BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                      AB 1342


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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          1342 (Steinorth)


          As Amended  June 1, 2015


          2/3 vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                |Noes                  |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |----------------+------+--------------------+----------------------|
          |Judiciary       |10-0  |Mark Stone, Wagner, |                      |
          |                |      |Alejo, Chau, Chiu,  |                      |
          |                |      |Gallagher, Cristina |                      |
          |                |      |Garcia, Holden,     |                      |
          |                |      |Maienschein,        |                      |
          |                |      |O'Donnell           |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |----------------+------+--------------------+----------------------|
          |Appropriations  |17-0  |Gomez, Bigelow,     |                      |
          |                |      |Bonta, Calderon,    |                      |
          |                |      |Chang, Daly,        |                      |
          |                |      |Eggman, Gallagher,  |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |Eduardo Garcia,     |                      |
          |                |      |Gordon, Holden,     |                      |
          |                |      |Jones, Quirk,       |                      |
          |                |      |Rendon, Wagner,     |                      |
          |                |      |Weber, Wood         |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |








                                                                      AB 1342


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          SUMMARY:  Appropriates funds to the California Commission on  
          Disability Access (Commission) and enacts other measures intended  
          to promote disability access compliance.  Specifically, this bill:


          1)Appropriates $120,000 from the General Fund to the Commission  
            which shall be used to provide half-year funding to establish  
            two permanent outreach coordinator positions ($120,000).


          2)Requires the State Architect to require a certified access  
            specialist (CASp) applicant to provide the location (i.e. city,  
            county, or city and county) in which the CASp will provide  
            services.  Further requires the State Architect to post the  
            location that each CASp provides or intends to provide services.


          3)Requires the Commission to post on its website a link to the  
            Division of State Architect's Certified Access Specialist  
            Program Web site to assist building owners and tenants in  
            locating or hiring a CASp.


          4)Removes the sunset provision under current law that requires an  
            applicant for a business license or renewal to pay a $1 fee to  
            local jurisdictions to assist in funding CASp services,  
            training, and retention at the local level, and standards at the  
            state level.


          5)Requires a commercial property owner to state on every lease  
            form or rental agreement executed after July 1, 2016, additional  
            information to the tenant or lessor about the condition of the  
            rented or leased property.










                                                                      AB 1342


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          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Provides for the Commission, an independent state agency  
            composed of 17 members, with the general responsibility for  
            monitoring disability access compliance in California, and the  
            authority to hold hearings and make recommendations to the  
            Legislature for necessary changes to existing state law in order  
            to facilitate implementation of state and federal laws on  
            disability access.  


          2)Requires the Commission to use its funding, as appropriate, to  
            provide information about preventing or minimizing compliance  
            problems among California businesses, and recommending programs  
            to enable persons with disabilities to obtain full and equal  
            access to public facilities.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, ongoing General Fund cost of around $240,000 for the  
          two positions.  Removing the sunset on the $1 business license fee  
          will allow Division of the State Architect's (State Architect)  
          oversight of the CASp program to continue indefinitely, at a  
          special fund cost of around $650,000 annually.  State Architect's  
          costs will be minor and absorbable to obtain and publish  
          information regarding where each CASp provides their services.


          COMMENTS:  The author contends that the Commission - since its  
          inception - has been tasked with additional responsibilities  
          without corresponding increases in funding.  In 2012, the  
          Legislature passed SB 1186 (Steinberg), Chapter 383, Statutes of  
          2012, a landmark bipartisan measure carried by the Senate's  
          majority and minority leaders, to address the issue of American  
          with Disabilities Act litigation.  While many provisions in SB  
          1186 were procedural in nature and benefitted the business  
          community, SB 1186 imposed additional duties on the Commission.









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          The Commission's work is integral in any solution aimed at  
          improving compliance with construction-related accessibility  
          standards and access to public accommodations.  Indeed, many of  
          the Commission's reports have helped to shape this Committee's  
          discussions on the issues of disability access and  
          construction-related accessibility claims.  Accordingly, it is  
          critical for the Commission to have sufficient resources in order  
          to perform its important duties.


          Locating a CASp.  Under current law, the State Architect certifies  
          applicants to become CASps.  The State Architect publishes a list  
          of all the CASps in the State on its website.  Currently, there  
          are over 575 CASps throughout the state.  However, despite the  
          large number of CASps, it may be difficult to find a CASp who is  
          available in a given area.  Currently, the State Architect's Web  
          site does not consistently provide the location in which a CASp  
          provides his or her services.  This lack of information makes it  
          difficult for a business property owner or tenant to locate or  
          hire a CASp in a specific region.


          A Commercial Property Owner's Responsibilities to a Tenant in  
          Reporting Compliance with California's Disability Access Laws.   
          Under the law, a commercial property owner is required to state on  
          every lease form or rental agreement whether the property has been  
          inspected by a CASp.  However, because the property owner may not  
          know whether the property has met all applicable-related  
          accessibility standards, the current law may unintentionally  
          create a disincentive for a business property owner to obtain CASp  
          services.  The additional information provided under this bill  
          will allow commercial tenants to better understand the state of  
          the leased property, and allows the commercial property owner or  
          tenant to take proactive steps in reaching compliance with  
          disability access laws by promoting communication between the  
          commercial parties. 










                                                                      AB 1342


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          Strengthening the CASp Program by Developing Educational and  
          Training Resources at the State and Local Level to Promote  
          Compliance.  Increasing access to and use of CASp inspectors  
          promotes compliance and helps businesses avoid lawsuits.  The fee  
          is intended to assist local building departments in reducing the  
          costs of CASp testing and certification, and to assist the  
          Division of the State Architect in developing audit procedures and  
          "best practices."  The current fee provision is set to sunset in  
          2018.  This bill removes the sunset for the $1 state fee.




          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Alison Merrilees / JUD. / (916) 319-2334  FN:  
          0000606