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Bills Await the Governor’s Signature

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Times Staff Writer

During the legislative session that ended Thursday, lawmakers sent hundreds of bills to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his signature or veto in the next 30 days. They include:

Bad meat: Bill would require state health officers to notify the public about tainted meat subject to a federal recall. As it is, an agreement between the state and U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits state health officers from alerting the public about which stores or restaurants received tainted meat. A similar bill was vetoed by the governor in 2004. (SB 611 by Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough)

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Sept. 8, 2006 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday September 08, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 44 words Type of Material: Correction
Port legislation: A story in Sunday’s California section gave the wrong bill number for a measure that would increase shipping fees at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The correct bill number is SB 927, by state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach).

Bags: Bill would require stores bigger than 10,000 square feet to accept clean plastic bags for recycling. (AB 2449 by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys)

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Big-box retailers: Bill would allow cities or counties to recover attorneys’ fees if they prevail in a lawsuit that a court finds was filed by a big-box retailer to “intimidate” the local government over a zoning decision. The bill stems from litigation Wal-Mart filed against the city of Turlock after it banned certain types of stores, including Wal-Mart “supercenter” stores (SB 1818 by Sen. Richard Alarcon, D-Sun Valley). Another bill would require employers with at least 10,000 employees in the state to spend at least 8% of total wages in the state on health insurance for employees or pay a prescribed amount to the state. (SB 1414 by Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco)

Bonds: Five measures passed by the Legislature will go before voters in November. They would ban lawmakers from raiding transportation funding without paying it back and float $37 billion in bonds to relieve traffic congestion, build low-cost housing, repair and expand schools and strengthen levees. (Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D and 1E)

Booster seats: Bill would require children up to age 8 -- unless they’re 4 feet 9 or taller -- to ride in rear child safety seats. Current law requires such seats for children 6 and younger. (AB 2108 by Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa)

Cable television: Bill would allow telephone companies that can provide video services over phone lines to compete more easily against cable television companies by granting them a single statewide permit. It would also shift regulation of pay TV services from cities and counties to the state. (AB 2987 by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles)

Caregivers: Bill would ban state-paid caregivers in nursing homes and child-care centers from taking care of clients until their background checks are complete. (SB 1759 by Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield)

Cellphones: Starting in July 2008, the bill would ban use of a cellphone while driving unless the driver is using a headset. (SB 1613 by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto)

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Clean vehicles: Bill would require the state to set regulations by 2010 so that by 2020, half the new cars and light trucks sold in California would use an alternative fuel, such as electricity, compressed natural gas or hydrogen fuel cells. (AB 1012 by Assemblyman Joe Nation, D-San Rafael)

Conservators: Bill would double the frequency with which court investigators visit seniors or dependent adults under conservatorship to check on their welfare (AB 1363 by Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento). Another bill would make it more difficult for a conservator to sell a client’s home (SB 1116 by Sen. Jack Scott, D-Altadena). Another would require the Department of Consumer Affairs to license and regulate conservators (SB 1550 by Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont). Another would allow courts to investigate complaints about conservators without a formal legal request (SB 1716 by Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Marina del Rey)

Depleted uranium: Bill would require the state to help veterans get a federally funded screening test for exposure to depleted uranium, a heavy metal waste product used in armor-piercing munitions and tank armor. (SB 1720 by Sen. Wesley Chesbro, D-Arcata)

Dogs on chains: Bill would limit the tethering of dogs to no more than three hours a day under most circumstances and make violations a misdemeanor. (SB 1578 by Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach)

Driver’s licenses: Bill would allow California to issue driver’s licenses for driving only, not for use as identification, to people who cannot prove they are in the country legally. (SB 1162 by Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles)

Easements: Bill would require the state Resources Agency to create an online registry of conservation easements, which are purchases of development rights designed to preserve open space or farming. There is no central database of such property restrictions around the state. Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill last year. (SB 1360 by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego)

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Eminent domain: Bill would provide property owners with notice and an opportunity to respond before a court can grant a local government possession of private property (SB 1210 by Sen. Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch). Another bill would require redevelopment agencies to specify when, how and where they can use eminent domain authority and would allow such agencies to ban the condemnation of residential property. (SB 53 by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego)

English as a second language: Bill would allow publishers to submit to the state Board of Education textbooks that give English-language learners additional reading and writing support. The textbooks must be in English. It would also restore nearly $1.6 million in funding for the state Board of Education that was deleted in this year’s budget over a dispute with the Legislature on this issue. (SB 1769 by Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Whittier)

Gays in textbooks: Bill would ban the state Board of Education and school districts from adopting textbooks that “reflect adversely” on people because of their sexual orientation. (SB 1437 by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica)

Greenhouse gases: Bill would require the state air board to adopt regulations to shrink California’s output of carbon dioxide, methane and other gases linked to global warming to 1990 levels by 2020. (AB 32 by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles). Another bill would require power generators, when selling long-term contracts to California utilities, to meet greenhouse gas emission standards (SB 1368 by Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland).

Hemp: Bill would allow California farmers to grow industrial hemp, as long as they test samples from each crop and destroy any crop in which the THC -- a chemical found in marijuana -- exceeds three-tenths of 1%. Hemp is used to produce paper, textiles, food, oils and soaps and California companies now import it. (AB 1147 by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco)

Hospital fines: Bill would allow the state to fine hospitals as much as $50,000 for patient-care lapses that cause serious injury or death. It also would require the Department of Health Services to enforce state standards at nursing homes, in response to reports last year that state inspectors had begun using more lax federal standards. (SB 1312 by Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara)

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Identity cards: Bill would require that all identification cards issued by a state, county or municipal government include tamper-resistant features to prevent forgery or duplication. If the ID contains personal information, it must include security features such as encryption that prevent unauthorized access to the data. (SB 768 by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto)

Initiatives: Bill would require an initiative, referendum or recall petition to indicate whether it is being circulated by a paid or volunteer signature-gatherer and to also list the five largest contributors in support of the measure being circulated. Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill last year (SB 1598 by Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Marina del Rey). Another bill would make it a misdemeanor to pay initiative signature-gatherers based on the number of signatures they collect and make it illegal for signature-gatherers to misrepresent the contents of an initiative (AB 2946 by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco)

Landfills: Bill would ban landfills that are authorized through local initiatives unless the landfill meets federal, state and local laws. (SB 1835 by Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter)

Lead: Bill would change the state’s limits on lead content in water pipes to say that the entire wetted surface -- including pipes, fittings and fixtures -- should not have a weighted average lead content of more than .25%. (AB 1953 by Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, D-Alameda)

Locked-out workers: Bill would allow workers who are locked out in a labor dispute with their employer to get unemployment benefits. (AB 1884 by Assemblywoman Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park)

Los Angeles Unified School District: Bill would create a “council of mayors” dominated by the mayor of Los Angeles to take direct control of three low-performing high schools and the middle and elementary schools that feed them. It also would give the “council of mayors” veto power over the school board’s selection of superintendent and shift contracting authority from the seven-member school board to the superintendent. (AB 1381 by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles)

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Midwives: Bill would require licensed midwives to report certain information to the state about deliveries in which they’ve assisted. (SB 1638 by Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont)

Minimum wage: Bill would raise the California minimum wage from $6.75 an hour to $7.75 in January and $8 in January 2008. (AB 1835 by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View)

National popular vote: California would join a compact of states that agree to award their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide, not the candidate who wins the most votes in each state. Proponents say it will force presidential candidates to campaign in all states, not just a few key “battleground” states whose Electoral College votes can swing the election. (AB 2948 by Assemblyman Tom Umberg, D-Anaheim)

Pay equity: Bill would increase penalties against employers who pay an employee less based on gender to up to four times the balance of the wages due the aggrieved employee. (AB 2555 by Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach)

Pet stores: Bill would require the state Department of Consumer Affairs by 2008 to write regulations for pet stores on the care and handling of animals. (AB 2862 by Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles)

Plastic surgery: Bill would allow oral surgeons under certain conditions to perform such plastic surgery as face lifts and lip augmentation. The dentists must first prove to the California Medical Board that they successfully completed a surgical residency program and are on a hospital staff. Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill in 2004. (SB 438 by Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco)

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Ports: Bill would impose a $30 fee on shipping containers processed through the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The estimated $500 million a year in revenue would be used to boost security, cut air pollution from port traffic and pay for rail projects. (SB 760 by Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach)

Prescription drugs: Bill would require the state to negotiate discounts on medicine for roughly 6 million low-income Californians and would allow the state, starting in 2010, to make it more difficult for drug companies that don’t offer discounts to sell their products to the state-run Medi-Cal program, which spends roughly $4 billion a year buying drugs. (AB 2911 by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles)

Public health: Bill would split the state Department of Health Services, creating a new Department of Public Health focused on disease prevention and a new Department of Health Care Services managing the state’s $34-billion Medi-Cal program. (SB 162 by Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento)

Public records: Bill would allow the public to get public records via computer and allow citizens to appeal to the attorney general when state or local agencies deny their requests for records. (AB 2927 by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco)

Receipts: Bill would require stores and banks to strip credit card and bank account numbers from receipts they keep. Law already requires that such information not appear on receipts given to customers. (SB 1699 by Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Marina del Rey)

School clinics: Bill would require the state to study and support California’s 150 public school-based health centers, where children may get examinations, lab work, immunizations, mental healthcare and counseling. (AB 2560 by Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas, D-Los Angeles)

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School money: Bill would set rules for distributing $2.9 billion to schools as part of a settlement between the California Teachers Assn. and Schwarzenegger. About 1,600 low-performing schools would be eligible to apply for the money to hire counselors, train teachers and reduce class sizes. (SB 1133 by Sen. Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch)

Sea otters: Bill would require cat litter manufacturers to advise consumers on packaging not to dispose of used litter in toilets, gutters or storm drains. Cat feces has been linked to a pathogen that kills sea otters. (AB 2485 by Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento)

Sentencing: Bill would require a judge who defers punishing a minor defendant in favor of probation or rehabilitation to justify the decision in writing. The bill was prompted by the case of a 17-year-old who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old and was allowed to go free after admitting guilt. (SB 1626 by Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield)

Sex offenders: Bill would toughen penalties against sex offenders for a wide array of crimes, including arranging meetings with children over the Internet for lascivious purposes (SB 1128 by Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara). Another bill would require convicted sex offenders deemed to be at high risk of re-offending to be constantly monitored with a GPS device while on parole (SB 1178 by Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough)

Smart keys: Bill would require makers of vehicles sold or leased starting in 2008 to give registered owners round-the-clock access to information on how to get a new key made to start the vehicle. Keys to many new-model cars cannot be replaced at a local hardware store and include computer chips that may require certain key codes before they can be reproduced. (SB 1542 by Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco)

Special election costs: Bill would take $39 million from the state general fund to reimburse counties for the cost of last November’s special election called by Schwarzenegger, including $9 million for Los Angeles County. (AB 1634 by Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield)

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Student aid: Bill would allow students without legal immigration status to get financial aid at California public colleges and universities. (SB 160 by Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles)

Teachers: Bill would allow principals in the lowest-performing schools to refuse to take teachers who seek to transfer to their schools. Studies have shown that poor teachers often voluntarily transfer from school to school to avoid discipline. (SB 1655 by Sen. Jack Scott, D-Altadena)

Tenants: Bill would require landlords to give tenants who have been renting from them for at least a year 60 days’ notice of eviction, double the current requirement, when the eviction is not the fault of the tenant. Proponents say the bill will give families more time to find a new home and raise a security deposit in tight rental markets such as Los Angeles and San Diego. (AB 1169 by Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, D-Newark)

Toilets: Bill would require installation of toilets that use less than an average of 1.6 gallons per flush in new homes, schools and office buildings starting in 2009. (AB 2496 by Assemblyman John Laird, D-Santa Cruz)

Toxics: Bill would require chemical manufacturers to give the state test methods for detecting their products in air, water, soil and the human body. As it is, state scientists must develop chemical detection methods at taxpayer expense. (AB 289 by Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, D-Alameda)

Ultrasound: Bill would restrict the sale of ultrasound machines to people trained in their use. Aimed at “keepsake” businesses that make videos and pictures for expectant couples. (AB 2360 by Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance)

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Universal healthcare: Bill would create a California health insurance system to provide health insurance to every Californian, eliminating the current patchwork of private and public insurance. Expenses are estimated at roughly $166 billion a year. (SB 840 by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica)

Welfare: Bill would allow people convicted of certain drug-related felonies to get CalWORKS benefits as long as they prove they are enrolled in or have completed a government-recognized drug treatment program. (AB 2192 by Assemblywoman Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles)

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nancy.vogel@latimes.com

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