Key Bills for 2015

AB 199 – Encouraging Green Jobs Growth

This bill will provide a sales and use tax exemption for equipment purchased for the use of processing recycled content materials and for the use of recycled content in the manufacturing of new products. This will increase recycling and help develop domestic markets for recycled materials.

AB 231 – Providing Equal Protection to Victims of Stalking

This bill authorizes victims of stalking, when their stalker is being released from prison to county supervision, to request their stalker not be returned to a location within 35 miles of the victim’s residence or place of employment.

AB 282 – Protecting Children from Deadly Household Hazard

This bill would prohibit the sale of corded window coverings in California. If a covering includes accessible cords that cannot be eliminated, the product can be sold if the cords are made inaccessible through passive guarding devices. It would also require licensed child care facilities serving children younger than six to replace all corded window coverings or make accessible cords inaccessible through the use of an effective passive guarding device.

AB 515 – Expanding Incentives to Donate Food

This bill broadens the existing state tax credit offered to agricultural producers for donations to qualified California non-profits, such as food banks. It expands the list of eligible products to include other fresh items and a limited set of core shelf-stable items. It also moves the tax credit to 15% of the donated items’ wholesale value, and extends the sunset of this program to 2021.

AB 564 – Fixing a Broken Program

This bill addresses problems identified in an audit by the State Auditor of the Department of Developmental Services Parental Fee Program. Specifically, this bill requires the parental fee schedule to be adjusted for the level of annual gross income, and for the schedule to consider any major unusual expenses. Additionally, AB 564 clarifies that DDS consider the same income and categorical expenses in the appeal process as the process when determining a parent’s ability to pay. The bill also provides that a parent has the right to file an appeal.

AB 693 – Spreading Adoption of Renewable Energy

This bill directs the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to create a new program to install 300 MW of rooftop solar on multifamily affordable housing units through 2030. The program would direct $100 million per year in funds from the electric sector cap and trade auction revenues. The funds will fully subsidize installation of 300 MW of solar on qualified multifamily affordable housing units to benefit tenants.

AB 1194 – Clarifying Mental Health Holds Criteria

This bill provides that for purposes of determining whether a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to others, or to themselves, danger constitutes a present risk of harm that requires consideration of the historical course of a person’s mental health disorder and shall not be limited to imminent or immediate risk of harm to others or to themselves. It also requires the application for assessment and evaluation to record whether the historical course of a person’s mental disorder was considered in the determination of probable cause for commitment and treatment.

ABs 1351 and 1352 – Equal Access to Drug Treatment

Combined, these bills will allow for pre-trial diversion, instead of requiring a defendant to plead guilty first and then seek deferred entry of judgment for nonviolent misdemeanor drug offenses. For any person who fails to adhere to conditions of a pre-trial diversion program, the court could reinstate the charges and schedule proceedings pursuant to existing law.  Pre-trial diversion would not be available to any person with a prior conviction for possession of drugs for sale, sale of drugs, or involving a minor in drug sales, or any violent or serious felony offense. The bills would also allow a defendant who entered a plea of guilty or nolocontendere under deferred entry of judgment to withdraw their plea under certain conditions. Withdrawing the guilty plea will provide no more and no less protection under California law than what already exists. Instead, this is a technical plea withdrawal specifically made to meet federal requirements.