June | Policy Corner

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Governor Brown signs bill creating ADA grace period for businesses

On May 10, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 269 into law, giving businesses a new pathway to avoid ADA compliance lawsuits. The law gives companies 15 days following a complaint under the Americans With Disabilities Act to resolve alleged violations if the violations fall under certain categories, including those related to signage. The law also gives businesses 120 days of immunity from ADA penalties if the owner hired a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) to evaluate their establishment and flag any violations. If the specialist identified a violation with a fix that required a building permit, the business has 180 days to come into compliance. More information on SB 269 can be found here.

Disabled Parking Placard Program Reform Moves Forward

Last week the Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved a request by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblyman Eric Linder (R-Corona) to audit the Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) handling of the Disabled Person Parking Placard Program as part of the Legislature’s efforts to address claims of rampant fraud and abuse.

On the heels of AB 2602 (Gatto) – a bill aimed at reforming the disabled parking placard program – and reports by several news investigations across the state that have caught swindlers abusing disabled parking placards belonging to friends and relatives, including some who are deceased, Assembly Members Gatto and Linder urged the JLAC to investigate this illegal and fraudulent behavior that eliminates on-street parking opportunities for those with legitimate disabilities and other members of the public. It is suspected the audit will demonstrate what is already known, that abuse and misuse is rampant.

Bills, bills, and more bills

Here are a few of the top bills working their way through the Legislature that would have implications for California’s urban centers:

AB 59 – Mental Health Services: AOT. This bill extends the sunset date of Laura’s Law from 2017 to 2022. Laura’s Law (also known as Assisted Outpatient Treatment/AOT) is a process that allows courts to compel individuals with severe mental illness and a past history of arrest or violence to stay in treatment as a condition for living in the community.

AB 1886 – CEQA: transit priority projects. This bill expands CEQA exemption to projects where no more than 50% of their area is farther than ½ mile from a high quality transit corridor or major transit stop.

SB 820 – CLRRA reauthorization. This bill extends the sunset of the “California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act of 2004” from 2017 to 2027. CLRRA provides liability protection to innocent and prospective landowners for previously occurring contamination for which they were not responsible.

For more detail on the bills listed, click on the bill number to read the actual language.