Legislative Update--Assembly Appropriations Committee

AB 10 (Alejo): This bill would increase the state's minimum wage from its current rate of $8.00 per hour to $8.50 per hour, as of January 1, 2012 and would provide for the automatic adjustment of the minimum wage each year by the percentage of inflation as measured by the California Consumer Price Index (CPI), beginning January 1, 2013.

AB 10 was placed on the Suspense File.

AB 59 (Swanson): This bill would amend the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) by expanding permissible family and medical leave to cover care for an independent adult child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law with a serious health condition.

AB 59 was placed on the Suspense File.

AB 153 (Skinner): This bill would expand the statutory list of retailers that are considered to be engaged in business in California and that, as such, are required to collect use tax on sales of tangible personal property to California consumers.

AB 153 was placed on the Suspense File.

AB 154 (Beall): This bill would require health plans and health insurers to provide coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment at parity with other medical conditions. This bill would exempt CalPERS and Medi-Cal from requirements established by the bill. Additionally, the bill specifies that it shall not be deemed to require that a health plan participating in the California Health Benefits Exchange provide any greater coverage than is required pursuant to the minimum essential benefits package as defined by the federal government.

AB 154 was placed on the Suspense File.

AB 185 (Hernandez): This bill would require policies in the individual and group health insurance markets to provide coverage for maternity services. This bill would create a mandate on insurers and not health plans, as maternity benefits are already mandated for health plans. This bill would require maternity services to include prenatal care, ambulatory care, care for pregnancy complications, neonatal care, inpatient hospital maternity care, and postpartum care.

AB 185 was placed on the Suspense File.

AB 335 (Solorio): This bill would require the Administrative Director (AD) of the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) to adopt new notices and rules governing notices that are provided to employees in the workers' compensation system.  AB 335 would expand the subjects that benefit notices shall include by adding notice of supplemental job displacement benefits, rights concerning selection of a personal treating physician, requests for comprehensive medical evaluation, and offers of regular, modified, or alternative work.  In addition, the bill would require the AD to prepare, and make readily available, including on the DWC website, a booklet written in plain language that describes the overall workers' compensation claims system, including the rights and obligations of employees and employers at every stage of a claim when a notice is required.  Lastly, the bill would add a requirement that each notice prescribed by the AD be in plain language, and include a citation to the place in the booklet that discusses relevant information.

AB 335 was placed on the Suspense File.

AB 699 (Wagner): This bill, until January 1, 2017, would establish a new, non-probate method for conveying real property upon death through a "revocable transfer upon death deed."

AB 699 passed the committee with a vote of 15-0.