Bills Introduced and Passed by Gil Cedillo Assemblyman, 45th Assembly District

Gil Cedillo
Assemblyman, 45th Assembly District  in Los Angeles
Bills introduced and passed.


IMPOUNDING AND TOWING OF CARS AT CHECKPOINTS - AB 353


AB 353 passed the Senate by a 29 to 7 vote and the Assembly by a vote of 64 to 12 for concurrence on amendments and is now on its way to the Governor's desk.


Background

Sobriety checkpoints have increasingly targeted unlicensed drivers whose cars may then be impounded. Frequently these checkpoints are set up in areas that do not have a high correlation of DUI arrests or accidents, and target certain neighborhoods or locations where high populations of low-income families or other low-income communities and use this money as income for the city. For example, the City of Bell, which has a larger population of undocumented immigrants, made $770,000 through the impounding of over 2000 vehicles last year and generated more than $834,000 the previous year. In another Northern California community that is predominantly Latino, DUI checkpoints have resulted in 121 impounded cars compared to just 4 DUI arrests in a 2-year period.

Impoundments are typically for a term of 30 days, which can effectively result in the forfeiture of the car, since towing and impoundment fees may well exceed the value of the vehicle. In 2009, police impounded more than 24,000 vehicles at checkpoints, roughly seven times higher than the 3,200 drunken driving arrests at roadway operations. Some agencies, in fact, tow as many as 20 vehicles of unlicensed drivers for each DUI arrest made, according to a 2010 report by the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley. The percentage of vehicle seizures in these roadway operations has increased 53% statewide compared to 2007.

According to an investigation by California Watch, California checkpoints generated an estimated $40 million in towing fees and police fines. This revenue was divided between the cities and towing firms. In addition, police officers received about $30 million in overtime pay for the DUI crackdowns.

Solution

Assembly Bill 353 will save drivers pulled over for non-DUI offenses from excessive towing and impounding fees by allowing them to have their car picked up by another, licensed driver that day or the next day and will limit the use of checkpoints as revenue generators for cities.


WORKER'S COMPENSATION - AB 211


AB 211 passed the Senate by a 23 to 13 vote and is now on its way to the Governor's desk.


What is the problem?

Injured workers in California are far more likely to be out of work after their injuries. According to The California Commission on Health and Safety on Workers' Compensation (CHSWC), California has the highest percent of permanent partial disability (PPD) claimants out of work three years after their injury. 

Under existing law, workers who sustain injuries on the job, resulting in PPD and do not return to work within 60 days of the termination of Temporary Disability (TD) are eligible for a supplemental job displacement benefit (SJDB). This benefit comes in the form of an educational voucher meant to assist in reintegrating injured workers into the workforce. Unfortunately, a worker may not receive the voucher until his or her permanent disability rating has been officially determined, which can be years after the termination of TD benefits. 

During this lengthy process, which involves the determination and/or dispute over the percentage of permanent disability, the worker remains ineligible to receive the voucher. This undermines the intended purpose of the voucher and contributes to California having one of the worst return-to-work (RTW) rates in the nation.

What does AB 211 do?

For injuries occurring after January 1, 2012, AB 211 would improve the timing of the SJDB for injured workers by making the voucher a flat amount of six thousand dollars ($6,000) and changing the date that an injured worker is eligible to receive the voucher to when the physician has determined that the disability has become permanent and stationary. This bill would expand the use of the voucher to include the purchase of tools required by an educational or training program, the purchase of computer equipment, and payment for travel, among others. AB 211 would also establish an expiration date for the SJDB of two years after issuance or five years after the injury, whichever comes later. 

Improving the timing of the SJDB would help improve return to work outcomes for permanently disabled workers by allowing these workers to receive the education and training they need to return to reintegrate into the workforce.

THRIFT STORES - AB 289

AB 289 passed the Senate by a 37 to 0 vote, and is now on its way to the Governor's desk.


What is the problem?

Current law provides an exemption to the Sales and Tax Law for retail items sold by thrift stores operated by non-profit organizations, which raise at least 75% of their net income for services to HIV or AIDS patients and the chronically ill. This exemption will be repealed on January 1, 2012. This bill is intended to extend the sunset of such an exemption so that services may still be provided to patients regardless of their ability to pay.

What does AB 289 do?

This bill would extend the sunset date of the sales tax exemption for an additional seven years from January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2019, for thrift stores that are operated for the purpose of raising funds to provide medical or social services to HIV or AIDS patients and the chronically ill.

710 FREEWAYAB 751

AB 751 passed the Senate by a vote of 37 to 0 and the Assembly by a vote of 55 to 10 for concurrence on the amendments and is now on its way to the Governor's desk.

What does AB 289 do?

The 710 freeway is a major freeway used to transport goods from the port of Los Angeles. The freeway ends in the area of South Pasadena and then the freeway continues after it has passed the city. In 1982, Assemblymember M. Martinez, enacted AB 1623, which would allow for the construction of a freeway if the freeway met conditions that were set but would not need an agreement with the city of South Pasadena. Part of the conditions contained time constraints for the completion of reports for the freeway construction.

In 1993, Assembly member D. Martinez, created a new bill, AB 2556, which would apply the same exceptions as AB 1623 but would eliminate the deadlines for complying with the conditions imposed by the previous bill. To date, in spite of the freeway agreement exception, none of the previous proposed alternatives have been successful in satisfying the regional concerns and the freeway gap closure project remains unconstructed.

What does it do?

This bill would repeal the provisions that allow the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to construct a freeway, as long as they meet certain conditions, without first securing an agreement with the local jurisdiction that is being affected.

 

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