California Professional Firefighters

CPF 2012 Legislative Wrap-Up

The Legislature has adjourned for 2011/2012 session and September 30, 2012 marked the bill signing deadline for the Governor to take action on measures that were passed by Legislature. Among the measures signed and vetoed by the Governor were many sponsored and supported by the CPF. Here is a wrap-up of a handful of bills of interest to CPF affiliates.

CPF Sponsored & Co-Sponsored Bills Approved by the Legislature in 2012

AB 1606 (Henry Perea, D-Fresno) - Clarifies that regardless of the manner in which the employer and employee organization reached impasse (with our without entering mediation), the employee organization retains the ability to request that the matter be submitted to a fact-finding procedure, prior to any imposition of employment terms. STATUS: Approved by the legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown.

AB 1687 (Paul Fong, D-Mountain View) - Communications about a delay, modification or overall denial of Worker’s Comp treatment would be required to include prominently-displayed alternatives for the injured worker’s next steps. In addition, if a related medical treatment dispute arises, and enforcement of a future medical award is required for continuing an injured worker’s medical treatment, this bill allows the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board to award reasonably-incurred attorney's fees in instances where an injured worker prevails in validating the medical award. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature: VETOED by Governor Brown. (Veto message here)

AB 1885 (Susan Bonilla, D-Martinez) - This bill ensures that if a firefighter is laid off by a public agency, like a CalPERS contracting agency, due to cuts in budget or staffing and then is re-hired within one year by a ’37 Act county, the county retirement system will have the additional time needed to ensure that the re-hired firefighter’s previous public employment service is in fact kept whole in that county system for purposes of a coordination of benefits. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; VETOED by Governor Brown. (Veto message here)

AB 2298 (Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana) - With the pressures of daily details on the rise, this bill ensures that any member of the CHP, firefighters or peace officers cannot be held financially responsible in the event that they are involved in an accident with their private vehicle when operated on behalf of or at the request of their respective employer. Note new bill number/author. Previous bill number was AB 1551 (Torres). The author opted to use the bill for another issue. Assembly Member Solorio agreed to author a bill in the final week of session to move this policy forward to the Governor. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown.

AB 2389 (Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach) - This measure would give consumers a clearer picture of the relationship between the worker who shows up at the front door and the company that sent them there. The bill would require that work uniforms or badges clearly identify the actual employer. California’s fire service understands the importance of living up to its image and reputation. All service providers who seek to convey an image through the use of a uniform or logo must have some accountability to that image. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; VETOED by Governor Brown. (Veto message here)

AB 2451 (John Perez, D-Los Angeles) - If a firefighter sustains a specified industrial illness, such as cancer or an infectious blood-borne disease that takes more than five years from the date of the injury to become fatal, this bill ensures that a Workers’ Compensation death benefits claim can be filed by eligible surviving family members within 480 weeks of the firefighter’s date of injury. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; VETOED by Governor Brown. (Veto message here)

SB 488 (Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana) – Presents strict approval and disclosure requirements for individuals or groups (slate mailer or mass mailing organizations) when identifying themselves as public safety organizations (firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, etc.) or utilizing a public safety logo, insignia or emblem in campaign mailers. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown.

Other Bills of Interest:

CPF Support

SB 863 (Kevin De Leon, D- Los Angeles) – Workers’ Compensation Reform Package. Reduces frictional costs in the system, speeds up medical care for injured workers, and increases Permanent Disability indemnity benefits to injured workers. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown.

SB 1234 (Kevin De Leon, D- Los Angeles) - This bill would enact the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act and in doing so, create a retirement savings program for California workers, which is funded by program participants and does not result in the state incurring liabilities. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown.

AB 1944 (Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles) - Applies the current system of EMT-I and EMT-II discipline to EMT-P’s. This bill provides the same protections against double jeopardy while ensuring efficient administration of discipline subject to the due process requirements provided for by the FFBOR, APA and locally negotiated disciplinary procedures. STATUS: Held in Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 900/AB 278 (Mike Eng, Mike Feuer, Holly Mitchell, Speaker John A. Perez, Mark Leno, Noreen Evans, Mark DeSaulnier, Fran Pavley, President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg) – Homeowner Bill of Rights. This package, among other things, would serve to improve the foreclosure process by adding sensible reforms to California Law. It would require loan servicers to give struggling homeowners who apply for a loan modification a yes or no answer before starting the formal foreclosure process, require that the party moving to foreclosure have evidence to support that it has the right to foreclose on the property and add more transparency to the foreclosure process. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown.

SB 1241 (Christine Kehoe, D- San Diego) – Would revise requirements associated with the comprehensive, long-term general plan, which is adopted by a local legislative body to include provisions for reviewing and updating the plan’s safety element to address the risk of fire for land within the entity’s purview that is classified as a state responsibility area or high fire hazard severity zone. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown.

CPF Oppose

AB 340 (Warren Furutani, D- Long Beach) Pension Reform Package. This bill makes major revisions to the public retirement systems’ laws. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown.

AB 1248 (Ben Hueso, D- Chula Vista) - Requires that the City of San Diego provide coverage under the federal social security system to all employees who are not covered under a defined benefit plan, except as specified. STATUS: Approved by the Legislature; SIGNED by Governor Brown.

AB 2224/ACA 22 (Cameron Smyth, R- Santa Clarita) – Makes the statutory and constitutional changes necessary to implement the Governor’s 12 Point Pension Reform Plan. STATUS: Held in committee.

SB 1176/SCA 18 (Bob Huff, R- Diamond Bar) – Would, among other things, prohibit a public retirement system from allowing the purchase of additional retirement service credit and provide that any enhancement to a public retirement system’s retirement formula or benefits that is adopted on or after January 1, 2013, would apply only to service performed on or after the operative date of the enhancement. STATUS: Failed policy committee deadline.

SB 1336 (Leland Yee, D- San Francisco) - This bill would require auditors to release any findings resulting from an investigative audit and release information, including the identity of the accused, regarding any action taken by any agency or authority to which the results of the investigation have been reported. STATUS: Failed passage in Appropriations Committee

Other pension related measures that were introduced but did not pass the Legislature. Most of these measures were introduced to implement the Governor’s original 12 point pension plan.
• AB 1633 (Donald Wagner, R- Irvine)
• AB 2310 (Mike Morrell, R- Redlands)
• AB 2428 (Curt Hagman, R- Chino Hills)
• AB 2429 (Curt Hagman, R- Chino Hills)
• SB 1141 (Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel)
• SB 1142 (Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel)
• SB 1143 (Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel)
• SB 1231 (Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel)