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"Oughta" Ideas Signed into Law

Since 2001, 18 ideas submitted in Joe's "There Oughta Be A Law" contest have been signed into California law. Click on any bill number below for details, or learn more about the contest.


SB 445: "Library Privacy" - Mary Minow (Cupertino) Protects the privacy of electronic records of library activity in the same way that paper records were protected under existing law.

SB 514: "DXM Sale to Minors Prohibition" - Wayne Benitez and Ron Lawrence Bans the sale to minors of medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM), a frequently abused ingredient in many cough medicines.


SB 1342: "Polling Places" - Lynn Silton (Palo Alto) and Dennis McBride (Redwood City Gives election officials the flexibility to adjust precinct size to reflect the actual number of election day voters, and allocate resources more efficiently by accounting for the large number of permanent absentee voters.


SB 486: "Sharps Disposal" - Betty Lipkin (San Carlos). Provides for safe disposal of "sharps" (a type of medical waste that includes syringes and needles) by requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide information on their websites about the safe needle collection and disposal programs they offer, if any.


SB 1399: "Trees/Solar" - Richard Treanor and Carolynn Bissett (Sunnyvale). Revises the California Solar Shade Control Act to exempt trees planted before the installation of a solar collector from the requirements of the Act; requires a building owner to notify affected neighbors prior to installing a solar collector if the building owner wishes to assert the protections provided by the Act; simplifies the process for local municipalities to opt out of the Solar Shade Control Act and adopt a local ordinance.

SB 1400: "Deceptive Sweepstakes" - Lisa Conrad (Menlo Park). Updates California law with new rules and disclosure requirements for sweepstakes solicitations; prohibits sweepstakes from selling or sharing the names and information of its customers.

SB 1401: "Traumatic Brain Injury" - Dr. Jerome V. Blum (Los Altos Hills). Creates outreach programs for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan addressing education and treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


SB 966: "Take Back" - Rebecca Kassel (Aptos) and Abe Binder (Mountain View). Requires the California Integrated Waste Management Board to develop, in consultation with appropriate state, local, and federal agencies, model programs for the collection and proper disposal of pharmaceutical drug waste.


SB 1609: "Reverse Mortgage" - Shirley Hochhausen (East Palo Alto). Requires that seniors receive financial counseling from a HUD approved counselor before applying for a reverse mortgage; requires lenders to prepare loan documents in the language in which the reverse mortgage was negotiated; prohibits lenders from requiring a borrower to purchase an annuity as a condition of the loan.

SB 1610: "Move Over, Slow Down" - Daniel Frederick Leon (Hayward). Requires drivers approaching a roadside emergency scene to move over one lane to create a safety buffer for emergency crews, or to slow down if they can't move over safely. (Reintroduced 2004/2005 winner, SB 800.)


SB 798: "Drug Recycling" - Josemaria Paterno (Stanford). Allows counties to set up programs to distribute previously sold, unexpired, and unopened prescription drugs to patients, especially those with low income or severe disabilities.

SB 802: "Debit Card Protection" - Ron Tomich (Redwood Estates). Prohibits businesses from printing more than the last five digits of a debit card number on receipts, which is the same protection that credit cards receive.


AB 1854: "Lights on, Wipers on" - Mary Lou Lyn (Cupertino) & Evelyn Berk (Menlo Park). Requires headlights to be turned on in automobiles in bad weather, specifically when wipers are being used.


AB 1301: "Underage Drinking" - Donna Lera (San Carlos). Holds parents liable for underage teen drinking and driving when the parent knowingly permits his or her child to use alcohol in the home, if that use then leads the minor to cause a driving accident.

AB 1303: "Wheelchair Lift" - Charles Williams (Cupertino). Provides that drivers with disabilities will not be violation of State law when their rear license plate is obscured by a wheelchair lift if they display a replica of the license on the rear window.


AB 2472: "Pesticides/State Capitol" - David Coale, Cindy Russell and David Smernoff (Acterra, Palo Alto). Requires the State Department of General Services to implement a demonstration project designed to reduce the amount of pesticides and herbicides used on the State Capitol grounds and surrounding buildings.

AB 2473: "Gift Certificates" - Andrea Leiderman (Mountain View). Requires businesses that have issued gift certificates to continue honoring those gift certificates even if they have filed for bankruptcy.

AB 2474: "Antifreeze" - Lauren P. Ward (Cupertino). Requires antifreeze sold in California to include a bittering agent to prevent accidental poisonings of children, pets and wildlife.

Do you think "there oughta be a law?" Click here to learn more about the contest or submit an application.