Consumer Federation of California’s 2013 Legislative Summary
The 2013 legislative session concluded in mid-September and Governor Brown had hundreds of bills on his desk to sign or veto. Bills advanced in a variety of consumer issue categories – and the Consumer Federation of California had important successes, while more lies ahead on several of our priority bills that will be taken up in the next session.
We appreciate our supporters who continue to assist us in our efforts, including writing, calling or emailing your lawmakers on pending legislation. Your voice is critical and makes a difference.
The following is a partial list of key consumer bills that we supported/sponsored and opposed that were signed into law, vetoed, or made into 2-year bills (click on bill numbers to read more):
CFC-supported bills signed into law
- Food/Product Safety: AB 127 (Skinner) calls for the reduction of toxic flame retardant chemicals in building insulation while maintaining fire safety.
- Seniors: AB 140 (Dickinson) increases protection for elders financially exploited by undue influence, or excessive persuasion, by people in positions of authority or trust.
- Seniors: AB 261 (Chesbro) requires residential care facilities for the elderly to stop charging fees and requires refunds of prepaid fees for a deceased resident.
- Privacy: AB 658 (Ian Calderon) protects privacy for people using mobile medical apps, prohibits vendors from sharing confidential medical information.
- Seniors: AB 849 (Garcia), co-sponsored by CFC, authorizes programs serving elder victims of physical abuse to help them apply to an address confidentiality program.
- Privacy: AB 1149 (Campos) helps to stop identity theft by requiring local government agencies to notify workers if their data has been hacked, as the state and the private sector already are required to do.
AB 1149 (Campos), a bill to help stop identity theft by requiring all local government agencies to notify their workers and constituents if their electronic data has been hacked, as the state and the private sector already are required to do. – See more at: https://consumercal.org/#sthash.r5pnQmpL.dpuf
- Corporate Accountability: SB 12 (Corbett) would authorize the governor’s business development office to come up with a plan to promote California-manufactured products by establishing a “Made in California” label for products that meet minimum standards.
- Privacy: SB 46 (Corbett) strengthens computer account privacy protections by requiring the state and businesses operating in California to provide real-time notification when there is reason to believe someone may have obtained a California resident’s password, username, or answers to security questions.
CFC-supported bill vetoed by Governor
- Corporate Accountability: SB 448 (Leno) proposed an office to investigate possible gasoline price fixing; would have investigated illegal activity and recommended ways to reduce volatility of gasoline prices.
CFC-opposed bills vetoed by Governor
- Utilities/Telecom: AB 300 (Perea) would impose a surcharge on pre-paid cell phones and create a complicated and expensive structure for the collection and payment of surcharges.
- Utilities/Telecom: AB 1409 (Bradford) would harm low-income consumers who are eligible for the California LifeLine program by delaying the roll-out of discounts for VoIP- or IP-enabled telephone services.
CFC-sponsored/supported 2-year bills
- Privacy: AB 25 (Campos) provides social media privacy rights for public-sector employees.
- Seniors: AB 462 (Stone), co-sponsored by CFC, requires residential care facilities for dependent adults and the elderly with six or fewer beds to have automatic fire sprinkler systems.
- Privacy: AB 1291 (Lowenthal), co-sponsored by CFC, requires companies to disclose to users, upon request, all of the personal that has been information collected about them, and how that data was shared with other businesses.
- Campaign/Budget Reform: SB 52 (Leno, Hill) strengthens transparency provisions relating to campaign disclosure requirements for contributions and advertisements.
- Privacy: SB 383 (Jackson), sponsored by CFC, restores consumer privacy for online credit card purchases; is being held for a Senate Floor vote in January 2014.
- Corporate Accountability: SB 556 (Corbett), co-sponsored by CFC, holds government agencies responsible for conduct of subcontracted workers wearing uniforms or insignias of the agency.
- Corporate Accountability: SB 686 (Jackson) will help to ensure recalled vehicles are repaired before a dealer can sell them to the consumer, thus ensuring that no motorist is endangered by unethical dealers trying to cut corners at the risk of safety.
CFC-opposed 2-year bills
- Corporate Accountability: AB 890 (Jones) and SB 661 (Hill) allows products for sale in California that contain imported content to be labeled Made in USA.
- Utilities/Telecom: AB 995 (Frasier) will eviscerate the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) much-needed intervenor compensation program, which would freeze out consumer, environmental, safety, health, and the disadvantaged communities that deserve effective representation before the CPUC.
- Utilities/Telecom: AB 1407 (Bradford) will replace the California LifeLine program, which ensures low cost basic telephone service for qualified low income consumers, with a new discount for eligible consumers towards the a more costly phone contract.