California Professional Firefighters

2018 CPF Legislative Wrap-Up

The 2018 legislative session came to a close with Governor Brown’s very last bill signing session. Many pro-firefighter bills made it past the governor desk this year.

As the final hours closed, the governor signed several CPF-sponsored bills into law that serve to protect firefighters’ health and safety with a ban on toxic flame retardants, establish strict regulations for private fire-prevention crews and expanded protections for surviving members of fallen firefighters’ families.

Here is a list of the measures signed into law. These bills take effect January 1, 2019 unless otherwise noted:

  • SB 1086 (Toni Atkins, D-San Diego) – Ensures that survivors of fallen public safety officers, including fallen firefighters, are not “timed out” from filing for workers’ compensation death benefits in cases where the officer’s death is the result of occupational cancer, tuberculosis, or a blood-borne infectious disease.
  • AB 2334 (Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond) — Provides that workplace recordkeeping violations continue until corrected or discovered, and requires the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) to form an advisory committee if a federal government’s rule for employer electronic reporting of injuries and illnesses is eliminated or substantially diminished. The new law also enhances public access to workers’ compensation data as it relates to public self-insured employers.

  • AB 2380 (Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Napa) – Enacts strict standards and regulations for privately contracted fire-prevention crews, to keep them from complicating disaster response when operating during an active fire incident.

  • AB 2554 (Rob Bonta, D-Alameda) – Ensures survivors of California federal firefighters who die in the line of duty can attend UC, CSU and California community colleges tuition free.

  • AB 2696 (Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona) – Clarifies the calculation of penalties paid by CalPERS-contracting employers, which are owed to CalPERS when an employer violates the 960-hour per fiscal year limit on an employee’s out-of-class appointment.

  • AB 2961 (Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach) – Requires local emergency medical services agencies (LEMSAs) to report ambulance patient offload time (APOT) data to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA). EMSA must report the data twice a year to state’s Emergency Medical Services commission and submit a report to the legislature.

  • AB 2990 (Evan Low, D-Campbell) – Requires California public colleges to make information about fallen firefighter survivor higher education benefits easily accessible on their websites.

  • AB 2998 (Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica) – Bans the sale of mattresses, kids’ products and upholstered and reupholstered furniture that contain toxic-flame retardant chemicals.

The success of this year’s legislative session is thanks to the active engagement of CPF members. Each petition signed, and letter sent helps lift firefighter voices and push CPF-sponsored legislation across the finish line.