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January 19, 2006

For More Information, Contact:
Hema Sareen Mohan at (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO — CALPIRG, one of the state’s leading consumer advocacy organizations, has recognized State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) for scoring 100% on his 2005 voting record on consumer protection legislation.

CALPIRG today released its scorecard for the 120 members of the California legislature. Simitian was one of only 12 state Senators to score a perfect 100%.  The average score in the Senate was 64% and the average Assembly score was 62%.
“I’m gratified by the recognition,” said Simitian. “We’ve made important headway on consumer protection over the last few years.  I will continue to introduce and support legislation that helps to safeguard consumers.”
This past year, Simitian authored SB 802, a new law to protect consumers’ debit card information, and SB 428, which offers consumers greater access to small claims court. 
SB 802 prohibits businesses from printing more than the last five digits of a debit card number, which is the same protection that credit cards currently receive.  SB 422 gives consumers access to affordable justice by raising the threshold for individuals in small claims court from $5,000 to $7,500.  Both laws went into effect on January 1, 2006.
“We applaud Senator Simitian for being a consumer champion,” said Steve Blackledge, CALPIRG’s legislative director. “He put the interests of consumers over special interests, whether the issue was safe medicine or stopping auto loan rip-offs, and his constituents need to know that they were well represented on consumer issues in 2005.”
While in the Assembly, Simitian authored several consumer protection measures including AB 700, the Security Breach Notification law, which requires companies to tell consumers when their information has been compromised because of a security breach.  Simitian also authored AB 2473, a law to protect consumers by requiring businesses that have declared bankruptcy to continue to honor gift certificates issued before they filed for bankruptcy.
For a full copy of CALPIRG’s scorecard, visit