Calif. Gov. Inks Industry Bills, Vetoes One

July 8, 2004

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed 27 bills into law and vetoed five bills in the last week. Among the bills signed into law were several related to the insurance industry, along with one that was vetoed.

Bills Signed:

ABX4 13 by Assemblymember Marco Firebaugh (D-South Gate) – Workers’ compensation: fraud. This bill adds city attorneys whose duties include criminal prosecutions, and any law enforcement agency investigating workers’ comp fraud, to the definition of those authorized governmental agencies to which an insurer must release information in fraud cases.

AB 1840 by Assemblymember Dario Frommer (D-Los Angeles) – Workers’ compensation: death benefits: police officers. This bill provides payment of a $250,000 death benefit to police officers who have no total or partial dependents, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2003.

AB 1985 by Assemblymember Lois Wolk (D-Davis) – Insurance claims: forms. This bill updates the codes by permitting auto insurers to keep electronic documents, rather than hard copies, of settlement checks, claim forms and police reports.

AB 2337 by Assemblymember Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) – Fire suppression assessments. This bill restores language in the Government Code authorizing the assessments of local fire protection districts to include both fire suppression and fire prevention.

AB 2490 by Assemblymember Ken Maddox (R-Garden Grove) – Insurance: surplus lines brokers: notice. This bill allows non-admitted insurers and surplus lines brokers selling personal lines insurance products, to immediately bind coverage with an applicant, in the same manner as non-admitted insurers and surplus lines brokers are currently authorized to do in commercial lines of insurance, as well as any umbrella coverage associated therewith. Sunsets Jan. 1, 2008.

AB 2919 by Assemblymember Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) -Workers’ compensation: physician assistant: nurse practitioner. This bill deletes the sunset date in existing law in provision allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to complete a Doctors First Report of Occupational Injury and to authorize temporary disability, if necessary, of up to three days.

Bills vetoed:

SB 438 by Senator Nell Soto (D-Pomona) – Disaster relief. This bill adds the Southern California wildfires that occurred during October and November 2003 and the San Simeon earthquake that occurred during December 2003 to the list of disasters eligible for full state reimbursement of local agency costs under the Disaster Assistance Act. Adds these disasters to the list of disasters eligible for special net operating loss carryforward treatment under the Personal Income and Corporation Tax Laws.

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