New Looming State Laws To Take Effect In California Jan. 1
Posted Dec. 28, 2013, 6:54 am
Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief
Among the proposals by State Senator Ted Lieu taking effect Jan. 1 are increasing public safety, safeguarding consumers and taxpayers, expanding career opportunities for workers, and protecting journalists.
Lieu represents the more than 1.3 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes Santa Monica, parts of the Westside and the South Bay.
“My new laws seek to improve the quality of life for Californians, including the more than 1.3 million constituents of my west Los Angeles County district,” Lieu said. “Californian residents will be safer, job seekers will have better career options and taxpayers will have greater protections with my new laws beginning in the new year.”
Among the more than two dozen Lieu measures adopted or signed into law, in bill-number order, are the following:
• SB 50 – Payphone Fairness
Consumers using credit, debit or calling cards for payphones in a pinch – such as stranded holiday travelers, those caught with dead cell phones or troops in transit – will be better protected from fees of up to $20 for 20 seconds under this mandatory-signage disclosure plan on payphones.
• SB 57 – GPS Bracelet Enforcement
This public safety measure supported widely by law enforcement will increase penalties for convicted sex offenders who cut off their ankle-mounted GPS monitors to avoid detection.
• SB 118 – Economic Sector Strategies
With the goal of preparing today’s workers for skilled, well-paying jobs that are in demand, this bill will increase resources and training to better prepare workers for tomorrow’s jobs.
• SB 122 – Abandoned Vessels
The pro-environment will bill renew Lieu’s successful 2009 law to remove pollution-spewing abandoned vessels from state waterways and has been praised by boating and law enforcement officials for saving taxpayer dollars.
• SB 209 – Reversing Retroactive Taxes
This bipartisan measure, in conjunction with a companion measure, will repeal a recent Franchise Tax Board decision imposing millions in retroactive taxes on thousands of California taxpayers.
• SB 288 – Victim Employment Protections
This law will provide greater protections for victims who choose to exercise their constitutional right to attend their perpetrator’s court proceedings without fear of discrimination or retribution from their employer.
• SB 304 – Reforming the California Medical Board
This consumer-protection bill will ensure the Medical Board of California continues to operate through 2018 and enhances the board’s ability to take action against dangerous physicians and surgeons.
• SB 333 – Swatting
In response to dozens of bogus 911 calls that endangered residents, motorists and law enforcement officers, this bipartisan measure will crack down on those who falsely report emergencies by holding perpetrators of all ages liable for the full costs associated with the incident.
• SB 353 – Preventing Deceptive Marketing of Health Care
Health care consumers seeking coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act will have better protections against deceptive marketing of medical services because of stronger consumer protections and the closing of gaps in state law.
• SB 558 – Journalism Protection Act
California reporters and their news organizations will have greater protections from secret wiretaps or other invasions of their newsgathering communications under this measure by Lieu, former editor-in-chief of the Law Review at Georgetown Law School. Read a MediaNews Group editorial in support of the measure HERE.
• SB 569 – Videotaping Interrogations of Minors
In response to research indicating that false confessions by children under 18 have led to an increase in wrongful convictions, this bill will require law enforcement agencies statewide to videotape interviews of minors accused of homicide. Read a Los Angeles Times editorial supporting SB 569 HERE. Read an Orange County Register editorial supporting SB 569 HERE.
• Senate Resolution 16 – National Security Administration
This Senate-approved measure urges Congress to reconsider its recent vote to halt the U.S. National Security Agency’s massive phone and internet records collection program on Americans.