(Listed by bill number, bill name, active date, description and impact)

Federal26 CFR Part 54 (Department of Treasury), 29 CFR Part 2590 (Department of Labor) 45 CFR Parts 144, 146 and 148 (Department of Health and Human Services) Interim Final Rules for the sections 101 through 103, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

Dec. 7, 2009, and Jan. 1, 2010

These final regulations provide rules for implementation of several parts of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which amended the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. GINA is meant to prohibit discrimination based on genetic information or family medical history by health insurance and group health plans.

Businesses will no longer be able to offer premium incentives to employees that take certain types of health-risk assessments related to family history even if the results are not tied to the savings. Employers need to ensure that plans and associated policies and procedures do not use genetic information.

H.R. 1, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act “Stimulus Package”

Feb. 17, 2009

The $787 billion economic recovery plan includes immediate federal tax cuts and incentives, an expansion of unemployment benefits and other social entitlement programs. Twenty-eight federal agencies received stimulus funds meant to finance contracts, grants and loans with the basic mission to create and save jobs, and spur economic activity and long-term growth.

The bill has the potential to impact business in many ways, including funding for projects, loans and new regulatory compliance mandates. To track funding allocated in the bill, visit www.recovery.gov or www.fedbizopps.gov.

H.R. 2647, Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act

Oct. 28, 2009

This legislation adds additional protections to those listed in the Family Medical Leave Act, which was also broadened last year for the first time in a decade. FMLA and NDAA apply to companies with 50 or more employees and to workers that log at least 1,250 hours in a 12-month period and have worked for the business for a year or more.

In addition to the allowances for leave listed in the FMLA, employers must also provide time off for the following new conditions: up to 12 weeks of leave for the family members of a reservist who is called into active duty and up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave for an employee to care for a family member that is injured serving active military duty. This includes veterans undergoing treatment, recuperation or therapy for a serious injury or illness that occurred up to five years prior to the date of treatment.

H.R. 3548, Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009

Nov. 6, 2009, and Jan. 1, 2010

The new legislation expands and extends state unemployment pay programs, tax credits for businesses and first-time homebuyer credits and incentives, including several for military families, though it also adds new restrictions.

Businesses that incur tax deficits, also known as net operating losses, receive a tax break. Under the general rule, the loss can be carried back for two years and deducted against taxable income. Also depending on the magnitude of the loss, businesses could qualify for a refund of some or all of the taxes paid for in those years.

Reg. E, Federal Reserve Board, Electronic Fund Transfers Regulation, Electronic Fund Transfer Act

Nov. 12, 2009

This bill implements provisions passed in the previously approved Electronic Fund Transfer Act and clarifies ambiguities related to the use of electronic fund transfers, including the rights and liabilities of the consumer, financial institution and intermediaries.

This rule prohibits banks from charging overdraft fees at ATMs and other debit card transactions without the express consent of the customer to enroll them in the overdraft service. Financial institutions must provide a notice to consumers that explains overdraft services in detail and gives the option to accept or deny the service.

S. 181, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

Jan. 12, 2009

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first piece of legislation signed by Pres. Barack Obama, extending rights to seek recourse for alleged pay discrimination based on age, gender or sexual orientation.

The bill expands workers’ rights to sue for equal pay and relaxes the statute of limitations regarding when and for what time period they can file.

StateA.B.X2 5, Employment: Alternative Work Week Schedules

May 21, 2009

This bill broadens the employer's ability to offer alternative work week schedules, including the option to include regular eight-hour work days.

An employer will be able to offer a regular eight-hour day as part of its menu of alternative work week units and have the ability to switch back and forth between the work options on a weekly basis.

A.B.X3 29, Unemployment Insurance

This bill establishes an “alternative base period” to determine if unemployed individuals have earned sufficient wages to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits and provides the state with an additional $839 million in unemployment payments from the American  Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Employees that were previously ineligible for unemployment benefits because of base-period limitations can now qualify by using earnings as recent as one month. The bill also includes efficiencies for the dispute resolution process between an employer and employee. The business is also assured notification if a former employee files for benefits.

A.B. 31, Public Contracts: Small Business Procurement and Contract Act

March 10, 2009

This bill increases the amount a state agency can contract for goods, services, information or technology from certified small businesses, micro-businesses or disabled veteran enterprise.

The Small Business Procurement and Contract Act permits awards up to $250,000, up from a limit of $100,000 previously. This bill also requires contractors who complete public contract-funded projects to report the percent of involvement from certified small or veteran-owned businesses.

A.B. 329, Reverse Mortgage Elder Protection Act of 2009

Jan. 1, 2010

The bill is meant to ensure senior homeowners are informed of reverse mortgages and related consumer protections.

Before commencing loan counseling, lenders must provide prospective borrowers with a clear and informative disclosure statement with a written checklist pertaining to the risks and suitability of a reverse mortgage. Also, the bill prohibits the lender or any other person who participates in the origination of the mortgage from participating in or referring any other financial or insurance activity related to the deal.

A.B. 1066, Forest Practices: Timber Harvesting Plans

Oct. 11, 2009, and Jan. 1, 2010

This bill allows landowners with Timber Harvest Plans to apply for up to two years in extensions for those expired in 2008 or 2009, or up to four years for plans approved between 2010 and 2011.

Lumber companies can apply for more time to finish planned cutting if they can prove certain conditions existed that prevented a timely completion.

A.B. 1160, Translation of Contacts

July 1, 2010

This bill extends translation requirements that previously only applied to trade or business contracts and agreements.

Financial institutions must translate loans or extension of credit secured by residential real property contracts into Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese or Korean if negotiations were completed in one of those languages. The alternative language contract must be provided before the deal is finalized and within three business days of receiving a written application.

A.B. 1364, Public Contracts, State Bonds, Grant Agreements

Oct. 11, 2009

The bill creates framework for resolving the timetable and deadline challenges of more than 5,700 state infrastructure projects that were impacted by a “stop work order” and suspended payments from the Pooled Money Investment Account.

State agencies can renegotiate, modify or eliminate the terms of a bond financing agreement. If the project has not received any funding, the state can completely terminate the agreement.

A.B. 119, Health Coverage Pricing

Jan. 1, 2011

The bill removes exceptions to laws that prohibit health insurance plans from varying premium, price or charge differentials based on sex.

Previous language allowed insurers to vary price of the same policy according to the buyer’s gender if the decision was based on sound underwriting practices or specified statistical and actuarial data.

A.B. 210, Green Building Standards

Aug. 6, 2009

This bill gives local jurisdictions the same authority to enforce green-building standards that are applied to building standards.

This bill makes it more difficult for builders and developers to challenge city and county green-building standards that are more rigorous than state standards.

A.B. 333, Land Use: Subdivision Maps: Expiration Dates

July 15, 2009

This bill is estimated to impact more than 250,000 housing units by extending the life of tentative subdivision maps by two years.

In response to the increasing number of projects delayed by the economic downturn, this California Building Industry Association-sponsored bill gives developers with approved projects more time to obtain a final map and avoid going through the entitlement process again.

A.B. 361, Workers’ Compensation: Treatment Authorization

This bill mandates that regardless of whether an employer has established a medical provider network or entered into a contract with a health care organization, all or part of medical treatment can not be rescinded if it was already authorized.

The employer cannot refuse to compensate for the cost of care if the expenditure was approved before the services were rendered.

A.B. 474, Contractual Assessments: Water Efficiency Improvements

This bill adds water-efficiency projects to eligible grantees under A.B. 811 and permits water districts to form water efficiency financing districts.

Developers can apply for loans to pay for the installation of water conservation systems in residential and commercial projects. With the financing, the property owner agrees to water-use assessments.

A.B. 531, Energy Consumption Data: Disclosure

Jan. 1, 2010

This bill delays implementation of A.B. 1103, which would have mandated that all commercial building sale, lease or financing agreements after Jan. 1, 2010, include energy consumption data for the most recent 12 months.

Though implementation was delayed, commercial building owners should register for an Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Portfolio Manager and coordinate with electrical or gas utilities to automate the uploading of data to the portfolio.

A.B. 920, Solar and Wind Distributed Generation

Jan. 1, 2011

This bill allows for the compensation of owners of solar and wind generation systems that produce excess power.

In addition to being paid for any energy that is produced and not used, tax credits for the installation of sustainable-energy systems were raised from $2,000 to 30 percent of the cost. Rates for compensation of excess energy will be determined by the California Public Utilities Commission and most likely will be below retail.

A.B. 1383, Medi-Cal: Hospital Payments: Quality Assurance Fees

Jan. 1, 2010

This bill allows the state to apply for about $2.3 billion in federal matching grants meant to help cover the cost of hospital care for Medi-Cal patients and children.

California’s general acute care hospitals will have to pay additional annual provider fees based on the average number of patient days. The money received in federal matching grants will be distributed according to the amount of Medi-Cal care provided.

S.B. 95, California Car Buyers' Protection Act of 2009

Oct. 12, 2009

The California Car Buyers' Protection Act of 2009 imposes certain requirements on car dealers during purchase, trade or lease transactions where the vehicle is subject to a prior credit or lease balance.

The bill increases the dealer's license and renewal fees to $175 and $125, respectively, and augments auto brokers' endorsement and renewal fees to $100 and $75, respectively.

S.B. 186, Workers’ Compensation: Medical Treatment: Pre-Designation of Physician

Jan. 1, 2010

This bill extends a provision that allows employees to choose their personal physician in the case of a work-related injury that was set to expire at the end of the year.

Employers must allow employees to use their pre-designated physician for workers’ compensation claims after Dec. 31, 2009. Previous mandates would have been repealed by the end of the year.

S.B. 816, Property Taxation

Oct. 12, 2009

This bill makes changes to the documentary transfer tax law relative to city ordinances, assessor records and change of ownership statements.

Businesses with real property will be required to pay a 10 percent penalty if they fail to file necessary change-in-ownership documents within 45 days of the change in control or the date of written request by the Board of Equalization. The legislation also eliminates a previous exception to the penalty that removed the requirement if papers were submitted within 60 days of the notification of the penalty.