Monday, June 6, 2011

Host of CCBA Bills Approved by Assembly

Well, "host" may qualify as headline hyperbole. But the past week did see five bills sponsored, co-sponsored or formally supported by the Conference of California Bar Associations approved by the California state Assembly and sent to the Senate on their course to hopeful enactment. Another CCBA-supported bill was approved by the Senate and sent to the Assembly.

On Tuesday, May 31, the house approved the CCBA-sponsored AB 1396 by the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment passed on a 51-28 vote. AB 1396 would restore protections to Californians working on a commission basis for out-of-state companies that were declared unconstitutional by a federal court by requiring all commission contracts, in-state and out, to be in writing. Despite the partisan vote, recent amendments to AB 1396 removed the opposition of the California Chamber of Commerce and Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC), greatly improving the chances the measure, which was vetoed last year by then-Governor Schwarzenegger as SB 1370 (Ducheny), will be signed into law this time around. AB 1396 was adopted by the Conference as Resolution 04-01-2009 by the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

On Wednesday, June 1, the Assembly approved AB 1147 by Assembly Member Mariko Yamada (Resolution 03-04-2010 by the Women Lawyers of Sacramento) and AB 545 by Assembly Speaker John PĂ©rez (Resolution 06-05-2009 by 10 individuals), both described in detail in an earlier post, on identical votes of 78-0.

On Thursday, the Assembly gave thumb's up to AB 308 by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, which seeks to develop statewide guidelines to be used by law enforcement to improve the process by which eyewitness identification is established. The measure, endorsed by the CCBA as Resolution 01-13-2010 by the Los Angeles County Bar Association, got caught in a bit of political by-play and initially was approved 41-1 by as house consisting only of Democratic members due to an inter-party squabble over the right (or denial of the privilege) of the Assembly Republicans to hold a caucus of their members. The final vote on the bill, the subject of an earlier post, was 45-30.

The final CCBA-supported bill approved by the Assembly last week was also the reason behind the aforementioned battle over the right to caucus: AB 52 by Assembly Member Mike Feuer, which would require pre-approval of health insurance rate increases (see earlier post), was ultimately approved by the Assembly on a vote of 45-28. The bill is supported by the CCBA, as consistent with provisions of CCBA Resolution 02-02-2010 developed by the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

Meanwhile the Senate approved SB 161 by Senator Bob Huff on Thursday on a vote of 32-4. The bill, which is supported by the CCBA as consistent with Resolution 04-03-2010 by the Alameda County Bar Association, would make it easier for non-medical school personnel to administer specified anti-epilepsy medication in emergency situations.

The approval of the six measures by the two houses keeps fourteen of the 22 bills on the CCBA's 2011 Legislative Program on track for enactment this year going into the next phase of the legislative process:  Policy committee hearings in the second house.

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