BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1342


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          GOVERNOR'S VETO


          AB  
          1342 (Steinorth)


          As Enrolled  September 9, 2015


          2/3 vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  |77-0  |(September 4,  |        |      |                 |
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          Original Committee Reference:  JUD.




          SUMMARY:  Enacts a number of measures intended to promote  
          disability access compliance.  Specifically, this bill:










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          1)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.


          2)Requires the California Commission on Disability Access  
            (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.


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


          4)Requires the Commission to establish a permanent legislative  
            outreach coordinator position and a permanent educational  
            outreach coordinator position.


          The Senate amendments:


          1)Delete the provision removing the sunset (currently December  
            31, 2018) on the requirement for a city, county, or city and  
            county to collect a $1 business license fee, 70% of the fee,  
            and deposit the remaining 30% of the fee into the Disability  
            Access and Education Revolving Fund, a continuously  
            appropriated fund.  


          2)Apply the new disclosure provisions to leases executed after  
            January 1, 2016 (rather than July 1, 2016).








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          3)Delete the provision appropriating the sum of $120,000 from  
            the General Fund to the commission for the 2015-16 fiscal year  
            for the purpose of establishing two permanent outreach  
            coordinator positions.


          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 Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, commission staff costs of $240,000 annually beginning  
          in 2016-17 ongoing (General Fund) and minor costs to the  
          Division of the State Architect to collect CASp information and  
          post it on a Web site (General Fund).


          COMMENTS:  The author contends that the Commission - since its  
          inception - has been tasked with additional responsibilities  
          without corresponding increases in funding.  In 2012, the  








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          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.


          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.  


          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  








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          owner or tenant to take proactive steps in reaching compliance  
          with disability access laws by promoting communication between  
          the commercial parties. 


          GOVERNOR'S VETO MESSAGE:


          This bill would require a commercial property owner to include  
          in lease forms or rental agreements a statement disclosing if  
          the premises had been inspected by a certified access  
          specialist.


          I support the idea of providing owners and tenants the  
          opportunity to address accessibility problems.  This bill,  
          however, also establishes two permanent positions funded from  
          the General Fund, something more appropriately addressed in the  
          annual budget process.




          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Alison Merrilees / JUD. / (916) 319-2334   FN:  
          0002486