Following complaints against the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills school districts, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation that would set clear guidelines for when student representatives are appointed to and removed from school boards.
In all, the governor acted on 28 bills on Monday, also signing measures regulating car seats and seeking to curb bandit tow trucks taking advantage of California motorists.
The school board bill by Sen. Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) was in response to complaints that districts are giving short shrift to a program that allows students to petition for assignment of a non-voting student to school boards so they can provide input.
"SB 532 will ensure that students have a voice and a seat at the table on school boards in California," Leyva said in a statement.
The senator cited complaints that the Los Angeles Unified School District took more than a year for the district to approve a petition by 500 students to establish a student board member position.
Her bill mandates that a school board must create a student school board member position within 60 days of receiving a qualified petition.
Leyva also cited complaints that in 2013 a student board member position was eliminated from the Beverly Hills Unified School District without any public record of an official vote.
That position was later reinstated, but the measure signed by the governor requires a majority vote of all voting members of the board to eliminate a student representative from the board, and the motion must be put on the agenda so the public has advance notice of the action.
The measure takes effect Jan. 1, and is supported by the California Assn. of Student Councils.
The governor also signed a measure Monday that will crack down on bandit tow truck drivers by requiring all tow operators to maintain documents showing that they were summoned to or flagged down at the scene of an accident or disabled vehicle.
The measure by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) also requires tow truck drivers to provide motorists they help with a detailed estimate of charges and services to be performed before attaching the disabled vehicle to the truck. The law also caps towing and storage fees.
"Unscrupulous tow scams are on the rise and plaguing consumers all around the state, but the problem is particularly acute in Los Angeles County, where approximately forty-two percent of the incidents occur," Bloom said.
Brown also signed a measure that requires children under the age of 2 to sit in a rear-facing child safety seat while traveling in a vehicle. The bill, AB 53 by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), will not apply to children that weigh more than 40 pounds or are 40 inches or taller. The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017.