Assemblymember Marc Berman proudly authored the following legislation in 2018:
Assembly Bill 1531 ensures consistency and uniformity in how courts refund the duplicate payment of filing fees, as well as authorize the court to ensure that attorneys pay filing fees.
Signed by Governor Brown on September 5, 2018. Chapter 248.
This bill established a statute of limitations for the recovery of civil damages specific to sexual assault or attempted sexual assault that occurred on or after the plaintiff’s 18th birthday. Under this bill, plaintiffs have ten years from the date of a sexual assault or three years from the date of discovery of an illness or injury that resulted from a sexual assault, whichever is later.
Signed by Governor Brown on September 30, 2018. Chapter 939.
Recent breaches of voter data and the spread of false information about voting have threatened the integrity of our elections. This bill strengthened how voter data is stored and secured and establishes criminal penalties for spreading false information about when, where, and how to vote.
Signed by Governor Brown on July 16, 2018. Chapter 96.
Assembly Bill 1804 establishes, until January 1, 2025, a limited exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act for multi-family residential and mixed-use housing projects in unincorporated areas of California, thereby expanding an existing exemption for infill projects in cities. This bill promotes housing projects within urbanized areas in our counties and helps address California’s housing crisis without adversely impacting the environment.
Signed by Governor Brown on September 22, 2018. Chapter 670.
This bill modernizes state laws governing communication for CalFresh and CalWORKs, while ensuring that the privacy rights of applicants and recipients are protected. Santa Clara County has been able to significantly reduce the number of families who lose benefits by providing alternative means to communicate with beneficiaries.
Signed by Governor Brown on September 14, 2018. Chapter 384.
In all but one statewide election since 2010, a majority of California voters cast their votes using vote by mail (VBM) ballots, and as of November 2016, 51% of registered voters in California were signed-up as permanent VBM voters. This bill required the Secretary of State to establish a system that allows VBM voters to sign-up to receive information by email or text message about the status of their ballots as they are counted.
Signed by Governor Brown on September 17, 2018. Chapter 432.
Assembly Bill 2230 promotes court efficiency by giving judges the option to require either a full separate statement or instead a concise outline of the discovery issues in dispute. The bill also extends the timeframe for motions to set aside and motions to vacate a judgment.
Signed by Governor Brown on September 10, 2018. Chapter 317.
Assembly Bill 2245 would have protected minors’ privacy by ensuring that the registration information of 16 and 17 years-olds who have pre-registered to vote is not subject to disclosure.
Assembly Bill 2278 would have maintained the viability of the Renewable Energy Self-Generation Bill Credit Transfer Program, which allows local governments and public colleges to credit their excess renewable energy generated at one site (i.e. solar panels over a parking lot) against their energy consumption at another site (i.e. city hall). AB 2278 would have held harmless those local governments and public schools that invested in local renewable energy projects to help California achieve its broader environmental, climate and clean energy goals.
Held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Assembly Bill 2367 would have allowed the California Department of Public Health to amend an original death certificate to correct errors such as misspelling the deceased’s name. Currently, when a death certificate is amended, the amendment is attached to the original death certificate as a second piece of paper and the original death certificate remains unchanged.
Held in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Assembly Bill 2425 modernizes how an assessor may request and how a taxpayer may provide information needed for property tax assessments. Specifically, the bill codifies the existing practice of providing taxpayer information via the mail, as well as via electronic format. The goal is to improve government efficiency and make this process more convenient for all parties.
Signed by Governor Brown on September 30, 2018. Chapter 968.
Assembly Bill 2469 brings parity to state law by applying qualifications to obtain a California brandy and distilled spirits wholesalers license to beer wholesalers, thereby ensuring that all beer wholesalers have the functionality and capability to maintain beer freshness, provide quality control, and protect the public from unsafe products.
Signed by Governor Brown on September 18, 2018. Chapter 492.
Assembly Bill 2552 would have clarified and improved ballot instructions and ballot design for voters. Specifically, this bill would have made changes to ballot instructions to improve readability and ensure voters clearly understand how to mark their ballot.
With the federal decennial census rapidly approaching, California must ramp up its efforts to raise awareness about the 2020 Census and encourage every resident to participate. This bill requires the Secretary of State to include information about the 2020 Census in public election materials such as the state voter information guide and on the Secretary of State's website.
Signed by Governor Brown on September 21, 2018. Chapter 652.
Assembly Bill 2607 would have created the Medical Foster Home Pilot Program in California, which would have provided community-based care for veterans in private homes through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, offering an affordable and individualized alternative to institutionalization.
Held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Assembly Bill 2639 requires schools with suicide prevention policies to review them at least every five years and, if necessary, update these policies. This bill builds upon previous legislation from 2016, which requires schools serving students in grades 7 to 12 to adopt a suicide prevention policy in consultation with school and community stakeholders, mental health professionals, and suicide prevention experts. This bill ensures that schools' suicide prevention policies are kept relevant and continue to support students' mental health needs.
Signed by Governor Brown on September 17, 2018. Chapter 437.
Assembly Bill 2766 would have reauthorized California’s successful plastic market development program. The program was created to encourage increased use of California generated recycled beverage container material, create and maintain jobs in California, and close the loop on plastic beverage container recycling.
Authorization to extend the Plastic Market Development Plan was included in the 2018-19 Budget. Subsequently, the bill was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Far too often, tires are illegally dumped along the sides of roads or in our waterways. In order to substantially increase tire recycling and reuse, and reduce waste, this bill would have created the Tire Recycling Incentive Program, which would have provided incentive grants to manufacture products from used tires.
Assembly Bill 2941 requires a health plan and health insurer to ensure that Californians who have been displaced by a state of emergency, such as a wildfire, flood or other natural disaster, have continued access to medically necessary health care services. Every Californian deserves the assurance that their health care needs will be met during a state of emergency. Under this bill, health plans and insurers can authorize care by an out-of-network provider, extend filing deadlines for claims, suspend prescription refill limitations and allow prescriptions to be refilled at an out-of-network pharmacy, relax time limits for referrals, and allow for medical equipment or supplies to be replaced.
Signed by Governor Brown on August 24, 2018. Chapter 196.
Good nutrition is essential for learning in school. This bill improves access to school nutrition programs by allowing schools to use their cafeteria funds to offer Universal Breakfast, a program that provides a free nutritious breakfast to all students, as well as purchase food trucks to provide additional points of service, which help expand access to school meals while maintaining nutritional standards.
Signed by Governor Brown on September 20, 2018. Chapter 593.
Since the 2016 elections, there has been a heightened focus on election security and on the increasingly sophisticated threats posed to our elections systems. An assessment by the United States (U.S.) intelligence community concluded that Russia attempted to influence the election in an effort to "undermine public faith in the U.S. Democratic process." In response, this bill creates the Office of Elections Cybersecurity, which will be responsible for protecting election infrastructure from cyberattacks and for counteracting misleading information about elections.
Signed by Governor Brown on August 28, 2018. Chapter 241.
Assembly Bill 3133 adds the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency as a member of the Public Works Board when the Board is hearing and deciding matters related to the acquisition resource-related properties, such as land for parks. The addition of the Secretary under these circumstances ensures that there is a member of the Board that can speak to the resources-related goals of the project.
Signed by Governor Brown on August 28, 2018. Chapter 242.
Assembly Bill 3217 would have helped curb deceptive advertising practices for legal services that may put consumers' health at risk. The bill would have clarified that advertisements designed to solicit consumers for legal services may not understate the benefits of a medical drug or device or overstate the risks associated with a medical drug or device.
Assembly Concurrent Resolution 265 designated September 2018 as California Computer Science Education Month and would highlight the crucial role that computer science plays in providing students the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century economy.
Passed by the Legislature. Res. Chapter 191.