How The Gov.’s New Bills Affect You

by Michael Finney , ABC TV

Click here to watch ABC’s report.

Among the hundreds of bills the Governor signed and vetoed this
weekend, several may hit you in the pocket book. Here’s a look on how
the Governor sided on key bills designed to protect consumers.

Governor Schwarzenegger scored points with consumer groups by
signing two key bills into law allowing you to redeem gift cards for
cash once the card falls below ten dollars.

Americans are expected to spend 70 billion dollars this year on gift
cards alone. Millions of dollars worth of those cards will go unspent.

"That’s only fair. After all, it was paid for. The store
already got its money," says Richard Holober, Consumer Federation of

The Governor also signed a bill banning toys for toddlers manufactured with a plastic softener which some consider toxic.

San Francisco Assembly Woman Fiona Ma authored the bill and says the next step is a national ban.

"The governor has allowed us to forge ahead as leaders in this fight against toxic chemicals and protect our young babies."

Two other consumer oriented bills got the Governor’s thumbs down.

One would have prohibited businesses from storing your pin number or
security code. It would also require that they encrypt your personal
information in their computers.

The Governor says the payment card industry already has "established minimum data security standards."

Another bill would treat rebate prices like coupons. Consumers would
automatically get the discount price without having to mail in rebate

Schwarzenegger said he vetoed it because "retailers don’t have control
over the manner in which a manufacturer’s national rebate advertising
campaign is structured."

Richard Holober says the Governor’s priorities are wrong.

"I say for every bill the Governor signs thats a good consumer bill, he gives his business buddies two or three vetoes."

Whether you use gift cards or credit cards, what the Governor has done
this weekend will most likely affect you directly, especially with the
holiday season just around the corner.