2015 -2016 Legislation

AB 147 (Research Animal Adoption Bill) – This bill is a straightforward, reasonable and humane proposal to retire the dogs and cats used in tax-payer funded research laboratories by allowing them to be placed up for adoption at the conclusion of the research. This legislation would facilitate a relationship between the laboratories that use dogs and cats for research purposes and registered non-profit animal organizations so that when the animals are no longer needed they can be put up for adoption.

AB 155 (Vending Machine Food Sales Tax Exemption) – AB 155 would remedy an inequity in California’s tax law regarding the taxation of items sold through vending machines.  The legislation would ensure that the existing tax exemption on food products would apply to all retail locations.  Food products that are exempt from taxation when sold in grocery stores, convenience stores, and catering trucks should also be exempt when sold through vending machines.

AB 160 (Enhanced Organized Crime Enforcement) – Under the criminal profiteering statute, if a prosecutor can show that a defendant’s money consists of ill-gotten gains derived from criminal activity, then the money can be subject to forfeiture. This bill would update the list of criminal profiteering activity offenses that can trigger the forfeiture provisions. Additionally, AB 160 would broaden the definition of “organized crime” in order to more accurately harmonize existing statutes on criminal profiteering activity and forfeiture.

AB 221 (Digital Driver’s License Mobile App) – This bill requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to take the first steps towards developing a digital driver’s license that can be accessed on smart phones. By December of 2016 the Department must report back to the legislature the feasibility of such a license. This legislation would not replace physical driver licenses, but would provide a useful option for Californians that would like to have a form of identification on a mobile device.

AB 259 (Identity Theft Prevention) - This measure would protect consumers in the event of a data breach at public agencies by requiring identity theft prevention or mitigation services at no cost to the affected person for no less than 12 months if personal information breached includes social security or driver's license numbers.

AB 283 (Financial Affairs) - This measure amends the statutory treatment of local government agency surplus funds deposited in financial institutions.  AB 283 eliminates the sunset provision permitting a local agency to deposit surplus funds with a depository institution using a placement service and aligns the statutory treatment of demand deposit accounts and certificates of deposit for this purpose.

AB 1131 (Electronic Transactions) – Would expand the authorization provided to an insurer to transmit insurance documents electronically in lieu of mailing them with the prior opt-in consent of the consumer so long as the insurer complies with the specified provisions of state and federal law.

AB 1198 (School Credit Enhancement) – This measure seeks to put more money into classrooms by lowering the interest rates at which Charter Schools can borrow for bonds to finance facility improvements. The bill will allow the State Treasurer to create a small pool of money to insure such bonds and should lead to significant cost savings over the 30 year life of a loan.

AB 1269 (Sales and Use Tax Exclusion Sunset Date Extension) – This bill is a sunset extension for a sales and use tax exclusion program for manufacturers of alternative and advanced transportation. The program currently sunsets in July of 2016 and this bill would extend the date to 2021 and thereby give businesses a sufficient planning horizon to utilize the program.

AB 1292 (Bank on California) - This bill would establish the Bank on California Program within the Department of Business Oversight. The Bank on California program is a voluntary collaborative program that assists Californians in opening bank or credit union accounts. The bill would require the department to report annually to specified committees of the Legislature on the activities of the program.

AB 1319 (Medically Needy Program Extension)– This bill will increase the personal and incidental needs deduction for an individual who qualifies as medically needy under California’s Medicaid system. The medically needy program provides states the option to extend Medicaid eligibility to individuals with high medical expenses whose income exceeds the maximum threshold, but who would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid. The bill will increase the incidental needs deduction from $20 a month to $50 a month.

AB 1326 (Virtual Currency) - This bill requires entities that are involved in the exchange or storage of virtual currency to be licensed by the California Department of Business Oversight.

AB 1358 (Design Build Contracting) – This measure will expand the ability of school districts to use design build contracting for school construction projects in excess of $1 million. The current threshold is $2.5 million. The bill will also extend a sunset date for school design build from 2020 to 2025.

AB 1416 (Foster Care Evaluations) - ensures that children removed from their homes because of abandonment, abuse, or neglect, are adequately cared for in California’s foster care system by giving foster youth the opportunity to provide feedback about the quality of care they are receiving from their homes and providers.

AB 1446 (Consumer loans: bona fide principal amount) - This bill requires lenders that make consumer loans at certain amounts to document the loan amount requested by the customer.  This is intended to ensure that consumers are not pushed to take out loans for more than the need in order to lenders to evade statutory interest rate caps.

AB 1517 (Banking and Finance) - This measure is considered a Banking and Finance clean-up bill.  AB 1517 makes clarifying and technical changes within the jurisdiction of the Banking and Finance Committee to ensure the code sections are up-to-date.

AB 1645 (Mortgage Guaranty Insurance) – In 2012, the California Legislature unanimously approved and Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1450 (Calderon).  Senate Bill 1450 temporarily repealed a cap on the level of risk a mortgage guaranty insurer may retain without reinsuring that risk until January 1, 2018. Assembly Bill 1645 will make this repeal permanent, eliminating unnecessary and burdensome restrictions on retained risk and reinsurance, and will allow mortgage guaranty insurers to have more capital available for paying claims.

AB 1743 (Digital Modernization Act) – AB 1743 will modernize California’s Automobile Sales Finance Act & the California Vehicle Leasing Act by allowing consumers to purchase or lease a vehicle with an electronic signature.

AB 1784 (School based savings programs) – AB 1784 will allow state-chartered banks to engage in school-based savings programs at participating schools.

AB 1856 (Installment payment refund) – AB 1856 will allow a taxpayer making installment tax payments to file a single claim for refund, rather than having to file a claim after each payment. This proposal provides some equitable relief for taxpayers who would be barred from receiving a refund for one or more installment payments because they did not file a timely claim for refund for each individual payment.

AB 1891 (Parcel Tax) – Current law allows for school districts to impose education parcel taxes but exempts various classes of taxpayers. . This bill states that seniors will only need to opt-out once to receive a permanent exemption.

AB 2104 (Increasing Access to Capital for Skilled Nursing Facilities) – AB 2104 expands the definition of qualifying health facilities within the California Health Facilities Financing Authority Act and the California Health Facility Constriction Loan Insurance Fund. Use of these programs is currently limited to non-profit and public entities but AB 2104 will expand this definition to include for-profit corporations when at least 60% of their patients are Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Currently the majority of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in California are for-profit and primarily provide services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. 

AB 2274 – Credit Union Code Clean-Up) – AB 2274 is a comprehensive code cleanup measure impacting California’s credit union law. 

AB 2331 (ADEX Dental Examination) – In California, once a dental student has completed dental school they are required to pass an exam approved by the California Dental Board prior to licensure. While 26 other states allow students to take the American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) test for licensure, the California Dental Board does not recognize this exam. AB 2331 proposes that the ADEX work with the California Dental Board to facilitate California’s recognition of the ADEX Initial Licensure Examinations in Dentistry as an option for initial licensure in California.

AB 2355 (Train Noise Mitigation) – This bill will require CalTrans to provide reasonable sound mitigation upgrades to CalTrans operated rail lines passing through a residential neighborhood when these rail lines cause average noise levels to rise above a yet to be determined threshold.

AB 2366 (Long-term care insurance) – Under current law, insurance companies must offer existing long-term care policy holders the ability to upgrade their benefits any time new long-term care products are available. Hybrid products, which are a combination of both long-term care and life insurance policies, complicate this process since the product is treated as one entity instead of two separate policies, thus causing confusion when new long-term care products are available. Assembly Bill 2366 will alleviate this confusion by exempting hybrid products from the mandatory “offer” requirement.

AB 2488 (Water tunnel bill) – AB 2488 will authorize an exception to allow for the incidental take of the unarmored threespine stickleback for the maintenance of the Foothill Feeder which provides water to millions of Southern California residents.

AB 2620 (Prop 116 Funding Bill) – AB 2620 will sunset the Proposition 116 program and reallocates any remaining funds (approx. 13 million) to other transportation related programs.

ACR 39 (Financial Literacy Month) - This measure would declare the month of April 2015 as Financial Aid and Literacy Month, with the theme of “Financial Wellness: A Family Affair,” to raise public awareness about the continuing need for increased financial literacy.

HR 28 (Humane Education) - Resolves that compliance with the Education Code should include educating students on the principles of kindness and respect for animals and observance of laws, regulations, and policies pertaining to the humane treatment of animals.