Brown signs law amending state’s anti-toxins law, Proposition 65


SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed into law changes to Proposition 65, the state’s landmark anti-toxins law, that aim to reduce lawsuits and fines for businesses.

The initiative, which voters approved in 1986, requires businesses to post notices about the presence of possibly dangerous chemicals, which include alcohol, carcinogens found in parking garages and byproducts of coffee roasting.

Some business owners, particularly owners of bars and coffee shops, complained the law had spawned a wave of frivolous lawsuits and excessive fines over improper signage.


The measure by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) gives businesses that are in violation of the law two weeks to post the required notices before they are subject to lawsuits or steep fines.

Gatto said he was in a “state of disbelief” that his bill, AB 227, had become law, particularly because making changes to the initiative required two-thirds approval in the Legislature.

“Nobody has been able to do this since 1986,” he said.

Brown also signed into law a bill that prohibits companies from adopting policies banning employees from performing CPR and other medical services in an emergency.

The measure was a response to an incident in at a Bakersfield nursing facility last February. After an elderly woman collapsed, an employee refused to perform CPR on her, citing company policy. The woman later died.

The bill, AB 633, is by Assemblyman Rudy Salas Jr. (D-Bakersfield).

The governor blocked one bill that would have required health plans offered by large employers to cover egg freezing and other fertility preservation methods for patients who need medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, that could cause infertility.

In his veto message of AB 912 by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), Brown said fertility preservation treatments were not included among the health benefits designated as essential by the Legislature last year. Those essential benefits must be included in all individual and group insurance plans.


“Coverage that goes beyond the essential health benefits is no doubt useful and desirable for many, but we should not consider mandating additional benefits until we implement the comprehensive package of reforms that are required by the federal Affordable Care Act,” Brown wrote.