the past 25%. (AB 2798 by Assemblyman Michael Machado, D-Linden)

Advertisement

Checkoff--Income tax filers can now direct $1 to emergency food assistance programs. (AB 2366 by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles)

Deduction--The state income tax deduction will rise for interest on college student loans. This year, you will be able to deduct up to $1,000 in interest. The amount will rise in each of the next three years. (AB 1613 by Assemblyman Jack Scott, D-Altadena)

Internet--Local government is barred from levying taxes on Internet access and online computer services until at least 2001. (AB 1614 by Assemblyman Ted Lempert, D-San Carlos, and SB 409 by Sen. Dede Alpert, D-Coronado)

Holocaust--Money settlements received by Holocaust survivors and their heirs are exempt from state taxes. (SB 1397 by Sen. Jim Brulte, R-Rancho Cucamonga)

Farmland--Landowners who agree to restrict their property to agricultural uses for 20 years or more receive increased tax benefits under a revision of the Williamson Act. (SB 1182 by Sen. Jim Costa, D-Fresno)

Education

School days--All public schools must have 180-day school years, up from the past average of 172 days. (SB 1193 by Sen. Steve Peace, D-El Cajon, and Sen. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank)

After-school care--After-school programs receive a $50-million infusion because of three laws that cover elementary and middle schools. Local government must match the state money and use it to provide weekday care until 6 p.m., with homework help, tutoring and recreation. (AB 2284 by Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, AB 1428 by Assemblywoman Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento, and SB 1756 by Sen. Bill Lockyer, D-Hayward)

Advertisement

Summer school--The state will spend $105 million for remedial and summer school education programs for struggling students. (SB 1370 by Sen. Richard G. Polanco, D-Los Angeles)

Sex education--Schools must notify parents before they provide education on the topics of sex, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. (SB 1110 by Sen. Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City)

Whiz kids--California will establish the Summer School for Mathematics and Science, an academy for students who have demonstrated excellence in math and science. (AB 2536 by Assemblyman Charles S. Poochigian, R-Fresno)

Athletic injuries--The University of California will undertake a three-year study of injuries suffered by high school athletes and publish its findings by Dec. 1, 2003. (SB 1646 by Sen Ruben S. Ayala, D-Chino)

Private schools--Private schools are prohibited from employing people who have been convicted of serious or violent felonies, or misdemeanor sex and drug offenses. Public schools already operate under the prohibition. (AB 1392 by Assemblyman Jack Scott, D-Altadena)

Student aid--Students from low-income families can have all but $5 of the fee waived for taking the test necessary to be placed into high school Advanced Placement courses. (AB 2216 by Assemblywoman Martha M. Escutia, D-Bell)

College placement--High schools that serve predominantly low-income students will receive $10 million to establish courses that prepare students to take college admission tests. (SB 1697 by Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles)

Tuition--Tuition charged to graduate students at California State University and the University of California will be reduced by 5% starting next school year. (SB 1896 by Sen. Steve Peace, D-El Cajon)

Advertisement

Health Care

Birth defects--Health insurance companies must provide coverage for surgery for children born with birth defects or other deformities caused by infection, illness, tumors or injury. The new law differentiates between surgery required to create a normal appearance, which would be covered, and elective cosmetic surgery, which would not. (AB 1621 by Assemblywoman Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont)

Corneas--A dead person’s corneal material can be removed for transplantation only if relatives consent or the deceased had consented. (SB 1403 by Sen. Richard G. Polanco, D-Los Angeles)

Pain management--Health plans must cover the cost of pain management for terminally ill patients. (AB 2305 by Assemblyman George Runner Jr., R-Lancaster)

Anatomical gifts--Teenagers 15 and older can make anatomical gifts with the consent of their parents or guardians. Coroners and other physicians are prohibited from removing body parts unless consent has been given. (AB 1225 by Assemblyman Brett Granlund, R-Yucaipa)

Women--Health plans must allow members to seek obstetrical and gynecological services directly from obstetrician-gynecologists and family practice physicians, rather than having to visit a primary care physician first. (AB 12 by Assemblywoman Susan A. Davis, D-San Diego, and Assemblyman Brett Granlund, R-Yucaipa)

Mastectomy--Health plans must allow attending physicians and surgeons to determine the length of a hospital stay for women who have undergone a mastectomy and cover the cost of prosthetic devices or reconstructive surgery, and all complications from the operation. (AB 7 by Assemblywoman Valerie Brown, D-Kenwood)

Chronic conditions--Health insurance plans must ensure that patients receive continuity of care if they have been treated for acute or serious chronic conditions by a doctor or other provider who is terminated from the plan. (SB 1129 by Sen. Byron Sher, D-Stanford)

Referrals--Health plans must establish procedures to provide standing referrals to specialists for patients who need continuing care from a specialist. (AB 1181 by Assemblywoman Martha Escutia, D-Bell)

Prescriptions--Insurance plans cannot limit coverage for drugs that were previously approved for a patient. (AB 974 by Assemblyman Martin Gallegos,

D-Baldwin Park)

Keeping it simple--HMOs must present their lists of benefits and exclusions in a standard, easily understood format, so consumers can compare plans. (AB 607 by Assemblyman Jack Scott, D-Altadena)

Care standards--General acute-care hospitals cannot promulgate policies that offer different standards of obstetrical care based on a patient’s source of payment or ability to pay. The state Medi-Cal program must cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for a mother and child following vaginal delivery and 96 hours following a caesarean section. (AB 1397 by Assemblyman Martin Gallegos, D-Baldwin Park)

Prostate cancer--The Prostate Cancer Fund is created to provide screening and other help for men who have no health care insurance. (AB 910 by Assemblyman Tony Cardenas, D-Sylmar)

Residential care--In a measure sponsored by Bet Tzedek Legal Services of Los Angeles, elderly residents of nursing homes and other residential care facilities have the right to participate in decisions about their care. The facilities must provide written treatment plans, which will be subject to periodic review. (AB 2155 by Assemblyman Fred Keeley, D-Boulder Creek)

Public reports--Residential care facilities for the elderly must make their most recent inspection reports available to the public. (SB 1630 by Sen. Herschel Rosenthal, D-Los Angeles)

Dental work--Health care plans must cover the cost of anesthesia for dental services if the patient is younger than 7 or is developmentally disabled, or if the dentist or oral surgeon deems anesthesia necessary. (AB 2003, by Assemblywoman Virginia Strom-Martin, D-Duncans Mills

Labor Issues

Spying--Unless they have obtained a court order, employers may not use audio or video recording devices to eavesdrop on employees in restrooms, locker rooms or other areas where employees change clothes. (AB 2303 by Assemblyman George Runner Jr., R-Lancaster)

Application fees--Employers can no longer charge fees for processing employment applications. (AB 1570 by Assemblyman Cruz Bustamante, D-Fresno)

Domestic violence--People who must quit their jobs to protect themselves or their children against domestic violence can collect unemployment insurance. (SB 165 by Sen. Hilda Solis, D-El Monte)

Discrimination--Employers may not discriminate against healthy individuals who have a genetic predisposition to a disease. (SB 654 by Sen. Patrick Johnston, D-Stockton)

Crime and Punishment

Assault weapons--People who own SKS semiautomatic assault rifles and failed to register them by the 1992 deadline imposed by an earlier law won’t face criminal penalties if they register the weapons by Jan. 1, 2000. (AB 48 by Assemblyman Roderick Wright, D-Los Angeles)

DNA testing--Before they are released from prison, people convicted of manslaughter, kidnapping, mayhem, torture and felony spousal abuse must provide DNA samples, which will be added to the state DNA database. Previously, only sex offenders and people convicted of murder and felony assault and battery had to provide samples. The database is used by law enforcement to solve crimes. (AB 1332 by Assemblyman Kevin Murray, D-Los Angeles)

Road crews--Inmates may now be required to pull weeds or pick up trash as part of their work release program. (SB 1549 by Sen. William “Pete” Knight, R-Palmdale)

You’ve got mail--Search warrants and arrest warrants now can be issued by e-mail. (SB 1970 by Sen. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank)

Elder abuse--Several measures were aimed at combating physical and financial abuse of the elderly, including new requirements that caregivers must contact authorities if they suspect that abuse is occurring. Failure to report abuse could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. (SB 2199 by Sen. Bill Lockyer, D-Hayward, AB 880 by Assemblyman Bob Hertzberg, D-Sherman Oaks, and AB 1780 by Assemblyman Kevin Murray, D-Los Angeles)

More elder abuse--Anyone convicted of physical or financial abuse of an elderly person will be prohibited from inheriting the abused person’s estate. (SB 1715 by Sen. Charles M. Calderon, D-Whittier)

Cyber-stalking--People who are victims of stalking over the Internet can sue their pursuers. Stalking via the Internet also becomes a crime. (AB 1796, by Sen. Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, and AB 2351 by Assemblyman Bob Hertzberg, D-Sherman Oaks)

Tracking devices--It is now a misdemeanor to place an electronic tracking device on a person or the person’s property, such as a car. Law enforcement agencies are exempt from the law. (SB 1667 by Sen. John Burton, D-San Francisco)

Staged crashes--People convicted of staging car wrecks to collect insurance money face stiffer sentences, including an additional two years in state prison for each person injured in a staged crash. (SB 334 by Sen. John R. Lewis, R-Orange)

Sex offenders--Imprisoned sex offenders and people serving prison time for fraud are now prohibited from holding prison jobs that give them access to personal information such as Social Security numbers, credit card information or telephone numbers. (AB 2649 by Assemblywoman Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont)

Second chances--Courts require any adult convicted of nonviolent or nonserious felonies to participate in programs to obtain a high school degree. (AB 743 by Assemblyman Carl Washington, D-Paramount)

Kitchen grease--It’s now against the law, punishable by a $1,000 fine and a year in jail, to steal, misappropriate or contaminate inedible kitchen grease or its containers. (SB 1738 by Sen. David G. Kelley, R-Idyllwild)

Juvenile Crime

Juvenile records--Youths who commit serious felonies when they are 16 or older can no longer count on those records being destroyed. Sealed juvenile records must be retained until the person is 38. In some cases, that information can be used against the person if he or she commits another serious crime. (SB 1387 by Sen. Betty Karnette, D-Long Beach)

Parental notification--Parents must be notified within 24 hours if their minor child is seriously injured or if any serious offense is committed against them while they are in the custody of the state or county. (SB 2081 by Sen. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank)

Child informants--In a measure spawned by the death of a teenage informant in Orange County, police cannot use children under age 18 as informants in drug cases without authorization from a judge. (AB 2816 by Assemblyman Scott Baugh, R-Huntington Beach)

Gang tattoos--Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Fresno counties will be getting new laser tattoo removal machines as part of a measure to make it easier for former gang members to leave their past affiliations behind. (SB 1700 by Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles)

Gang nuisances--The California attorney general can go to court to seek money damages from gangs. Proceeds of such lawsuits must be used to help improve the neighborhood where the gang prowls. (SB 2034 by Sen. Bill Lockyer D-Hayward)

Drugs and Alcohol

Minors and alcohol--Adults who supply alcohol to minors face a minimum of six months in jail or a $1,000 fine or both if the minors or others suffer significant injuries or death as a result of their drinking. (AB 1204 by Assemblyman Fred Keeley, D-Boulder Creek)

Addicts--Physicians no longer are required to report the names of addicts to the state Department of Justice. (AB 1819 by Assemblyman Nao Takasugi, R-Oxnard)

Animal tranquilizer--Possession of the animal tranquilizer ketamine is now a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. (AB 1731 by Assemblyman Larry Bowler, R-Elk Grove)

Drug evictions--In a three-year pilot program, the Los Angeles city attorney and Los Angeles County district attorney can file lawsuits to evict renters who engage in illegal drug-related activity. (AB 1384 by Assemblywoman Sally Havice, D-Cerritos)

Open containers--People going four-wheeling on public land cannot have open containers of alcoholic beverages in their vehicles. The bill also bans drivers from having open containers while driving in state campgrounds and parks. (SB 1639 by Sen. Jack O’Connell, D-San Luis Obispo)

Sobriety tests--People suspected of drunk driving no longer have a choice on whether to take a urine test if a blood or breath test is not available. (SB 1890 by Sen. Rob Hurtt, R-Garden Grove)

DUI--People convicted of a second offense of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol face four days in jail, rather than the previous two days. (AB 2674 by Assemblyman Tony Cardenas, D-Sylmar)

More DUI--The Department of Motor Vehicles can refuse to issue a restricted license to a repeat drunk driver, unless the motorist can prove that an ignition interlock device has been installed on his or her vehicle. (AB 762 by Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch)

Children and Family

Foster care--In a measure aimed at protecting California children placed in out-of-state foster homes, the state Department of Social Services must investigate reports of abuse and more closely monitor the homes. (SB 933 by Sen. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena)

Child custody--Unless they first give a written explanation of their decisions, judges cannot award custody or grant unsupervised visitation rights to a parent who has been convicted of killing the child’s other parent. (AB 2386 by Assemblyman Tom J. Bordonaro Jr., R-Paso Robles, and AB 2745 by Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced)

Adoptions--In a bill aimed at encouraging adoptions, judges can order that adopted children can maintain contact with their siblings if the adoptive parents agree, and if contact would not threaten the children’s well-being. (AB 2196 by Assemblyman Carl Washington, D-Paramount)

Spousal remains--A person charged with murder or manslaughter of his or her spouse no longer will have the right to determine how the dead person’s remains are handled. (SB 1360 by Sen. Dede Alpert, D-Coronado)

Ashes--People who want their ashes scattered on their property now have that right. State law previously allowed cremated remains to be scattered only at sea, buried at cemeteries, or kept in a survivor’s home. Now, ashes can be scattered around backyards or other private property. (AB 1705 by Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch)

Asthma care--Children who need inhaled medication can now receive it at day care centers if parents provide a note from their doctor. Pediatric first-aid training required at those centers must now include training in administering such medication. (SB 1663 by Sen. Jack O’Connell, D-San Luis Obispo)

Domestic violence--Victims of domestic violence who fear for their safety can designate the California secretary of state as their agent for receipt of mail. (SB 489 by Sen. Dede Alpert, D-Coronado)

Cars and Drivers

Gross polluters--Drivers who fear their vehicles are spewing large amounts of pollutants can have their cars pretested before seeking a smog certificate. A pretest allows them to make smog repairs before the vehicles are labeled by the state as so-called gross polluters. (SB 1754 by Sen. Maurice Johannessen, R-Redding)

Ride sharing--Southern California companies with fewer than 250 employees are permanently exempted from ride sharing regulations designed to clean the air. (SB 432 by Sen. John R. Lewis, R-Orange)

Parking meters--After an 11-year-old Berkeley girl found that 94% of her city’s meters were inaccurate, county sealers of weights and measures must now test meters for accuracy. The officials have the power to shut them down if they don’t correctly measure time. (SB 1676 by Sen. Quentin L. Kopp, I-San Francisco)

Traffic fines--Drivers convicted of infractions such as traffic violations can perform community service rather than pay the fines, which can range into the hundreds of dollars, if they can convince judges that they cannot afford the fines. (AB 2197 by Assemblyman Carl Washington, D-Paramount)

Recklessness--Anyone who pleads guilty to a lesser offense of reckless driving in a driving-under-the-influence case must complete an alcohol or drug education program. (SB 1176 by Sen. Ross Johnson, R-Irvine)

Prostitution--People convicted of soliciting a prostitute or engaging in a lewd act while in a car face loss of their driver’s license for 30 days and restrictions for up to six months. The penalty already applies to convicted prostitutes. (AB 1788 by Assemblyman Roderick Wright, D-Los Angeles)

Jamming devices--Motorists face penalties if they use devices in their cars designed to jam or otherwise disable radar or other technology used by law enforcement agencies to track speeders. The law does not apply to devices that merely alert drivers to the presence of radar. (SB 1964 by Sen. Jim Costa, D-Fresno)

Cameras--The use of automated remote cameras to identify and record motorists who drive through red lights at intersections is now permanent. The cameras had been scheduled to be turned off Jan. 1. (SB 1136 by Sen. Quentin L. Kopp, I-San Francisco)

AIDS plates--The Department of Motor Vehicles can issue AIDS red ribbon license plates in recognition of the impact the disease has had on California. (SB 844 by Sen. John Burton, D-San Francisco)

POW plates--The DMV must redesign prisoner of war license plates to include a replica of the American POW medal. Existing plates will be recalled and new ones issued without cost. This law took effect on July 1. (SB 1462 by Sen. Richard Mountjoy, R-Arcadia)

Sun shields--Motorists can now install federally approved material on their vehicles’ windows to block unhealthful ultraviolet rays. (AB 2320 by Assemblyman Tom J. Bordonaro Jr., R-Paso Robles)

Electric vehicles--If you buy an alternative-fuel vehicle, and it’s more expensive than a similar model with a standard internal combustion engine, you won’t be charged tax on the difference in cost. (SB 1782 by Sen. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena)

Environment

Headwaters--The state allocated $245 million for its share of the purchase of the Headwaters Forest, the largest remaining stand of redwoods in private hands, and nearby redwood stands in Humboldt County. State and federal officials continue to negotiate over the purchase with Maxxam, the corporation that owns the land. (AB 1986 by Assemblywoman Carole Migden, D-San Francisco)

Newport Bay--The state will spend $400,000 a year to enhance the upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve. (SB 1546 by Sen. Ross Johnson, R-Irvine).

Old batteries--You know those old flashlight and radio batteries you’ve been throwing away in the trash for years and years? Well, you were supposed to be recycling them. But now it’s OK to just toss them out. (SB 1924 by Sen. Bruce McPherson, R-Santa Cruz)

Marine life--The Fish and Game Commission will prepare annual reports on the health of California’s fisheries and develop fishery management plans to guard against overfishing and habitat destruction. (AB 1241 by Assemblyman Fred Keeley, D-Boulder Creek)

Nuisance species--People who place nonnative species of fish, plants or other wildlife into the wild face fines of up to $50,000 and jail time. People who inform on such environmental miscreants can collect $50,000 rewards. This law is aimed at averting a repeat of the introduction into a Sierra lake of the voracious northern pike, the eradication of which cost the state several million dollars. (AB 1625 by Assemblyman Bernie Richter, R-Chico)

Sportfishing--Anchors aweigh! One-day sportfishing licenses are now valid for two consecutive calendar days. (AB 2230 by Assemblyman Bruce Thompson, R-Fallbrook)

Oil spills--Operators of non-tanker vessels carrying more than 300 tons of oil along the California coast must do what tanker operators do--prepare an oil spill contingency plan. (SB 1644 by Sen. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena)

Trash dumping--People who dump commercial waste in parks, on sidewalks or on private property face higher fines--at least $500 for a first conviction, and $2,700 for a third conviction. They also could be forced to spend 12 hours picking up litter. (AB 1799 by Assemblywoman Carole Migden, D-San Francisco)

Tire dumping--People convicted of dumping tires at illegal sites, or accepting used tires without the proper permits, face fines of up to $10,000 plus a year in jail. (AB 228 by Assemblywoman Carole Migden, D-San Francisco)

Meth labs--Operators of illegal methamphetamine labs can be charged the cost of cleaning up hazardous wastes associated with their activity. (AB 2369 by Assemblyman Howard Wayne, D-San Diego)

Consumers and Insurance

Credit reports--Credit reporting agencies must verify information on credit reports indicating that a person faces criminal charges, or has a tax lien, pending civil action or a civil judgment. The agencies must provide the report free of charge if the consumer believes the information it contains is inaccurate, or if the consumer is unemployed. Consumers also can collect $2,500 for violations, up from $300. (SB 1454 by Sen. Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City)

Paparazzi--People whose privacy has been invaded by paparazzi and their employers have a broader right to sue. (SB 262 by Sen. John Burton, D-San Francisco)

Caesar’s return--Restaurants can use raw eggs in their Caesar salad dressing, after being prevented from doing so under a health regulation. The waiter or menu must, however, offer a warning, and patrons can request a dressing without uncooked eggs. (AB 2612 by Assemblywoman Carole Migden, D-San Francisco)

Holocaust survivors--The state insurance commissioner gets $4 million to investigate the unpaid insurance claims of Holocaust survivors. California insurance companies that fail to pay valid claims can have their licenses suspended. (SB 1530 by Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles)

Earthquakes--Homeowners who retrofit their homes according to specified standards can get a 5% discount on earthquake insurance. (SB 266 by Sen. Herschel Rosenthal, D-Los Angeles)

Politics--Just as candidates are not allowed to imply they have endorsements that they do not possess, they will no longer be able to superimpose their image or the image of an alleged supporter into a photo used in campaign material. Any candidate may bring civil action under this law, and any registered voter may seek a temporary restraining order. (AB 1233 by Assemblywoman Lynne Leach, R-Walnut Creek)

More politics--The state ballot pamphlet will be available on the Internet, and there will be a more explicit warning that absentee voters won’t have their ballots counted unless they sign the envelope used to return their ballots. (SB 1764 by Sen. Betty Karnette, D-Long Beach, and SB 490 by Sen. John R. Lewis, R-Orange)

Sweepstakes--Sweepstakes enthusiasts will have more protections under a law that prohibits statements encouraging people to think they have won prizes. Sweepstakes solicitations also must clearly state “no purchase necessary” to enter, and all participants must have an equal chance of winning whether or not they buy anything. (SB 1780 by Sen. Steve Peace, D-El Cajon)

More sweepstakes--Sweepstakes companies can no longer use 900 and 976 telephone numbers that can cost callers up to $6 a minute. In the past, callers often were asked to participate in lengthy and costly surveys before being told they were not winners. (SB 1476 by Sen. Jim Costa, D-Fresno)

Funeral homes--Funeral and cemetery companies must offer clients a copy of a consumer guide written by the Department of Consumer Affairs listing legal requirements related to cremation and burial and a person to contact if something goes wrong. (AB 1709 by Assemblywoman Elaine White Alquist, D-Santa Clara)

‘Spam’ ban--Internet users will get some relief from “spam,” or unsolicited e-mail advertising. Senders of such messages must provide a return toll-free number or e-mail address and stop sending the unsolicited mail if the recipient asks them to cease. (AB 1629 by Assemblyman Gary Miller, R-Diamond Bar, and AB 1626 by Assemblywoman Debra Bowen, D-Marina del Rey)

Car donations--Organizations that seek donations of used cars and other vehicles must include the percentage of the donation’s value that actually goes to the charity. (SB 1836 by Sen. Patrick Johnston, D-Stockton)

Lemons--When auto manufacturers buy back “lemon” cars, they no longer can enforce gag clauses that seek to prevent owners of the lemons from talking about the vehicle’s failings. (AB 2410 by Assemblyman Kevin Shelley, D-San Francisco)

Sports memorabilia--Sellers who offer certificates of authenticity for memorabilia must include the date and location of the autograph signing and the name of a witness. The FBI reported that nearly 70% of autographed sports memorabilia sold in 1996 was fraudulent. (SB 2024 by Sen. Richard K. Rainey, R-Walnut Creek)

Animals

Cruelty to animals--Anyone convicted of cruelty to animals must undergo counseling, in addition to facing fines and other penalties. The bill’s author noted that many criminals began by torturing animals. (SB 1991 by Sen. Jack O’Connell, D-San Luis Obispo)

Spaying--All animals released by pounds, shelters and rescue societies in urban counties must be spayed or neutered. (AB 1856 by Assemblyman Edward Vincent, D-Inglewood)

Reprieve--The policy of the state now is that no adoptable or treatable animal should be put to death. The period of time that shelters must keep animals before they are killed is extended to six business days from the previous four days. (SB 1785 by Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles)

Death--The use of carbon monoxide to euthanize dogs and cats is prohibited. (SB 1659 by Sen. Quentin L. Kopp, I-San Francisco)

Compiled by Times staff writers Dan Morain, Amy Pyle, Carl Ingram, Jennifer Warren and Dave LLesher.


Advertisement