It’s been a busy year for Silicon Valley politicians. From a bill to fight against bullying in schools, to another to grant all California women maternity insurance coverage, they have passed a slew of legislation which goes into effect in 2012.
Below is a list of local senators and assemblymen, the Patch towns they represent, and the legislation that goes into effect next year. Most bills become active January 1 unless noted otherwise.
State Sen. Elaine K. Alquist (Gilroy and Mountain View)
SB 51 Health Care Coverage It ensures state enforcement of federal patient protection matters found in the health reform package that passed last year.
SB 222 Maternity Coverage Jointly authored with Sen. Noreen Evans, it ensures that all women regardless of health insurer have maternity coverage. It goes into effect July 1, 2012.
State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto (Palo Alto, Los Altos, Santa Cruz, Capitola, Campbell, Cupertino)
SB 2X: Establishing California as a Leader of Renewable Energy: Private and public utilities are required to obtain 33 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2020.
SB 514: Curbing ‘Robotripping’ Abuse This prohibits the sale of non-prescription drugs containing dextromethorphan (DMX), commonly found in cough syrup, to those under 18.
SB 36: Counties are able to tap into federal funds to bring kids health insurance.
SB 226: Streamlining Environmental Review for Infill and Renewable Energy Projects Simitian says it helps create jobs while maintaining environmental safeguards.
SB 33: Preventing Elder Financial Abuse It puts the 2005 Financial Elder Abuse Reporting Act, which requires bank employees to notify authorities when financial elder abuse is suspected, into law permanently.
SB 24: Strengthening Consumer Privacy Protection It strengthens and standardizes the notification requirements when someone’s personal information has been hacked into, stolen, or lost.
SB 221: Expanding Consumer Access to Small Claims Court It expands California consumers’ access to Small Claims Court by increasing the limit of damages from $7,500 to $10,000.
SB 445: Updating Privacy Protections for Library Patrons Part of Simitian’s annual “There Oughta Be A Law” contest, this extends library privacy protections to online content.
SB 164: Preserving Funding for Child Abuse Prevention and Endangered Species Californians will be able to continue making voluntary tax contributions to both the State Children’s Trust Fund for the Prevention of Child Abuse and the Rare and Endangered Species Preservation Program until January 1, 2018.
SB 506: Spurring Investment in California Bonds It updates laws allowing the use of registered warrants to pay an existing tax liability.
SB 225: Expanding Small Business Loan Program Through the bill, small trucking companies are able to access the lending they need to purchase trucks with cleaner engines.
Sen. Sam Blakeskee (Los Gatos, Scotts Valley, Watsonville)
AB 1156 Anti-Bullying Bill It establishes training programs for school staff regarding the prevention of bullying.
SB 796 Strengthening Hospital Safety Coauthored by Assemblyman Michael Allen (D-Santa Rosa), it makes the act of providing contraband to mental hospital patients a misdemeanor.
Luis A. Alejo (Gilroy and Watsonville)
AB 243 Wage Statement Transparency It would require a farm labor contractor to disclose on the wage statement of a farm worker the name and address of the legal entity that secured the employer's services.
AB 898 Crime Victims Justice Act This compensates people for financia and health losses related to a crime. The program is financed by the fines of people convicted for felonies or misdemeanors.
AB 902 Recovering Delinquent Taxpayer Notification The County charges delinquent taxpayers the actual costs of making contact, rather than the $100 imposed before.
AB 1221 Water Quality Improvement Rural communities can seek funding for drinking water through Cleanup and Abatement Account and the State Revolving Fund.
AB 1344 Local Government Reform Co-authored with Assemblyman Feuer, it prevents any contract that takes place between a local agency and an excluded agency from including a contract of renewal.
Paul Fong (Mountain View and Cupertino)
AB 376 Shark Fin Protection Act It bans the possession, sale, and distribution of shark fins, a luxury item that sells for upwards of $600 a pound.
AB 1056 E-Transcript Bill Requires California Community Colleges to use electronic transcripts.
AB 585 Firegfighter Equality Bill Firefighters working at NASA facilities are given the same level of cancer protection as NASA employees due to their exposure to hazardous materials.
AB 288 Community College Violence Protection Bill The bill streghtens safety on community college campuses.
AB 1167 Homeless Council This bill creates a council aimed at helping the homeless population.
AB 1116 Disaster Preparedness Bill It requires the Cal EMA to look into the safety of communities where non-English speakers live.
AB 923 Lifelong Learning for California Workers It establishes Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLa's), a program that helps pay for work-skills development and job promotion training.
Rich Gordon (Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Gatos)
AB 587 Consumer Protection for Postsecondary Education Programs must disclose to students when a post-doctoral degree program is in unaccredited.
AB 612 Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District The district has 30 years, rather than the 20 set in law previously, to repay its debts.
Bill Monning (Capitola/Soquel, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley)
AB 313 Rental Care Facilities for the Elderly The bill specifies stricter standards for homes rented to senior citizens.
AB 397 Workers Compensation Insurance The bill makes sure all certificates of workers’ compensation are up to date.
AB 565 Conservation: State Coastal Conservancy The Conservancy (part of the Natural Resources Agency) is prescribed authority to alter the San Clemente Dam.
AB 579 Mobilehome Parks: Liability: Ownership Fees Local governments are allowed attorney fees and, in some cases, litigation expenses, when an action is brought forward by the owner of a mobilehome.
AB 669 Sweetened Beverage Tax An excise tax of one cent will be levied to any beverage that adds caloric sweeteners, such as sodas, energy drinks, sweet teas, and sports drinks. The funds will then go towards the Children’s Health Prevention Fund, and allocated to obesity prevention programs and services.
AB 753 Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Rental Car Safety Act The short-term rental of a care subject to a federal safety recall notice is prohibited unless specific conditions are me.
AB 971 California Sea Otter Fund This re-establishes the California Sea Otter Fund as a voluntary check-off on a state income tax form.
Jim Beall (Campbell and Los Gatos)
AB 171 Autism Coverage Health insurers can no longer deny coverage to children with autism or related disorders.
AB 154 Mental Health and Substance Parity This proposal stops health plans and insurers from denying coverage for medically necessary treatment of a mental illness or substance abuse disorder.
AB 31 Local master plan for High-Speed Rail stations It rovides incentives for communities with new High-Speed Rail stations to plan transit-oriented development that encourages investment
AB 68 Altered Property Tax This corrects an inequity in state law that has resulted in Cupertino, Los Altos Hills, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga being the only California cities that are allocated less than 7 percent of the property tax revenue they generate.
AB 69 CalFresh Program It directs the state to work with the federal Social Security Administration to target Social Security recipients eligible for CalFresh, formerly known as Food Stamps.
AB 81 California Airports The bill revives California airports through incentives to increase international trade, job growth and regional economies.
AB 129 Property Tax Remediation The bill enables counties, cities, to retrieve unpaid penalties or fines related to nuisance abatement on private properties through adding the remediation costs to the owner's property taxes.
AB 138 The Elder Economic Planning Act of 2011. This ensures the accurate calculation of the annual income a 65-year or older adult needs to meet basic-living needs in California.
AB 159 This extends a provision of the California Community Care Facilities Act to Jan. 1, 2013.
Mike Honda (Cupertino, Milpitas, Los Gatos)
Integration and Citizenship Amendment An amendment to the FY2012 Homeland Security Bill, this reiterates that immigrant assimilation is a national priority.