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August 16, 2007

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


SACRAMENTO — The Consumer Federation of California, a statewide nonprofit consumer rights advocacy organization, has recognized State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) for scoring 100% on his 2006 voting record on consumer protection legislation.

The Consumer Federation of California (CFC) released its scorecard for the 120 members of the California legislature. Simitian scored a perfect 100%.  The average score in the Senate was 68% 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.”

Three of Simitian’s bills were used to grade legislators on the CFC’s scorecard (making him the legislator to have the most consumer rights bills used in the ranking process); and two of the three bills were signed into law. 

The first, SB 202, which went into effect on January 1, 2007, makes it illegal to obtain a consumer’s phone records by fraud or deceit, including the practice known as “pretexting” (i.e., pretending to be someone you’re not), and it makes it unlawful to buy or sell a consumer’s phone records without the consumer’s written consent, effectively shutting down the market for phone records.

The second, SB 768, would have made California the first state in the nation to require privacy and security protections for the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) or ‘smart chip’ technology in government-issued identification documents.  SB 768 was vetoed by the Governor.  Simitian has, however, reintroduced the measure this year in a package of bills that addresses the use of RFID in school identification documents, driver’s licenses, and other public documents.

The third, SB 1609, which went into effect on January 1, 2007, protects seniors from predatory lending practices and abuse in connection with reverse mortgages, a popular type of loan that allows seniors age 62 or older to receive cash by borrowing against the equity of their homes. 

Simitian added, “I was particularly gratified that two of the three consumer bills I authored were signed into law.  Regrettably, almost all of the other key consumer legislation the CFC identified was killed in the Legislature or vetoed by the Governor.  We have to keep anticipating and solving consumer problems before they occur, not wait until there’s a national headline or a tragic incident.”

For a full copy of the Consumer Federation of California’s scorecard, visit

For more information about Simitian’s legislation to protect consumers’ rights, visit