Wiggins earns perfect score from consumer advocacy group

by Editor, Lake County News

SACRAMENTO ‘ North Coast State Senator Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) earned a perfect 100-percent on the Consumer Federation of California’s recently-released scorecard for state lawmakers.

She was one of only four Senators to vote correctly on all of the federation’s targeted legislation in 2008.

Click here to read the Eureka Standard’s coverage of our scorecard.

The San Mateo-based Consumer Federation of California (CFC) is a nonprofit advocacy organization. Founded in 1960, the CFC campaigns for state and federal laws related to privacy protection, food and product safety, and other matters of importance to California consumers.

For this year’s CFC legislative scorecard, State Assembly Members and Senators were evaluated on a number of issues, including campaign finance reform, financial privacy protection, health care reform, telecommunications subscribers’ rights, assistance to low-income consumers, and safety standards for consumer products.

Wiggins and her colleagues were graded on legislative proposals that the CFC sponsored, supported or opposed. Scores were based on the percentage of votes in which the lawmaker sided with consumers.

The CFC sponsored or otherwise supported five pieces of legislation (or bills) which were approved by both houses of the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008.

Wiggins voted for all five, which are summarized as follows:

AB 372, which reduces fees and shortens waiting time for consumer security freezes on credit reports;

AB 583, which created a pilot project whereby candidates for Secretary of State will be eligible to receive public campaign funds for the 2014 and 2018 elections;

AB 1860, which bans manufacture or sale of products recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission;

SB 31, which makes it illegal to ‘skim’ or surreptitiously read data from an RFID (radio frequency identification device) without the knowledge and consent of the ID holder;

SB 1420, requiring restaurant chains to post nutritional information on menus or menu boards.

This year, Wiggins authored pro-consumer legislation of her own, including two bills ‘ SB 780 and SB 1419 ‘ protecting residents of rural and high-cost areas of the state against astronomically-high telephone bills. Both were signed into law.

She also co-authored SB 840, which would have made all California residents eligible for specified health care benefits under a single-payer system, but that bill was vetoed by the governor.

Wiggins, who is mid-way through her first term in the Senate, represents the state’s 2nd District, which includes parts of all of six counties: Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Sonoma.