Tag Archives: 2015 Legislation

Uber Unleashes Lobbyists In California To Reshape Driver Rules

by Alison Vekshin, Bloomberg

Uber has spent almost a million dollars since 2013 on lobbyists in California. … Lyft, also based in San Francisco, has spent $362,000 on lobbying the legislature since 2013. … Some lawmakers say Uber is skirting rules that apply to similar businesses. “In California, we allow them to operate for free while we require many other businesses to pay for permits, franchising fees and licenses,” said Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, the sole vote against Low’s measure in May. “It’s beyond ridiculous what they’re getting away with.” Read More ›

Garnishing California’s Future: New Bill Seeks To Curb Wage Seizures

by Bill Raden, Capital & Main

Empty pockets

Unable to keep up payments, loans fall into default and too often result in crippling court-ordered garnishments that claim up to a quarter of earnings. … “People’s lives are being ruined by these very high, 25 percent garnishments – the national maximum – being taken out of their check before they get it home,” [one expert said]. … [SB 501 would] eliminate the current law’s penalty against garnished workers who might want to work more than 40 hours a week. As the law stands now, every additional dollar above $360 a week is taken by the creditor. Read More ›

AB 573: Students Abandoned By Closure Of Corinthian Colleges Turn To Legislature

Young African-American man

AB 573 would give all 13,000 former Corinthian students access to legal, financial and academic counseling to help them deal with some of the obstacles they face, such as retrieving their Corinthian files and determining whether the students are eligible to have their federal education loans discharged. The bill would fund outreach efforts to identify eligible students, and it would facilitate and encourage the transfer of academic credits earned at Corinthian Colleges to the California Community Colleges system. Read More ›

Facing Regulatory Roadblocks, Uber Ramps Up Its Lobbying In California

by Chris Kirkham and Tracey Lien, Los Angeles Times

uber exec toys with car and cash

Uber now spends more on lobbyists in California than Wal-Mart, Bank of America or Wells Fargo … in the top 3% of companies and organizations. … So far in 2015, Uber has paid about $200,000 to lobbyists. That’s more than 10 times the amount spent by the limousine industry and nearly four times greater than the taxi industry’s trade group. … A PUC administrative law judge decided earlier this month that Uber should be fined $7.3 million and suspended from operating in California. Read More ›

Key CPUC Reform Gets Unplugged

by Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune

When parties believe the commission has failed to follow the law in making a decision, their only option is to make that case to the commission itself, not a judge. If the commission rejects the challenge, the case can be taken to a state appeals panel, which may review the matter. … The utilities commission is in a rare position among government agencies, in being entrusted as an impartial arbiter of its own decisions. If a City Council makes a decision that runs counter to the state Government Code or other laws, a citizen can take the matter to court. Read More ›

California Senate OKs Requiring Warrants To Search Smartphones, Tablets

by Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

smart home

“What the bill does is brings our state statute into the 21st century to catch up with technology with regards to privacy,” [bill author Senator Mark] Leno told his colleagues. “Of course law enforcement needs a warrant before it can go into your mailbox and read your mail, but it does not currently need a warrant to read your emails or text communications or other electronic communications.” … Leno introduced a similar bill two years ago but it was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Read More ›

As An Insider Speaks Out, Chemical Industry’s Credibility Sinks

by the Editorial Board, The Sacramento Bee

Last year, Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, whose previous legislative attempts to restrict flame retardants had died in part because of [former industry lobbyist turned whistleblower Grant] Gillham, won approval of a bill requiring that products containing the flame retardants be labeled. Now, with Gillham as an ally, Leno is carrying a new bill, SB 763, which would require labeling of products for juveniles such as napping pads. It deserves passage, no matter what the American Chemistry Council says. Read More ›

American Chemistry Council Lied About Lobbying Role On Flame Retardants, Consultant Says

by David Heath, The Daily Beast

baby standing in crib

The American Chemistry Council has long maintained that it had nothing to do with an enormously successful but deceitful lobbying effort in state capitals to defend the use of potentially ineffective and toxic flame retardants in furniture. Now, in a rare breaking of ranks, a top industry consultant is discrediting that story. … He stepped up to a microphone at a California State Senate hearing to announce his support for a bill [CFC-co-sponsored SB 763] requiring labeling of children’s products containing the chemicals. Read More ›

Bill Would Let Companies Secretly Record Some Phone Calls

by Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle

Business spying on customer phone calls

A bill that would let companies secretly record phone calls with current or former customers for up to 20 seconds was approved by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety Tuesday. … The mockup of the bill that was passed, however, does not say that companies could only record nonconfidential information in the first 20 seconds without consent. [Consumer Federation of California Executive Director Richard] Holober sees no reason companies ever need to secretly record anything. A caller needing a 20-second preamble could simply identify himself or herself, state the nature of the call, request permission to record and then start the recording, he said. Read More ›

Firms Could Record Some Phone Calls Without Consent Under California Bill

by Sharon Bernstein, Reuters

cd drive illustration

The bill was opposed by numerous advocates for consumers and seniors, including the Consumer Federation of California and the American Civil Liberties Union. “At a time when consumers are more and more concerned about businesses invading their privacy, it is wrong to be considering rolling back an important privacy law,” said Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California, testifying against the bill on Tuesday. Read More ›

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