Legislation

My Legislation

2017 : 2016 : 2015 : 2014 : 2013 : 2012 : 2011

2017

SB 27 - Waiving Occupational License Fees for Veterans
This measure would remove a barrier for veterans seeking work in California and encourage immediate entrance into the civilian workforce by waiving the application and initial license fees paid to the state in order to receive an occupational license. This policy shift would help veterans as they apply for jobs and could also be a tool in alleviating the crisis of veteran homelessness. Similar legislation was recently enacted in Wisconsin, Texas, Michigan, and Florida. SB 27 is a reintroduction of SB 1155 (Morrell) from 2016, both bills were held by the Democrat chairs of the Appropriations Committees.

SB 184 – Social Security Number Redaction on Public Records Documents (Chaptered)
This bill will allow counties to offer identity protection to military personnel and others who have personal information recorded with their local county recorders. Specifically, SB 184 will allow counties to redact social security numbers on all public records versions of documents recorded, rather than just those documents recorded after 1980 as prescribed in current law.

SB 248 – Small Business Tax Reduction
This bill would provide a startup incentive to new small businesses by cutting the minimum franchise tax from $800 to $400 for the first five years of operation following the first taxable year. The franchise tax is the payment a business must provide to the state for the “privilege” of operating in California each year. Cutting this tax for a business during their startup years will encourage more businesses to open their doors in California.

SB 303 – Increased Penalties for Causing, Inducing, Persuading, or Soliciting Minors for Prostitution
This bill takes a measured approach that seeks to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our communities from further victimization and suffering by adding an enhancement to human trafficking charges in situations in which the victim is under 16 years of age. It also would increase the penalties for the solicitation of a minor for the act of prostitution.

SB 388 – Corporate Tax Holiday
Should the federal government enact a tax holiday for corporate moneys brought back into the United States, this bill will ensure that California will also enact a tax holiday reducing the tax rate for moneys brought back into the state for the same period.

SB 413 – Update to Code Sections Referring to “Dementia” (Chaptered)
This bill updates California code sections to replace the term “dementia” with “major neurocognitive disorder.” This change brings these code sections in line with the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association, which has replaced the term “dementia” with “major neurocognitive disorder,” thus providing clarity to those turning to the DSM-5 to find clear diagnostic support when interpreting statutes at issue.

SB 479 – Trustees and Non-Judicial Foreclosures (Chaptered)
This bill makes two technical changes to California Civil Code provisions relating to trustees handling nonjudicial foreclosures in the real estate arena. It provides a modest increase in the cap on one trustee charge, which has not been increased since 2001, and reorganizes the section that lays out the charges in a way that makes it easier for all parties involved to understand.

SB 543 – Service of Legal Documents (Chaptered)
This bill removes unnecessary impediments to effective service for three types of legal documents. These changes help attorneys ensure that legal documents are served or exchanged in the most efficient way possible, thus helping Californians receive the most effective legal process possible.

SB 555 - 5-Year Review of State Agency Regulations
This bill would hold state agencies to greater accountability for their regulatory decisions by requiring an economic and small business assessment of regulations, five years after their adoption and implementation.

With its burdensome regulatory environment, California maintains a reputation as a hostile place to do business. For 13 years in a row, 500 CEOs surveyed by Chief Executive Magazine have ranked the state last in business-friendliness. Since 2008, an estimated 9,000 businesses left California or decided against expanding operations in the state. Recent research by the National Federation of Independent Business finds that half of small business owners say regulations are a serious problem.

This bill was killed by Democrats on the Senate Governmental Organization Committee.

SB 559 – Private Investigator Limited Liability Companies (Chaptered)
A limited liability company is defined as a legal entity that allows one or more owners to conduct a business without any owner having personal liability for the obligations of the business. This bill allows private investigators to continue forming their businesses as limited liability companies until 2021.  

SB 601 – Accurate Reporting of Pension Liabilities
This bill would have required the state’s public pension systems to disclose return on investment estimates similar to those required of the private sector, thus giving Californians a real picture of the state’s unfunded public pension liabilities.

Continuing to assume a high return on investments places future taxpayers on the hook for shortfalls created decades prior and puts retirees at risk of losing future benefits.

This bill was killed by Democrats on the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee.

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SB 679 – Extended Revolving Door Lobbying Ban
SB 1738 of 1990 was a comprehensive legislative ethics reform package that sought to impose new ethical standards on legislators and other state officials. One provision of that package was meant to address the “revolving door” problem, or the movement of legislators into lobbying positions. In order to address this issue, SB 1739 made it so that a legislator could not accept a position that involved lobbying or appearing before the legislature for one year after leaving office. However, this doesn’t even cover a full two year legislative session.

SB 679 sought to further the intent of SB 1738 by extending the lobbying ban to five years from the time a legislator resigns, the bill was later amended to 2 years.

Senator Morrell worked with Assemblyman Dababneh (D-Encino) on this issue, and together they passed AB 1620 (Chaptered), which sought to accomplish the same goal as SB 679. Under AB 1620, the ban will apply to the remainder of the two-year session in which a legislator resigns, at which point the current one-year cooling off period would begin.

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SCR 20 - National Speech and Debate Education Day (Chaptered)
Senate Concurrent Resolution declares March 3, 2017 “National Speech and Debate Education Day” in California. Established by the National Speech and Debate Association in conjunction with local and national partners, this event serves to promote better instruction in speech and debate across all grade levels and to highlight the pivotal roles these abilities play in personal advocacy, social movements, and public policymaking.

SR 39 – 39th Anniversary of Proposition 13
This resolution would have commemorated the 39th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 13. Proposition 13 was overwhelmingly approved by California voters in 1978 to rein in high property taxes. During a time of economic uncertainty, the law ushered in welcome tax stability and predictability for homeowners, many of whom were seniors on fixed incomes or first time homebuyers that faced the prospect of losing their houses because they could not pay the taxes. 39 years later, it still remains popular with voters.

This Resolution was killed by the Democrats on the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

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SR 40 – First Responder Day
Senate Resolution 40, designated September 23, 2017 as First Responder Day in California. Setting aside this day will demonstrate our citizens’ appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice exhibited daily by first responders in protecting and serving our communities.

2016

SB 983 – Legal Ownership of Foreclosure Properties (Chaptered)
SB 983 makes two technical changes to California Civil Code provisions relating to trustees handling nonjudicial foreclosures in the real estate arena.  It provides a modest increase in the cap on trustees’ charges, which have not been increased since 2001, and deletes a duplicative code section.

SB 1080 – Holding Accountable Vandals of Veterans Memorials
This bill would enhance legal penalties for crimes such as defacing or stealing items left in memory of loved ones who served including, among many things, honorary American flags and grave markers. The crimes committed would be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

SB 1080 was brought forward by the American G.I. Forum in response to the summer 2015 vandalism of the Mexican American Veterans Memorial in Sacramento’s Capitol Park (link is external). The statue, also known as “El Soldado,” had the end of its rifle broken off. It was originally commissioned by a group of Mexican-American mothers whose sons died during World War II.

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SB 1081 – Increased Access to Outdoor Recreation for Veterans
This measure would allow all honorably discharged veterans to purchase sport fishing licenses and hunting permits for a flat fee of $5 and be eligible to obtain fishing report cards and hunting tags at a 50 percent discount. Disabled veterans and recovering service members would be eligible to receive licenses, report cards, and tags free-of-charge.

SB 1136 – Fire Fee Transparency
The legally questionable fire prevention “fee,” often called the fire tax, was enacted by the majority party in 2011 as part of the state budget and is assessed on property owners in State Responsibility Areas (“SRA”), which include many parts of the San Bernardino Mountains and the high desert. CalFire is currently required to submit an annual expenditures report to the legislature. Under SB 1136, CalFire would have to include a description of each program and subprogram for which the department uses SRA fee revenue. SB 1136 would also extend the sunset date of the reporting requirement to 2021.

SB 1155 – Waived Occupational License Fees for Veterans
This measure would remove a barrier for veterans seeking work in California and encourages immediate entrance into the civilian workforce by waiving the application and initial license fees paid to the state in order to receive an occupational license. This policy shift will help veterans as they apply for jobs and can also be a tool in alleviating the crisis of veteran homelessness. Similar legislation was recently enacted in Wisconsin, Texas, and Florida.

Read more…

SB 1209 – Holding Cited Contractors Accountable (Chaptered)
Currently, the Contractors State License Board requires contractors to publicly disclose any citation they have received within the past five years. However, if a contractor obtains a new license, the citation does not follow them. SB 1209 provides that a citation against a licensed contractor shall continue to be disclosed if that contractor applies for a new license or joins another existing license within the aforementioned five-year window, protecting consumers and upholding the integrity of the contracting industry.

SB 1305 – SANBAG Consolidation (Chaptered)
The San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) is comprised of five separate legal entities, some of which have contradictory and duplicative regulatory requirements. In order to resolve conflicting statutory and Joint Powers Authority (JPA) requirements and harmonize overlapping responsibilities, SB 1305 provides statutory clarity, streamlines important transportation functions, and improves transparency by consolidating these entities under the new San Bernardino County Transportation Authority.

SB 1409 – EDD Identity Theft Prevention
One of the chief responsibilities of EDD is to process state unemployment claims. This bill would require the California Employment Development Department (EDD) to take a more active role in preventing identity theft.

SB 1431 – Service of Summons (Chaptered)
SB 1431 gives investigators employed by an office of the attorney general, a county counsel, a city attorney, a district attorney, or a public defender the same access to gated communities as any other person serving process. Such investigators play an important role in facilitating the fair application of our justice system. They already are authorized by statute to serve process and should be allowed to do so in gated communities, in the same way all other authorized process servers can.

SB 1457 – Parental Choice for Released Time Credit Act
“Released time” refers to programs in which students leave school during the day to participate in moral and religious instruction. Under these programs, public school students have an opportunity to receive a small amount of private education, at no cost to their parents or to the school. Currently, these programs exist in 32 states, including Ohio and South Carolina, and serve more than 260,000 students.

SB 1457 would enable local school boards to authorize more time for students to participate in released time studies as well as give officials discretion to consider certain programs for elective credit toward a student’s high school graduation. To be eligible for up to two elective credits, these classes would have to meet the same criteria as a private school class that would be accepted for transfer credit to a public school. No public school resources would be permitted to be involved in either providing or facilitating released time instruction.

To see video highlights of the Senate debate on SB 1457, click here.

2015

SCA 3 - Legislative Transparency
Would require legislation to be in print and posted online for 72 hours before any Senate or Assembly votes are taken on it. This bill is intended to produce more transparency in the budget process by not allowing last minute additions to be made without the public’s scrutiny.

SCR 22 - Christopher Lee Douglas Memorial Highway (Chaptered)
Would name a 5-mile section of the Interstate 10 freeway in Banning “The CAL FIRE Firefighter Christopher Lee Douglas Memorial Highway.” At the age of 41, firefighter Christopher Douglas passed away in the line of duty on July 5, 2013 while responding to a traffic accident in Riverside County. He is survived by his wife, Amy Douglas, and their children Samuel and Bridget. Douglas exemplified professionalism and work ethic for which CAL FIRE fighters are known. He was an 11-year veteran of the United States Air Force and earned numerous awards and accommodations. He worked with CAL FIRE beginning in 2004 and in 2013 was promoted to a Fire Apparatus Engineer/Paramedic.

SB 198 – Fire Tax Repeal
Would repeal the fire prevention fee assessed on property owners living in State Responsibility Areas. The fire prevention fee was enacted in 2011 by the Governor and legislative Democrats who claimed that the state needed additional money for fire prevention in State Responsibility Areas. It was approved by only a majority vote, despite the fact that voter-approved taxpayer protections require a two-thirds vote for enactment. The fee is unfair and likely an illegal tax.

SB 318 – Classroom Technology Pilot Program
Would allocate funding for a pilot program to train K-12 teachers to effectively use technology and digital resources as part of their classroom instruction with the goal of preparing students for 21st century online testing.

SB 338 – Elder Abuse
Would give more tools to district attorneys to prosecute individuals who inflict pain and mental suffering on elders.

SB 363 – Book Accounts (Chaptered)
Some contracts for certain lines of credit do not specify how much money can be sought in attorney’s fees if litigation occurs between a lender and a borrower. For these accounts, California law determines the maximum amount to be recovered. The amount in statute is outdated and no longer reflects the actual cost of attorney’s fees. This bill updates the law and increases the amount of recovery for the prevailing party.

SB 407 – Licensed Midwives; Medi-Cal (Chaptered)
Would add licensed midwives to the list of eligible comprehensive perinatal services providers that can seek reimbursement from Medi-Cal. Comprehensive perinatal services are health services which accompany a pregnant woman from the time of conception until 60 days after delivery. These services may include pre-natal nutrition assessments and support, childbirth and breastfeeding education, and psychosocial services. Currently, pregnant women on Medi-Cal do not have access to licensed midwives’ services. This bill would expand options for low-income households to access quality perinatal care.

SB 408 – Midwife Assistants (Chaptered)
Would create a set of guidelines for midwife assistants, similar to those set for medical assistants. Defining the duties of a midwife assistant will incentivize appropriate training and attract qualified individuals to the profession, therefore alleviating licensed and nurse midwives from having to assist other midwives during labor and delivery.

SB 418 – CSU Readmission Rights for Active Duty Students (Chaptered)
Would extend readmission rights for active duty military students from two to five years in the California State University System. Readmission guarantees a student can continue at the institution where he or she has already been studying after an approved absence.

SB 619 – Pharmacies
Would require the Board of Pharmacy to license outsourcing facilities and would direct the Board to conduct inspections of these facilities before issuing or renewing licenses. Outsourcing facilities are specialized businesses that compound prescription medication in large quantities, typically not pursuant to patient-specific prescriptions. Most of these products are sold to practitioners, hospitals and sometimes patients in multiple states.

SB 647 – Private Money Lending (Chaptered)
Clears up ambiguous sections of SB 978 (Vargas, 2012), consumer protection legislation that was passed to respond to problems in the area of mortgage securities that resulted in consumer losses. Since its passage, the application of SB 978 has been unnecessarily broad.

The bill does three things:

  • Saves time and resources by clarifying that real estate brokers are not required to obtain annual questionnaires from investors in years when no investments are made.
  • Eliminates unnecessary reporting to the Department of Business Oversight.
  • Brings additional clarity by specifying what the maximum loan-to-value ratio is for income-producing agricultural land.

SB 728 – Public Accountability for Higher Energy Standards
Would require the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), before raising the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), to conduct an economic review of the proposed changes, specifically focusing on its impact on low and middle income families. The renewables portfolio standard mandates how much of a utility company’s sales must come from eligible renewable sources. For example, if the RPS is set at 33%, then 33% of a utility or energy provider’s portfolio must be from renewable sources such as wind and solar. This bill would increase transparency in the PUC by requiring that public workshops be held before any increase in the RPS can be made.

SB 785 – Probate Code (Chaptered)
Would clarify in the Probate Code where the terms “decedent’s estate” and “estate of the decedent” refer to the decedent’s probate estate and where they refer to a trust estate, in order to avoid confusion and unnecessary litigation.

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2014

SB 945 – Social Science Test
Would reinstate the requirement that history and social science be included in the high school standards test (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)) by the 2018-19 school year.

SB 960 – State Board of Pharmacy Letter of Reprimand (Chaptered)
Would allow the California State Board of Pharmacy (BOP) to issue a license concurrently with a Letter of Admonishment, which is issued to an applicant who has committed a violation that BOP deems worthy of caution, but does not merit a license denial or probationary status.

SB 997 – Senior Legislature (Chaptered)
Would allow the California Senior Legislature, an advocacy group for senior issues, to change the name of its voluntary contribution fund on California’s personal income tax form from the California Fund for Senior Citizens to the California Senior Legislature Fund.

SB 1001 – Civil Action for Human Trafficking
Would extend the statute of limitations for a victim of human trafficking seeking civil action against his or her assailant to within 10 years after a judgment has been pronounced.

SB 1216 – Homeowners Property Tax Exemption
Would increase the homeowners property tax exemption from $7,000 to $20,000 and tie subsequent annual adjustments in the exemption to the percentage change in the Housing Price Index. This exemption has not been increased since 1974. 

SB 1378 – Income Tax Credit for Charitable Contributions
Would provide a tax credit for charitable contributions made to charities that provide services to vulnerable groups such as at-risk children and seniors.

SR 41 – Anniversary of Proposition 13
Celebrates the 36th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 13.

SR 52 – 4th of July
Celebrates the 238th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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2013

AB 2 - Sex Offenders: Parole Violations
Would address a problem arising out of California’s public safety realignment by providing that a sex offender out on parole or on post-release community supervision, and who violates his or her parole by failing to register as a sex offender, would be returned to state prison to serve any sentence ordered for that violation.

AB 51 - $10,000 College Degree Pilot Program (Co-author)
Would create a pilot program for certain college majors to earn Bachelor’s Degrees for $10,000 at certain California State University campuses, including the cost of textbooks.

AB 70 - Budget Transparency
Would require the State Budget to be posted online at least 3 days before the Legislature can vote on it.

AB 124 - Repeal of the SRA Fee (Fire Tax)
Would repeal the costly fire “fee” imposed on more than 800,000 property owners across the state.

AB 326 - Cal OSHA- Work Related Injury Reporting (Chaptered)
Would bring California’s Labor Code into the 21st century by recognizing the use of email by employers in reporting to the Department of Industrial Relation’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. 

AB 368 - Higher Education- Military Personnel
Would allow active duty military service members and their dependents to pay in-state tuition regardless of their residency status.

AB 838 - Personal Representative Bonds
Would specify that the amount of a bond required of estate executors (personal representatives) include an allowance for the cost of recovery, for heirs to be made whole in cases of misappropriation or theft by the personal representative.

AB 1146 - Concurrent Enrollment
Would allow the principal of a high school to continue making recommendations for students who meet certain qualifications to enroll in summer courses at a community college.

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2012

AB 1432 - Caylee's Law (Co-author) (Chaptered)
Would create a misdemeanor violation, punishable by up to a year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1000, for any parent or guardian who does not report the death or disappearance of a child aged 14 years or younger, to law enforcement authorities within 24 hours.

AB 1437 - Budget Transparency
Would require the State Budget to be posted online for 72 hours before the Legislature votes on it.

AB 1504 - Improving our Regulatory Process
Would require state agencies, before implementing new regulations, to actively seek the input of affected parties in order to craft solutions that are the least burdensome. 

AB 1788 - Property Tax Exemption for Religious and Charitable Organizations
Would allow the property tax exemption provided to properties used exclusively for religious, hospital, scientific, or charitable purposes to begin when a building permit is completed and filed to enable these organizations to benefit from the exemption during the construction process. 

AB 1789 - Review of Wage Orders
Would prevent any private right of action under the Labor Code Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) until all Wage Orders provided by the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) under the Department of Industrial Relations are reviewed and potentially revised by the IWC to ensure the orders are consistent with current working conditions.

AB 2310 - Unemployment Double Dipping
Would eliminate the ability of a retired annuitant to file for unemployment for the loss of his or her part-time state work as a retiree. 

AB 2654 - Mining Liens  (Chaptered)
Would clarify the definition of a “mine” in California’s mining lien statute to include any quarry where rock, gravel or other minerals are removed from the earth, to ensure that contractors have a right to a mining lien when working at rock quarries.

ACR 14 - Honoring the Constitution
Would require an excerpt from the United States Constitution to be read prior to every legislative session.  A full reading of the Declaration of Independence would also occur each 4th of July.

ACR 94 - Honoring the Boy Scouts of America
Would recognize the Boys Scouts of America for 102 years of dedicated work in our communities. 

HR 32 - In Celebration of our Nation’s Birth
Recognizes the 236th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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2011

AB 368 - Small Business Start-Up Tax Break
Would change the minimum franchise tax (California’s tax for “the privilege of operating a business” within the state) by exempting a small business from this tax for its first year of operation, and reduce it from $800 to $400 for each of the following five years.

AB 398 - Military Service Members- Fire Service Certification (Chaptered)
Would allow service members to quickly become firefighters by giving the State Fire Marshal the authority to accept certification by the Department of Defense as equivalent training to Firefighter-1, which is the basic certification required for a firefighter in California.

AB 535 - Review of CA Regulations to Protect Small Businesses
Would require a state agency that adopts a new regulation to review that regulation five years after its adoption, to ensure an accurate review of the actions and regulations imposed by government entities.

AB 541 - California Small Business Board
Would require the California Small Business Board, under the Transportation and Housing Agency, to review the state’s licensing and permitting regulations as they impact small businesses.

AB 552 - Define Community Entertainment
Would expand the definition of "community entertainment" to give minors the ability to perform in non-profit community performing arts groups.

AB 663 - Stop Voter Fraud
Would fight voter fraud by requiring a voter to show government issued identification to confirm his or her identity before casting a ballot.

AB 726 - Health Savings Accounts Tax Credit
Would allow an individual to take money from his or her 401K plan and deposit it directly into a health savings account without any state tax penalty.

AB 1091 - Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (Chaptered)
Would clarify Business and Professions Code requirements for a licensed contractor to notify the CSLB if a responsible managing officer, employee, member, or manager disassociates from a license. Previously, there was inequity between the treatment of licensees who comply with and those who do not comply with the 90-day notification requirement, inadvertently providing more time for those who do not comply.

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