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Bills signed into law by Gov. Davis

The following bills were signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis during the first half of the 2003-04 legislative session. Unless specified otherwise, the laws take effect in January.

Business

Workers’ compensation -- A package of bills aims to pare at least $4 billion in costs from the state’s $29-billion system for insuring employees against on-the-job injuries. The bills cap some medical payments and limit visits to physical therapists and chiropractors. The bills are SB 228 by Sen. Richard Alarcon (D-Sylmar), AB 227 by Assemblyman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego), AB 1099 by Assemblywoman Gloria Negrete-McLeod (D-Chino) and AB 1262 by Assemblywoman Barbara Matthews (D-Tracy).

Internet sales tax -- SB 157 by Sen. Debra Bowen (D-Marina del Rey) allows California to join 38 other states trying to draft national rules for taxing goods sold over the Internet.

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False statements -- SB 523 by Sen. Martha Escutia (D-Whittier) requires corporations to alert authorities when corporate officers make false or misleading statements or face fines of up to $1 million.

Whistleblowers -- SB 777 by Sen. Martha Escutia (D-Whittier) sets up a corporate whistleblower hotline with the attorney general and bans employers from retaliating against workers who refuse to break state or federal laws.

Securities fraud -- AB 1031 by Assemblyman Lou Correa (D-Anaheim) boosts criminal penalties for market manipulation, stock fraud and insider trading.

Expatriate companies -- SB 640 by Sen. John Burton (D-San Francisco) bans the state from contracting with a U.S. corporation that has reincorporated in a foreign country to avoid taxes.

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Tax shelters -- AB 1601 by Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Los Feliz) boosts penalties for illegal tax shelters and doubles the time to eight years that the state has to investigate such tax-dodging financial schemes.

Consumers

Cellular phones -- AB 1379 by Assemblyman Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) requires cellular phone companies to give customers access to information about roaming usage and charges. The law takes effect in January 2005.

Debt collectors -- SB 1022 by Sen. Don Perata (D-Alameda) requires third-party debt collectors to give consumers a list of their rights under state and federal laws, such as no contact before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. The law takes effect in July.

Auto sales -- SB 508 by Sen. Martha Escutia (D-Whittier) requires auto dealers to keep copies of sales contracts for at least seven years. The law is designed to help the attorney general investigate allegations of minorities being charged excessive interest rates.

Phone bills -- AB 909 by Assemblywoman Sarah Reyes (D-Fresno) requires phone companies that provide both local and long-distance service to itemize each toll and long-distance call on customers’ bills.

Crime

Rape evidence -- AB 898 by Assemblywoman Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) requires law enforcement agencies to notify sexual assault victims if they intend to destroy or not analyze DNA evidence within the statute of limitations.

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Schools -- SB 356 by Sen. Dede Alpert (D-Coronado) allows school district police departments to access the state’s database of sex offenders and disclose relevant information on school campuses.

Rape drugs -- AB 506 by Assemblyman Bill Maze (R-Visalia) allows sexual assault victims to provide a blood and urine sample, without risk of prosecution, to determine if the assailant used drugs or alcohol in connection with the attack.

Child pornographers -- SB 879 by Sen. Bob Margett (R-Arcadia) requires a person convicted of sending, producing or possessing child pornography to register as a sex offender.

Physicians -- AB 236 by Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez (D-Norwalk) bans registered sex offenders from being licensed as a doctor.

Domestic violence -- AB 352 by Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles) doubles to $400 the minimum fine for domestic violence perpetrators on court probation.

Airport security -- AB 1263 by Assemblyman John Benoit (R-Palm Desert) makes it a crime punishable by up six months in jail to intentionally enter an airport’s security zone without having gone through the security check.

Sex offenders -- AB 1098 by Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia (R-Cathedral City) requires convicted sex offenders to prove to their parole officers that they have registered with local law enforcement within six days of their release from prison.

Battered women -- SB 784 by Sen. Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach) allows victims of domestic violence who were convicted of homicide before Jan. 1, 1992, to petition courts for reconsideration of their case until Jan. 1, 2010.

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Schools -- AB 1495 by Assemblyman Ed Chavez (D-La Puente) bans parolees convicted of certain sex crimes involving children from living within a quarter-mile of public or private schools serving children from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Megan’s Law -- AB 1313 by Assemblywoman Nicole Parra (D-Hanford) extends until 2007 the law that gives the public access to California’s database of registered sex offenders.

Victims’ leave -- SB 478 by Sen. Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana) allows crime victims and their relatives and domestic partners to take time off work to attend court proceedings.

Education

Soda contracts -- SB 65 by Sen. Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch) bans school boards from signing or renewing contracts with soda companies without notifying parents.

Sodas -- SB 677 by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) prohibits elementary, middle and junior high schools from allowing the sale of sodas on campus. Students may bring sodas to school, but vending machines must contain only water, juice or milk.

Cal Grant program -- SB 728 by Sen. Jack Scott (D-Altadena) streamlines the Cal Grant application. The bill provides that applicants who meet a federal requirement for student financial aid are presumed to meet the asset level requirements for the Cal Grant program.

Clean restrooms -- AB 1124 by Assemblyman Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) asks schools to give priority to keeping restrooms clean.

School label -- AB 96 by Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez (D-Norwalk) changes references in state law from “low performing” schools to “high priority” schools. Advocates say the change will help build morale and esteem at schools where test scores lag.

Oakland bailout -- SB 39 by Sen. Don Perata (D-Alameda) makes a $100-million loan to the Oakland Unified School District, to be paid off with interest over 20 years. The law takes effect immediately.

Fresno bailout -- AB 38 by Assemblywoman Sarah Reyes (D-Fresno) allows a state takeover of the West Fresno Elementary School District and gives the district a $2-million emergency loan. The law takes effect immediately.

Elderly

Elder abuse -- AB 1131 by Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) expands the scope of crimes that can be prosecuted for financial elder abuse to include forgery, fraud or identity theft.

Guns -- AB 1290 by Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) forbids a person who is subject to an elder-abuse restraining order from possessing a firearm while that order is in effect.

Secret settlements -- AB 634 by Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) seeks to prevent secret settlements in nursing home abuse lawsuits. Those who want to seal information must justify their position to a judge.

Prescription labels -- SB 292 by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) requires a physical description of drugs on the prescription label, including color and size. The law takes effect in January 2006.

Caretakers -- AB 1349 by Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla (D-Pittsburg) forbids the family, employees or domestic partner of a caretaker from receiving a gift under the will or trust of the dependent adult for whom they are caring.

Elections

Voters’ rights -- AB 177 by Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach) requires that ballot pamphlets list voters’ rights, which include the right to cast a provisional ballot if one’s name is not listed on the voter rolls.

Vote by mail -- AB 1544 by Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) allows a school district, special district or city of 100,000 or fewer residents to conduct a special election to fill a vacancy entirely by mail.

Official seals -- AB 255 by Assemblyman Jerome Horton (D-Inglewood) forbids the unauthorized use of a special district or local government seal in any campaign literature or political mass mailing.

Race/ethnicity -- AB 587 by Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) requires that the California voter registration form contain a space where applicants can voluntarily indicate their race and/or ethnicity.

No photos -- AB 915 by Assemblyman John Dutra (D-Fremont) bans the photographing or videotaping of a voter within 100 feet of a polling place.

Registration forms -- SB 448 by Sen. Chuck Poochigian (R-Fresno) requires that the Franchise Tax Board include a voter registration form with each personal income tax form mailed to a California taxpayer.

No-show jurors -- AB 1180 by Assemblyman Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) imposes fines for people who fail to show up for jury service of $250 for the first violation, $750 for the second and $1,500 for the third.

Political cyber fraud -- AB 277 by Assemblyman John Dutra (D-Fremont) bans political registration and use of domain names on political Web sites with the intent to deceive.

Contesting an election -- AB 346 by Assemblyman John Longville (D-Rialto) allows a voter to contest an election on the grounds that he or she was denied the right to vote.

Entertainment Industry

Movie piracy -- SB 1032 by Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) makes it a crime punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine to record a motion picture in a movie theater.

Child performers -- SB 210 by Sen. John Burton (D-San Francisco) sets up a default trust fund within the Actors Fund of America so studios have a place to deposit trust fund money for child actors, musicians, comedians, etc. The law requires that 15% of a child performer’s earnings be set aside in a trust fund.

Film permits -- AB 1478 by Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Los Feliz) bans state and local officials from asking for a charitable donation in exchange for the granting of a film permit.

Environment

Electronic waste -- SB 20 by Sen. Byron Sher (D-Stanford) requires manufacturers to pay the state $6 to $10 for every new computer and television sold after July. The money will be used to recycle used computer screens and TVs, which each contain several pounds of toxic materials.

Flame retardants -- AB 302 by Assemblywoman Wilma Chan (D-Alameda) bans the use, sale and manufacturing of certain forms of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in California. Commonly used as flame retardants in computers, electronics, upholstery and cars, PBDEs have been detected in human tissue and breast milk. The bill takes effect in January 2008.

Ballona wetlands -- SB 666 by Sen. Debra Bowen (D-Marina del Rey) gives the state title to a 64-acre parcel of the Ballona Wetlands near Marina del Rey, the last sizable coastal wetlands in Los Angeles County.

Fishing permits -- AB 1354 by Assemblywoman Patty Berg (D-Eureka) allows California fishermen to participate in a federal buy-back program designed to shrink the number of crews harvesting Pacific ground fish.

Perchlorate -- SB 1004 by Sen. Nell Soto (D-Pomona) requires companies to notify the state about their storage of perchlorate from 1950 to the present. It also allows regulators to order perchlorate polluters to replace drinking water contaminated by the rocket fuel ingredient.

Cruise ships -- AB 906 by Assemblyman George Nakano (D-Torrance) and AB 121 by Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) ban hazardous material releases from large passenger ships and require state regulators to seek federal approval to ban discharge of oily bilge water and sewage sludge from cruise ships.

Noise -- AB 1555 by Assemblyman George Nakano (D-Torrance) requires mufflers on recreational vehicles, such as boats and jet skis, used within one mile of the coast. The law takes effect in January 2005.

Federal air standards -- SB 288 by Sen. Byron Sher (D-Stanford) codifies in state law an earlier version of federal air quality standards that the Bush administration made less stringent in December 2002. The standards require major polluters to use the best available pollution control technology.

San Joaquin Valley air -- SBs 700, 704, 705, 708 and 709 by Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter) and AB 170 by Assemblywoman Sarah Reyes (D-Fresno) aim to clean up San Joaquin Valley air by, among other things, eliminating an exemption for agriculture from air pollution regulations and requiring a phase-out of agricultural burning.

Krill -- AB 1296 by Assemblywoman Patty Berg (D-Eureka) makes permanent a state ban on the commercial harvest of krill, the tiny crustaceans that are a building block of the ocean’s food chain.

Colorado River -- Three bills -- SB 277 by Sen. Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego), SB 317 by Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica) and SB 654 by Sen. Mike Machado (D-Linden) -- carry the legal framework for a long-sought deal to share Colorado River water. The bills create a way to pay for restoration of the Salton Sea and to offset the environmental harm of transferring water from the Imperial Valley to San Diego.

Gay Rights

Domestic partners -- AB 205 by Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles) provides many new rights and responsibilities to people registered as domestic partners, including the right to child custody, financial support and transfer of real estate. The law takes effect in January 2005.

Transgender -- AB 196 by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) protects transgender people from job and housing discrimination. Transgender people behave or dress differently from the gender they had at birth.

Benefits -- AB 17 by Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) bans a state agency from contracting with a company that grants benefits to the spouses but not the domestic partners of its employees. The law applies to contracts of $100,000 or more per year.

Gun Safety

Bullet indicator -- SB 489 by Sen. Jack Scott (D-Altadena) requires that all center-fire semiautomatic pistols have an indicator to show when a bullet is in the chamber. The bill takes effect in January 2006.

Background checks -- SB 824 by Sen. Jack Scott (D-Altadena) allows firearm dealers to get background checks on employees who handle firearms.

Eligibility -- SB 255 by Sen. Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego) allows a person to check with the Department of Justice to see if he or she is prohibited from buying a gun without actually attempting to buy a gun.

Air guns -- AB 1455 by Assemblywoman Gloria Negrete-McLeod (D-Chino) declares that BB and pellet guns that shoot ceramic or plastic objects are not toys. Existing California law requires that toy guns be either bright orange or green.

Health

Health insurance -- SB 2 by Sen. John Burton (D-San Francisco) requires employers with 200 or more workers to provide health insurance to workers and their families and pay 80% of the premiums. That provision takes effect in 2006. In 2007, employers with 50 to 199 employees must provide health insurance for their workers only.

Patient rights -- AB 1286 by Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Los Feliz) and SB 244 by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) expand the rights of pregnant women, infants, toddlers and patients scheduled for surgery to continue relationships with doctors and hospitals in the event of an HMO contract termination.

Price lists -- AB 1627 by Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Los Feliz) requires hospitals to report their fees for 25 common supplies and services to the state and let patients know that such a list is available. The law takes effect in July.

Emergency care -- AB 1628 by Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Los Feliz) requires that when an HMO patient gets emergency care at a hospital, the hospital is required to contact the HMO to get the patient’s medical records and to consult about follow-up care.

Stem cell research -- SB 322 by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) requires the state by 2005 to write guidelines for research using human embryonic stem cells, which can divide and create specialized tissues and may lead to future therapies for cancer and other diseases.

Embryos -- SB 771 by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) requires the state to create an anonymous registry of embryos. Thousands of embryos are donated each year for research and frozen by fertility clinics.

Naturopaths -- SB 907 by Sen. John Burton (D-San Francisco) creates a new bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs to regulate doctors of naturopathic medicine, whose healing methods rely upon diet, exercise, nutrition and herbs.

Morning-after pills -- SB 490 by Sen. Dede Alpert (D-Coronado) creates standard guidelines for pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception to women who have had unprotected sex. SB 545 by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) caps the price of so-called morning-after pills at no more than $10.

Pelvic exams -- AB 663 by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View) bans doctors and medical students from performing pelvic examinations on anesthetized or unconscious women without consent.

Food stamps -- AB 231 by Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) deletes a portion of the law that does not allow a family to get food stamps if it owns a car valued at more than $4,650. The new law allows each adult in the family to own one car of any value, making thousands of additional families eligible for the federally funded anti-hunger program.

Homeowner Associations

Records -- AB 104 by Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) requires the managing boards of common-interest developments to make their books, records and meeting minutes available to association members.

Fees on new owners -- AB 1086 by Assemblyman John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) bans community service organizations from using transfer of title fees to fund anything other than the actual costs incurred by the association in providing necessary documents to the new owner.

Flags -- AB 1525 by Assemblyman John Longville (D-Rialto) forbids the written rules of homeowner associations from banning residents from posting noncommercial flags or signs. Existing law already allows residents of condominiums and gated communities to fly the U.S. flag.

Housing

Down payment assistance -- AB 304 by Assemblyman Gene Mullin (D-San Mateo) authorizes the California Housing Finance Agency to double the amount of down payment assistance to 6% of the home sale price for low-income, first-time buyers in certain areas.

Political signs -- SB 116 by Sen. Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana) allows mobile home park residents to display political campaign signs of certain sizes during an election period.

Evictions -- AB 767 by Assemblyman George Nakano (D-Torrance) allows mobile home park owners to evict tenants if they are convicted of child molestation, assault with a deadly weapon, arson and other crimes within the mobile home park.

Receipts -- SB 90 by Sen. Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch) requires landlords to show receipts or reasonable documentation of work done for every charge made against a tenant’s security deposit.

Notification -- SB 538 by Sen. Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch) requires landlords of affordable housing to notify prospective tenants when they are within a year of ending federal or state agreements that subsidize rent.

Eminent domain -- AB 1309 by Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles) allows local governments to use eminent domain to acquire property on which to build housing to replace homes destroyed to make way for new schools.

Renters -- AB 1059 by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View) subjects a landlord to a $2,000 fine for threatening or extorting a tenant to vacate a rental house or apartment.

Insurance

Misrepresentation -- SB 618 by Sen. Jack Scott (D-Altadena) increases fines for misrepresentation of insurance policies from $200 to $1,500.

Seniors -- SB 620 by Sen. Jack Scott (D-Altadena) increases restrictions on advertising aimed at selling life insurance, disability insurance and annuities to senior citizens.

Auto service contracts -- AB 984 by Assemblyman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) requires the Department of Insurance to regulate the motor vehicle service contract industry. The bill takes effect in July.

Inquiries -- AB 1049 by Assemblyman Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) bans property insurers from canceling coverage or raising rates after a consumer simply inquires about the scope or nature of their coverage.

Genetic testing -- SB 200 by Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) bans until January 2008 long-term care insurers from using genetic testing when deciding which customers to insure and how much to charge them.

Consumer rights -- AB 1181 by Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) allows auto insurance policyholders to learn whether their insurer has used accurate information about accidents and traffic citations in deciding how much to charge them.

Policies on employees -- AB 226 by Assemblyman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) bans corporations from taking out life insurance policies on their rank-and-file employees that designate the corporation as the beneficiary. Companies may still take out such policies on their executives.

Discounts -- SB 841 by Sen. Don Perata (D-Alameda) allows automobile insurers to offer consumers a discount based on previous coverage. The bill takes effect immediately.

Insured spouses -- AB 1083 by Assemblyman Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto) forbids insurance companies from issuing policies worth $50,000 or more on a person’s spouse without the spouse’s knowledge. The law applies to policies issued after July 1.

Abortion clinics -- AB 996 by Assemblywoman Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) bans insurers from canceling or refusing to renew an abortion clinic’s property insurance policy because of attacks or vandalism.

Labor

Truth in bargaining -- AB 109 by Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally (D-Compton) makes it illegal for public school employees to knowingly provide wrong information about a district’s financial resources to a union negotiator during collective bargaining talks.

Organizing -- AB 1156 by Assemblyman Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) allows the Public Employee Relations Board to adopt rules that would help non-union employees to organize a union in counties that have no rules or guidelines on organizing.

Bidding preference -- SB 158 by Sen. Richard Alarcon (D-Van Nuys) allows a 10% bidding preference to public transit contractors who retain for at least 90 days certain employees from former contracting jobs.

Carwashes -- AB 1688 by Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg requires carwash operators to keep records of employee hours and wages and to register with the state labor commissioner. Labor advocates say overtime and minimum wage violations are common in the industry.

Sweatshops -- SB 578 by Sen. Richard Alarcon (D-Sylmar) requires state agencies to be sure that contractors who sell or launder uniforms meet minimum standards for protecting workers.

Miscellaneous

Missions -- SB 92 by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) allows taxpayers to voluntarily donate personal income tax return money to the restoration and repair of California’s historic missions.

Wrongly imprisoned -- AB 1302 by Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) appropriates $421,000 to Quedellis Ricardo Walker, an East Palo Alto man who served 12 years in prison for a murder that prosecutors later agreed he did not commit.

Churros -- AB 1045 by Assemblyman Tim Leslie (R-Tahoe City) allows churros -- made of sweet fried dough -- to be prepared and cooked in mobile food trailers.

Child-care inspections -- AB 1683 by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) requires the Department of Social Services to post a notice in a child-care facility after each visit, including details of any citations involving an immediate threat.

Baby theft -- AB 936 by Assemblywoman Sarah Reyes (D-Fresno) makes it a misdemeanor punishable by a $100 fine to enter a neonatal unit, birthing center or maternity ward without lawful reason to be there.

Belated diplomas -- AB 781 by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-Mountain View) allows high schools to retroactively grant diplomas to Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II.

ATVs -- SB 232 by Sen. Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach) allows two-person all-terrain vehicles on public lands where one-person ATVs are already permitted.

Cockfighting -- SB 732 by Sen. Nell Soto (D-Pomona) increases the penalties for involvement in cockfighting -- the pitting of roosters against one another for sport and wagering -- from $1,000 to up to $5,000.

Gift certificates -- AB 1092 by Assemblyman Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) prohibits the sale of retail gift certificates containing maintenance or service fees.

Trespassing -- AB 924 by Assemblyman Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) boosts penalties for trespassing on agricultural land from $10 to $75 for a first offense and $100 to $250 for a second offense.

Executions -- SB 3 by Sen. John Burton (D-San Francisco) bans the execution of mentally retarded prisoners. The law requires a court hearing to determine mental retardation, with the burden of proof on the defense.

Trespassing -- SB 993 by Sen. Charles Poochigian (R-Fresno) seeks to deter animal rights activists or bioterrorists trying to introduce poison or disease into the food supply by expanding the definition of trespassing to include lands where animals are being raised for food.

Privacy

Financial privacy -- SB 1 by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) prohibits banks and other financial institutions from sharing financial information about their customers without customer consent. The bill takes effect in July.

E-mail spam -- AB 186 by Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) makes it illegal to send unsolicited e-mails from or to California unless the advertiser has a prior business relationship with the recipient. Violators are subject to a fine of $1,000 for each unsolicited message.

‘Do not call’ list -- SB 33 by Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont) aligns California law with the federal “do not call” registry in which people can sign up to avoid telemarketing calls. The law spares California the expense of maintaining its own registry. The Federal Trade Commission is enforcing the law while a court weighs whether the registry violates the free-speech rights of telemarketers.

Social Security numbers -- AB 763 by Assemblywoman Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge) bans a person or business from sending an envelope or postcard that displays all or part of a Social Security number.

Credit security alerts -- SB 602 by Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont) requires credit reporting agencies to notify consumers before the expiration of credit report security alerts, which are placed by people who think they may have been victims of identity theft. The law also restricts bars and other businesses from electronically swiping driver’s licenses to collect encoded data.

Tracking identity theft -- SB 684 by Sen. Dede Alpert (D-Coronado) allows people who suspect they are identity theft victims to get more information about unauthorized changes to existing accounts and new applications for credit.

Wrong suspect -- SB 752 by Sen. Dede Alpert (D-Coronado) allows identity theft victims who are accused of crimes to clear their names through comparison thumbprints of victim and thief.

Debt collection -- AB 1294 by Assemblywoman Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) requires debt collectors to stop trying to collect debts from debtors who provide a police report showing that they are a victim of identity theft.

Court files -- SB 660 by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) requires Social Security numbers that are part of a court file to be kept confidential.

Statute of limitations -- AB 1105 by Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) declares that the statute of limitations to prosecute identity theft crimes begins from the time the crime is discovered, not from when the crime is committed.

Inconsistent credit report -- AB 1610 by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) requires creditors to verify a consumer’s first and last name and Social Security number when information in a credit report doesn’t match information in a credit application.

Marketing restrictions -- AB 715 by Assemblywoman Wilma Chan (D-Alameda) strengthens restrictions on when health insurers and providers can share patients’ private information with drug companies.

Sports

Team doctors -- AB 138 by Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) allows doctors who travel with out-of-state sports teams to temporarily practice medicine in California without a license.

Title IX -- AB 833 by Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) puts into state law the three-part test used to ensure that schools comply with Title IX, a 1972 federal law designed to give girls and women an equal opportunity to participate in sports.

Spectator interference -- AB 245 by Assemblywoman Rebecca Cohn (D-Saratoga) allows for a $250 fine against any spectator at a professional sports event who throws anything onto a court or field of play.

Transportation

Driver’s licenses -- SB 60 by Sen. Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) allows illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses without a Social Security number by submitting other forms of identification.

Red light cameras -- AB 1022 by Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach) strengthens local government oversight of cameras installed at intersections to document red-light runners. It bans vendors who maintain the cameras from being paid based on the number of citations issued.

Seat belts -- AB 1625 by Assemblyman John Benoit (R-Palm Desert) increases the cost of failing to wear a seat belt by allowing court costs and penalties to be imposed on top of the fine. The cost of a citation -- now a maximum of $20 for a first violation -- could rise to $60 or $70.

Child passengers -- AB 1697 by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) requires children who are under 6 years old or weigh less than 60 pounds to ride in the rear seat of vehicles except under certain circumstances. The law takes effect in January 2005.

Black boxes -- AB 213 by Assemblyman Tim Leslie (R-Tahoe City) ensures that information from vehicle “black boxes” is used only for safety research and not by insurance companies or attorneys. These devices record types of data during an accident, often unknown to the driver. The bill also requires auto makers after July to disclose when a new vehicle includes such a device.

Whistle tips -- AB 377 by Assemblywoman Wilma Chan (D-Alameda) bans the use of “whistle tips” -- which create a high-pitched shrieking noise -- on automobile tailpipes. Violators are subject to fines of $1,250.

L.A. County transportation --SB 314 by Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) allows the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to impose a half-cent sales tax for up to 6 1/2 years to pay for specific transportation projects. The tax could not be imposed without approval of two-thirds of county voters.

Veterans

Housing -- AB 1594 by Assemblywoman Nicole Parra (D-Hanford) allows housing programs that serve veterans -- estimated to be 30% of California’s homeless population -- to apply for state grants from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Loan limits -- AB 1036 by Assemblyman Gene Mullin (D-San Mateo) raises loan limits under the Cal-Vet program for the purchase of farms and mobile homes. It also allows Cal-Vet loans to be used for remodeling.

For more information on the signed bills, go to www.leginfo.ca.gov. Sources: California Legislature, office of Gov. Gray Davis

Los Angeles Times


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