2013 Legislation

SCA 3 - 55% Parcel Tax Approval Threshold

This bill would reduce the constitutional vote threshold for approval of local parcel tax measures to benefit education from 66.7% to 55%, thereby allowing teachers, parents and school officials to fund local priorities, like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs, music, and other school based programs. California still lags far behind virtually all other states (ranking 47th according to one recent analysis because of the high cost of living in the state) in its amount of per pupil spending. SCA 3 will increase local choice for local education needs, while ensuring that every dollar generated goes to the school district for locally identified needs. 

Senator Leno to Introduce Constitutional Amendment Removing Roadblocks to Local Approval of School Parcel Taxes, November 29, 2012

SB 52 - The California DISCLOSE Act

The Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act would increase transparency in political campaigns to help voters make well-informed decisions and increase the public’s confidence in the electoral process. The bill would require the three largest major funders of political advertisements to be clearly and unambiguously identified in all advertisements, including television, radio, print and mass mailer ads.

Senate Passes the California DISCLOSE Act, May 29, 2013

SB 140 - Armed Prohibited Persons System Funding

This bill would take illegally possessed firearms off the streets and out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals who are barred from possessing them under current law. The bill would provide the California Department of Justice (DOJ) with additional funding to aggressively enforce California’s Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS), which has identified over 39,000 weapons that are in the hands of people whose criminal backgrounds or behavior prevents them from legally possessing guns.

Governor Brown Signs Leno Bill Taking Illegally Possessed Firearms Off Streets, May 1, 2013

Assembly Passes Leno Bill Taking Illegally Possessed Firearms Off Streets, April 18, 2013

Senators Leno and Steinberg Introduce Bill to Help Prevent Gun Violence, January 29, 2013

SB 233 - Fair Debt Buyer Practices

This bill would address the growing phenomenon of debt buyers who sue debtors to pay back loans even though the statute of limitations on collecting the debt has expired. The bill would protect consumers from these improper lawsuits by requiring the debt buyer to prove to the court that the debt is still collectable and the statute of limitations has not expired.

SB 249 - HIV Coordinated Care and Confidentiality

This bill would allow health care providers and public health offices to share information about a patient who is HIV positive for the limited purpose of coordinating care during the patient’s transition to a new health care option offered under the Affordable Care Act. It would also ensure that the confidentiality protection in current law for HIV blood test results is extended to all forms of HIV testing, including types that may be identified in the future.

Leno Bill Modernizes California’s HIV Confidentiality Laws, February 15, 2013 

SB 274 - Parent-Child Relationships

This bill would amend California’s parentage laws to allow courts, under limited circumstances, to recognize more than two people as the parents of a child when not doing so would be detrimental to the child. It will only apply when more than two people have a claim to legal parentage under the existing Family Code.

SB 448 - Fuel Price Manipulation

Californians have faced volatile fuel prices for many years. Most of the fuel supply is controlled by a limited number of producers, and the production and distribution decisions they make directly affect the prices consumers must pay. With each price spike, questions of possible price manipulation are raised but not investigated. This bill would establish an office of Fuel Price Investigation and Manipulation Prevention and task it with responsibility for developing anti-fuel price manipulation standards, investigating potential incidents of illegal price manipulation activity and recommending ways to reduce fuel price volatility.

Bill Protecting Consumers Against Fuel Price Manipulation Clears Senate, May 29, 2013

Leno Legislation Protects Consumers Against Fuel Price Manipulation, April 15, 2013

SB 461 - Coastal Adaptation Plan Funding

In an effort to prepare for the impact of climate change and sea level rise on communities throughout the state, this bill would help fund the state’s preparation, planning and adaptation for sea level rise and coastal climate change, which would help ensure the future health and economic viability of California’s coastal areas.

Senate Passes Leno Bill Addressing Sea Level Rise Due to Climate Change, May 30, 2013

Leno Bills Propose Coastal Protections, Reduction in Fast Food Waste, April 4, 2013

SB 467 - Digital Privacy

This bill would safeguard the privacy rights of Californians by ensuring that electronic communication stored in the digital “cloud” or by a third party service provider retains the same level of privacy protection as documents and other communication stored in a person’s home or office. The bill requires law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before accessing customer data stored by online service providers. This easily understood uniform standard codifies the consumer protection policies of many of the biggest service providers, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo. 

New Leno Legislation Protects Email Privacy, March 20, 2013

SB 475 - Local Control Over Gun Shows 

This bill would close a loophole that prevents local input on the issue of gun shows at the Cow Palace. The state-owned facility is located in a neighborhood that has been hard hit by gun violence and crime. The bill allows for more local control by requiring approval from the San Francisco and San Mateo Boards of Supervisors before an event at which firearms or ammunition are sold is permitted at the Cow Palace.

Senator Leno, Community Leaders, Elected Officials Call for Local Control Over Gun Shows Held at Cow Palace, March 8, 2013

SB 529Fast Food Packaging and Marine Debris Reduction Act

Without the cooperation of fast food chains, many communities have struggled to reduce non-biodegradable fast food packaging that pollutes our beaches, bays and the ocean and endangers marine ecosystems. This bill would require fast food chains to use compostable or recyclable fast food packaging, and would require the industry to meet statewide waste-reduction goals. 

Leno Bills Propose Coastal Protections, Reduction in Fast Food Waste, April 4, 2013

SB 566 - California Industrial Hemp Farming Act

This bill would allow California farmers to tap into a $500 million U.S. hemp products market that currently relies upon the international importation of raw and processed hemp, if the federal government decides to lift the ban on domestic hemp production. Industrial hemp is a non-psychoactive a variety of the cannabis plant that is physically distinct from marijuana and is used in the manufacturing of a wide variety of products including automotive parts, fiber board, paper, textiles, healthy foods and body care products.

SB 580 - Trauma Recovery Center Grants

This bill would take an important step toward ensuring that California crime victims receive comprehensive, expert treatment immediately following a horrible trauma, when they need it the most. SB 580 would establish a $2 million dollar grant program to be administered by the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board that will expand the Trauma Recovery Center (TRC) model to victims across the state. Created at San Francisco General Hospital in 2001, this model is designed to meet the special needs of crime victims by utilizing a multidisciplinary staff to provide direct mental health services and health treatment to patients. 

Leno Legislation Improves Services for Survivors of Violent Crime, May 29, 2013

SB 603 - Tenant Security Deposit Bill of Rights

The timely and fair return of security deposits is one of the most common conflicts between landlords and vacating tenants. Many tenants are simply resigned to getting little or nothing back on their deposits. This bill would impose penalties on a wrongful deduction from a security deposit by a landlord, require deposits to be kept in a bank account separate from the landlord's personal funds, and require interest to be paid on deposits.

Leno Bill Requires Landlords to Properly Return and Pay Interest on Tenant Security Deposits, March 18, 2013

SB 612 - Tenancy Rights for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking 

This bill would allow survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking to terminate their residential leases and move away from their abusers by showing proof to their landlord that they are, in fact, survivors of those crimes.

SB 618 - Expediting Exoneree Compensation

In California, innocent victims of wrongful convictions are entitled to compensation for time spent behind bars, but often face insurmountable barriers in accessing the funds provided under current law. This bill would create a more efficient, streamlined review process that would enable eligible exonerees to recover compensation currently available through the California Victims Compensation and Government Claims Board. 

SB 635 - Local Determination of Extended Beverage Service Hours

This bill would enable a local community to consider extending beverage services hours at restaurants and other businesses with on-sale licenses. Many communities throughout the nation and worldwide have extended service hours, leaving top destinations in California unable to compete fairly for tourists, conventions and conferences. The bill utilizes an existing state-local partnership that includes input from the community and local law enforcement to consider additional service times up to 4:00 a.m.

Leno Bill Creates State-Local Partnership to Allow Community Determination of Extended Beverage Service Hours, March 13, 2013

SB 649 - Drug Sentencing Reform

This bill would allow counties to preserve scarce public safety resources by providing greater flexibility in drug sentencing at the local level. Specifically, SB 649 would revise the penalty for the simple possession of drugs from a felony to a “wobbler,” giving local prosecuting attorneys the discretion to charge offenders with either a misdemeanor or a felony as they deem appropriate. SB 649 would also give judges the discretion to deem a non-violent drug possession offense to be either a misdemeanor or felony after consideration of the defendant’s record. The revised penalty, which does not apply to anyone involved in selling, manufacturing or possessing drugs for sale, would help alleviate overcrowding in county jails, ease pressure on California’s court system and will result in millions of dollars in annual savings for local governments.

Senate Passes New Drug Sentencing Reforms for California, May 2, 2013

Leno Bill Implements New Drug Sentencing Reforms for California, February 27, 2013

SB 654 - Translation of Ballot Titles and Summaries

This bill would empower limited English proficient voters and increase language access and voter participation in the initiative process by requiring that the official ballot titles and summaries circulated for signature are made available in the languages covered by the Federal Voting Rights Act. 

SB 672 - Working Families Anti-Hunger Act of 2013

In order to maximize low income families’ usage of CalFresh, the state’s food stamp program, this bill would align overly burdensome state reporting and verification requirements for child care expenses with more flexible federal requirements. The bill would also streamline assistance for low-income families by allowing family members to utilize employment information already available in an existing electronic database to qualify for aid. This bill will help eliminate the lasting impact of hunger on working families in California, where nearly half of families eligible for assistance are going hungry.

SB 746 - Health Care Transparency Expansion

This bill would clarify the instances where a health care plan must submit health care rate information for proposed rate increases to the Department of Managed Health Care. Current law requires the information in instances where the increases are considered unreasonable. This bill would instead require the information when the rate exceeds the Consumer Price Index published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics – a clearer measurement for rate fluctuations.