You can tell a lot from a legislator's bills. They reflect a representative's priorities, and, hopefully, the priorities of his or her district.
Below is a list of the bills Assemblymember Betsy Butler, D-Marina del Rey, introduced this year*.
Bills signed into law:
AB 1319 – , signed Oct. 4.
California law will now prohibit the manufacture, sale or distribution of baby bottles and sippy cups that contain more than 0.1 parts per billion (ppb) of BPA. AB 1319 provides children from every community access to safe, non-toxic baby products and significantly decreases their exposure to a chemical that has been linked to a host of health problems, including early puberty, breast and prostate cancer, infertility, obesity and neurological and behavioral changes, including autism and hyperactivity. California joins ten other states and multiple counties in banning the toxic chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA).
AB 332 – Protecting Seniors from Abuse, signed Sept. 30.
AB 332 addresses the unfortunate reality that many of our elder adults are vulnerable to financial crimes and scams. With 4,735 convictions for theft, embezzlement, forgery or fraud with respect to the property or personal identifying information of elder and dependent adults over the last 10 years in California, it is clear that the present penalties for fiancial crimes against the elderly are insufficient to deter repeat offenders. AB 332 increases the fines and received overwhelming bipartisan support.
AB 475 – Encourages Increased Electric Vehicle Use, signed Sept. 7.
AB 475 updates current vehicle code to reflect the scope of current and future electric vehicle technology and ensure that owners of these vehicles have access to charging spaces. By ensuring access for these vehicles we encourage their use and expand California’s leadership in the development of alternative fuel and fuel policy. With Los Angeles ranked the third smoggiest city in the country, every step to improve our air quality makes a difference and saves money in healthcare costs in the future.
AB 771 – Consumer Protection, signed Sept. 1.
AB 771 puts an end to fee gouging by third party agents of homeowners associations saving home buyers hundreds of dollars in hidden service fees. AB 771 will require the association to provide upfront disclosure to the seller by either a written or electronic estimate of the fees that will be assessed to provide the documents required to be provided to a prospective purchaser by Civil Code Section 1368. The process of buying a home should be transparent and straightforward and this law will provide greater protections for consumers and homebuyers.
AB 946 – Regional Interoperable Communications, signed Oct. 2.
Authorizes the County of Los Angeles or the LA-RICS to procure a regional interoperable communications to be used by public safety agencies and emergency responders located in the County of Los Angeles.
AB 1272 – State Properties, signed Aug. 4.
This bill is the annual surplus property bill sponsored by the Department of General Services (DGS) and authorizes DGS to dispose of unneeded state-owned properties.
ACR 46 - , chaptered by Secretary of State on July 11 (Governor signature not required)
This resolution allows the Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker Committee, consisting of educators, newspaper publishers, artists, and former internees, to erect a memorial marker at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards to commemorate the Japanese American evacuation and internment following the aftermath of Japan's attack on the U. S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941.
ACR 8 – American Heart Month and Wear Red Day, Chaptered by Secretary of State on Feb. 28 (Governor signature not required)
Bills vetoed by the governor:
AB 1044 – Registered Warrants – Vetoed, Oct. 9.
This bill revises the statutory provisions that allow any taxpayer named as a payee on a registered warrant (RW) to satisfy their tax liability by issuing a check in an amount no greater than the RW. Expands the provisions to cover taxes, fees, and surcharges required to be remitted to the State Board of Equalization, and provides that liabilities may be satisfied by submitting the original RW, signed on the reverse side by the payee and endorsed as payable to the agency to which the liability is owed.
Veto message: This measure would require the Board of Equalization to accept registered warrants (IOUs) as payment for any tax, surcharge, or fee liability. In the unlikely event that the state is forced to issue IOUs in the future due to an unforeseen emergency cash crisis, this measure would undermine the state's ability to make debt service and other high priority payments. While it may be unfair to expect recipients of IOUs to pay their obligations to the state while the state is unable to meet its own obligations, I am unwilling to tie the hands of future administrations should such an emergency arise. – Gov. Brown
AB 201 – Veterans Courts, vetoed Aug. 5
This bill would have authorized superior courts to develop and implement veterans courts with the objective of providing mentally ill offenders who are veterans of the United States military, including those with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, substance abuse, or any mental health problem stemming from military service with appropriate treatment and veterans services.
Veto message: This measure would authorize superior courts to establish dedicated programs to serve eligible veterans of the United States military. While the provisions of this bill are well-intended, they create a clear expectation that our courts-already struggling with painful budget cuts--will establish a new program. Given current budgetary constraints, the decision to adopt this kind of program-something already within the courts' authority--is better left to the sound discretion of the judiciary. – Gov. Brown.
Bills held in the State Senate or Assembly:
AB 1181 – Weights and Measures, held on Senate floor
This bill will help County Weights and Measures officials protect consumers who sell recyclable commodities such as soda cans to a recycler/purchaser. The bill clarifies that it is a clear violation for the purchaser to buy the commodity according to a quantity which is less than the true quantity.
ACR 84 – Red Ribbon Week, held in Senate Rules Committee,
AB 972 - Medical Services in Alcohol & Drug Treatment Facilities, held in Senate Appropriations Committee
AB 972 would have allowed licensed drug and alcohol treatment facilities that receive national certification to provide a limited number of medical services to residents within a residential recovery facility licensed by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP). Presently ADP is not authorized to allow any medical services, even of the most limited nature, in the residential facilities it licenses. Because of this, patients must go to an emergency room even for the most rudimentary level of service which can be cost prohibitive and significantly impacts the treatment and recovery process.
AB 1377 - Los Angeles World Airport Police Officers, held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee
The bill grants additional authority to the Los Angeles World Airport Police Officers. The state's authority on peace officer standards, POST, completed a study for the LAWA Police Chief (as required by law) regarding the above change. After numerous interviews with Federal, state and local agencies, and a thorough review of LAWA Police Department's current jurisdiction, authority and changes that would be accomplished by the move, the Commission found that 'LAWA Police Department officers require additional powers and authority to perform the current duties and responsibilities.
*All descriptions of bills courtesy Assemblymember Betsy Butler's office.