Legislative Update -- Senate Appropriations Committee


SB 24 (Simitian): This bill would amend California's security breach notification law to provide that any agency, person, or business required to issue a notification under existing law must meet additional requirements regarding that notification.  This bill would require that security breach notifications be written in plain language and contain certain specified information, including, among other things, contact information regarding the breach, the types of information breached, and, if possible to determine, the date, estimated date, or date range of the breach.  This bill would provide that a security breach notification may also include other specified information, at the discretion of the entity issuing the notification.  Under this bill, any agency, person, or business that must provide a security breach notification under existing law to more than 500 California residents as a result of a single breach would be required to submit the notification electronically to the Attorney General.

Except for the exemption for HIPAA-covered entities, this bill is identical to the enrolled version of SB 20 (Simitian, 2008).  When that bill was heard in this committee it was opposed by various groups representing the financial, insurance, and technology industries.  As the bill moved through the legislative process, however, the author made several amendments to the bill which addressed opposition concerns raised at that time, including deleting the requirement that the breach notification contain the number of persons affected by the breach.  As a result, there was no listed opposition to the enrolled version of SB 20.  Because last year's SB 1166 was identical to SB 20, these groups did not oppose that bill either.

SB 24 passed the committee with a unanimous vote.

SB 28 (Simitian): This bill would increase the penalties related to using a wireless communications device while operating a vehicle, prohibit bicyclists from using a handheld communications device while riding a bicycle, establish an education program regarding the dangers of talking or texting using a wireless communications device while driving, and add dangers of talking or texting while driving to the list of items that the Department of Motor Vehicles must include in an examination for a driver's license.

SB 28 passed the committee with a vote of 5-1.

SB 590 (Calderon): This bill, sponsored by the American Bankers Insurance Company and relating to specially licensed lines of life insurance for funeral and burial expenses, would exempt sales in a senior's home from an advance notice requirement (1) if the policy's initial face amount is $15,000 dollars or less, (2) it includes a "free look" period of 60 days during which the purchaser can cancel the policy and be refunded all payments, (3) the seller provides an equivalent notice at the time of the sales meeting, a signed copy of which is retained, and (4) provides a post-sale notice of the purchase, and a form suitable for use in exercising the right of cancellation, to the buyer, their family and other interested parties specified by the buyer.

SB 590 passed the committee with a unanimous vote.

SB 621 (Calderon): This bill, sponsored by the California Department of Insurance, would invalidate any discretionary clause contained in a life and disability insurance policy and prohibit the Insurance Commissioner from approving disability insurance policies that contain such a discretionary clause.

SB 621 passed the committee with a unanimous vote.