2015 - 2016 Legislation

ABx2-4 "Managed Care Organization Tax"
ABx2-4 creates a stable source of funding for Medi-Cal, In-Home Supportive Services, and Developmental Services by creating a flat tax of $7.88 per person for Managed Care Organization health systems. 

ABx1-9 "Richmond-San Rafael Bridge: Third Lane Opening"
ABx1-9 requires that the third eastbound lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge be opened immediately. 

ABx1-10 "Bonus Payments on Mega Projects"
ABx1-10 prohibits bonus payments on projects costing over $1 billion until all work is completed and an independent third party has verified all work.  

ABx1-24 "Bay Area Transportation Commission"
ABx1-24 eliminates the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and creates a new Bay Area Transportation Commission that is led by voter elected commissioners who have access to publicly financed campaigns. 

AB 157 "Richmond-San Rafael Bridge: Third Lane Project" 
AB 157 accelerates the opening of the third eastbound lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. The bill will speed up delivery of the project by 18 months. 

AB 251 "Closing a Prevailing Wage Loophole" 
AB 251 defines when a public subsidy is de minimus for the purpose of determining when prevailing wage is applied to projects. This will allow a developer, if he or she chooses to seek and accept the public subsidy, to know if the Prevailing Wage Act will then cover the project. Prevailing wage provides employment opportunities for highly skilled local workers and apprentices that have and are receiving training in state approved apprenticeship programs.

AB 258 "Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act"
AB 258 prohibits a hospital, physician, or any participant in the organ transplant process from using a patient's use of medical cannabis as the sole reason in denying his or her eligibility as an organ recipient, except when medical cannabis use is clinically significant to that decision. 

AB 293 "Improving Safety in our Prisons"
AB 293 requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to establish statewide guidelines for investigating death threats against the women and men who work in California's correctional facilities.  AB 293 improves safety by creating uniformity among our correctional institutions and consistency for investigating serious death threats.

AB 331 "School Board Size"
AB 331 gives small School Boards the option to expand and contract their membership, from five to three members.  Very small school districts struggle in finding enough community members able to serve on the school board, this bill gives governing boards of these districts the flexibility to establish a board suitable to the size of their student body. 

AB 498 "Wildlife Corridors"
AB 498 formally defines wildlife corridor in California law and declares it state policy to encourage voluntary efforts to protect wildlife corridors.   

AB 501 "Sharing Delta Research Data"
AB 501 requires that data from state funded research that is occurring in the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta be made publicly available. This sharing of information will increase our scientific understanding of the Delta and allow us to more rapidly find answers to challenging questions on how to improve management of this critical resource. 

AB 520 "Apprenticeship Standards"
AB 520 improves apprenticeship programs by increasing dialogue and communication between the Department of Industrial Relations and the Legislature.  This bill requires proposed or adopted changes in apprenticeship standards to be included in the Department's annual report to the legislature.

AB 539 "Boating Under the Influence" 
AB 539 brings boating laws in line with DUI laws, and provides law enforcement with the proper tools to investigate and prosecute those boating under the influence. Specifically, the bill provides limited authority to obtain a search warrant in compliance with all existing state and federal requirements when someone is suspected of boating under the influence. 

AB 549 "State Parks" 
AB 549 facilitates implementation of efforts to transform and improve management of state parks, including through partnership agreements. 

AB 593 "Justice for Victims"
AB 593 continues to allow an exception to the hearsay rule in cases where a witness is unavailable to testify, for reasons such as intimidation or death. This bill helps ensure that the prosecutor can properly administer justice for victims. 

AB 606 "Drought Tolerant Landscaping" 
AB 606 reduces water consumption and increases water efficiencies by requiring state properties managed by the Department of General Services and the Department of Transportation to implement drought tolerant landscaping, with an emphasis on native plant species, adopt recycled water irrigation and replace irrigation timers and spray sprinklers. The Fourth Grade Class at Manor Elementary School in Fairfax brought this bill to the Legislature. 

AB 653 "Higher Education Modernization" 
AB 653 facilitates the ongoing collaboration between University of California, the California State University and the California Community Colleges by making it clear that the Community Colleges are able to participate in the practice of shared contracting.

AB 761 "Carbon Farming: Evaluation of Best Agricultural Practices"
AB 761 requires the examination of agricultural practices that can sequester carbon and enhance soil water retention. Research has shown that spreading a layer of compost on range land will pull carbon out of the air for decades, and reduce water needs by up to 25%. If those results can be replicated around the state we have an opportunity to address two of the state's most pressing challenges. AB 761 allows us to determine what practices are best where and how much impact those practices will have.

AB 774 "Beer Tasting at Farmers' Markets"
AB 774 permits a local brewer who is selling their product at a farmers market to offer tastings to help educate customers about different styles of beer being offered before a purchase is made.  AB 774 also remedies inconsistent laws affecting beer donations to non-profit fundraising. events.

AB 786 "HOA Residences Reducing Water Use"
AB 786 closes a loophole in law that allows a Home Owners Association (HOA) to issue fines if a resident chooses to stop watering their lawn during drought. 

AB 899 "Juvenile Confidentiality"
AB 899 protects children from improper disclosures of their juvenile court records.  This bill helps ensure that federal officials, like all individuals, requesting copies of confidential juvenile court case files, will follow the proper procedure laid out in state law to access information about the juvenile. 

AB 900 "Juvenile Immigration Relief"
AB 900 closes a gap between federal immigration law and state law and thereby helps many vulnerable immigrant children apply for immigration relief for which they would otherwise qualify.

AB 987 "Worker's Rights"
AB 987 protects workers from retaliation or discrimination when the workers request a reasonable accommodation. Workers have a right to ask for reasonable accommodations, such as requesting to take a day off for religious purposes.  Unfortunately, there have been recent cases where employers grant workers an accommodation, but subsequently retaliate against the employee because of the request. 

AB 1006 "Mental Health: Court Sentencing"
AB 1006 gives courts discretion to sentence mental health treatment for non-serious, non-violent, and non-third strike offenders. Nearly half of the state's prison population has a diagnosable mental illness.  Research shows that incarcerating those with mental illness will exacerbate the illness and increase the chances of recidivism. Currently courts do not have the ability to adjust a criminal sentence to allow for treatment of a mental illness.  

AB 1150 "UC and CSU Energy Efficiency" 
AB 1150 expands the existing Energy Efficiency Partnership Program between the University of California and California State University and investor-owned utilities to include publicly owned utilities who are willing to participate.  In addition, this bill requires the segments to utilize a new metric of carbon reduction for the evaluation of future energy efficiency projects 

AB 1233 "Closing a Prevailing Wage Loophole" 
AB 1233 defines when a public subsidy is de minimus for the purpose of determining when prevailing wage is applied to projects. This will allow a developer, if he or she chooses to seek and accept the public subsidy, to know if the Prevailing Wage Act will then cover the project. AB 1233 is a follow up to AB 251, which was vetoed last year. 

AB 1259 "Bee Access to State Land"
AB 1259 authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife to allow the temporary placement of bee hives on department-managed wildlife areas through agreements. We do not fully understand why Bee populations have been in collapse, but access to safe foraging lands, or lack thereof, is believed to be a contributing factor. AB 1259 will allow the state to help address this potential cause of Bee colony collapse. 

AB 1295 "Craft Distillers Act of 2015"
AB 1295 creates a new "craft distiller's license." This will afford small craft distillers with many of the same privileges currently in place for wine makers and breweries.  Specifically, the new license will  give craft distillers the ability to conduct limited sales, hold ownership in up to three restaurants, and host private events at their distillery where they can offer their distilled spirits. AB 1295 will also modify how tastings are conducted at all distilleries by permitting distillers to combine the current limitation into one single 1.5 ounce tasting that may also include a non-alcoholic mixer.  

AB 1374 "Psychologist Licensing"
AB 1374 ensures all qualified psychologist candidates can receive licensure, that the process of submitting an application for licensure is straight forward, and encourages psychologist to provide services for free. 

AB 1426 "Blended Learning" 
AB 1426 ensures that existing state policies do not stand in the way of schools employing successful blended learning models.  Blended learning is a method of instruction that combines online or technology learning and more traditional face-to-face or classroom interactions.  Early results are showing that a blended learning environment can improve student achievement particularly for those with the greatest needs and teaches students the skills they need for 21st century college and career success. 

AB 1494 "Political Free Speech"
AB 1494 protects a voter's right to political free speech by allowing ballot selfies.  California law should encourage voter pride, political speech, and civic engagement through social media. Laws prohibiting this activity were written before sharing digital images over the internet was ubiquitous. It is time to update those laws to reflect technology and the world in which we now live. 

AB 1527 "Fish and Wildlife"
AB 1527 makes technical changes to the Fish and Game Code.

AB 1528 "Lace Lichen"
AB 1528 names the lace lichen as the official state lichen. Additionally AB 1528 corrects several out-of-date references to the former Department of Boating and Waterways and eliminates an obsolete code provision. 

AB 1530 "Distributed Electricity Generation"
AB 1530 encourages greater adoption of clean small scale energy generation.

AB 1664 "Closes Loophole in Assault Weapons Ban"
AB 1664 closes the bullet button loophole that permits the sale of military-style assault rifles in California.  Specifically, AB 1664 amends the definition of an "assault weapon" to include weapons equipped with the "bullet button" or other tool that allows for easily changeable magazines. This bill seeks to uphold the original intent of California's ban on assault weapons. 

AB 1810 "Free Seed Exchange"
AB 1810 will preserve community access to fresh vegetables and protect the diversity of our food supply by exempting non-commercial seed exchanges from the California Seed Law. This will create easier access to seed for community gardens. AB 1810 will also establish an appropriate regulatory system for microenterprises.

AB 1842 "Additional Penalties for Water Polluters"
AB 1842 protects the environment by holding polluters of waterways accountable for violations.  Specifically, this bill will impose a civil penalty of up to $10 per gallon or pound of polluting materials that is not removed by polluters from state waters. 

AB 2087 "Regional Conservation Frameworks"
AB 2087 allows the Department of Fish and Wildlife to create and implement regional conservation frameworks to identify wildlife and habitat conservation needs and take appropriate steps. 

AB 2135 "Beverage Sales at Fairs"
Financial pressures over the years have caused state and county fair operators to seek additional sources of revenue. AB 2135 permits fair organizations operating state or county fairs to share in the revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages pursuant to a concessionaire agreement. 

AB 2156 "Higher Education Regional Workforce Coordination"
AB 2156 will continue California's work in aligning higher education pathways with regional workforce demands by incorporating the California State University and the University of California campuses in regional workforce development planning. 

AB 2262 "Mental Health: Court Sentencing"
AB 2262 gives courts discretion to consider mental illness in sentencing.  This bill follows up on AB 1006. 

AB 2304 "California Water Market Exchange"
AB 2304 will create a centralized online platform to provide real-time information to the public about water transfers in California. 

AB 2348 "Infrastructure Investment"
Creates a process for public pensions to invest in California infrastructure projects with a guaranteed rate of return. 

AB 2511 "Carbon Sequestration - Biochar"
AB 2511 includes the use of biochar as beneficial for soils, plant growth, or crop or plant quality.  This will help fight climate change.

AB 2539 "Workplace Protections for Fashion Models"
AB 2539 requires the development of health standards for fashion models and provides other workplace protections.  This bill not only protects models but also will help to change the image of fashion industry. Fashion media is saturated with images that send distorted and unhealthy messages about ideals of weight, shape, and beauty for women. AB 2539 will help change that and ultimately help us send a much healthier message about what our society values in girls and young women."

AB 2628 "Revolving Door for Governmental Officials"
AB 2628 assures that governmental officials cannot use their office for personal gain by working for companies having business before that state agency. 

AB 2759 "Victims of Corporate Fraud Compensation Fund"

AB 2759 expands access to the Victims of Corporate Fraud Compensation Fund for victims of corporate fraud. 

AB 2827 "Right to Cure"
AB 2827 allows companies 33 days to correct minor "Made in USA" and "Made in California" labeling violations.

ACR 1 "Robin Williams Tunnel"
ACR 1 names the tunnel on Highway 101 in Marin County, commonly known as "the rainbow tunnel," after the late Robin Williams. 

ACR 15 "California Holocaust Memorial Week"
ACR 15 proclaims the week of April 12, 2015, as California Holocaust Memorial Week. 

ACR 26 "Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month" 
ACR 26 proclaims March 2015 as Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month. 

ACR 27 "Renewal of the Land and Water Conservation Fund"
ACR 27 urges Congress to reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides critical federal funding for land and water conservation projects and outdoor recreation.