AIDS kit--In efforts to contain the spread of AIDS, this policy sets aside $25,000 to help in the distribution of 60,000 AIDS prevention kits by five drug abuse agencies. Each kit contains a bottle of bleach for sterilizing needles, one or more condoms and an informational flyer about AIDS. Approved in October.
Ammunition sales--A one-week ban on ammunition attempts to curtail the random firing of guns into the air on New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July. Approved in May.
Animal sacrifice--Los Angeles became the first city in the nation to ban animal sacrifices under any circumstances, including during religious rituals, by imposing penalties of up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. Approved in October.
Business tax--A 10% hike in the business tax rate was added on to the tax previously charged on gross receipts of all those who operate businesses in the city. Wholesale businesses, which were charged $1.075 per $1,000 of gross receipts, will have to pay $1.1825. Lawyers and others in professional occupations who now pay the highest rate--$5.375 per $1,000 of gross receipts--will have to pay $5.9125. Approved in August.
Cabbies--A major change for the taxicab industry sets up the city's first system linking cabbie dress and behavior to potential fines. The measure sets out rules for proper dress--like no plaid pants--and outlaws such things as rudeness, meter tampering, refusing to pick up passengers or refusing to take them where they want to go. Violators of the dress code can be cited and penalty points can be charged against their companies. Once a company reaches a threshold level of penalty points, each additional dress code violation will cost $1,500. For violating other provisions of the code, drivers face fines of up to $500 and their company or association can be fined up to $100,000. Approved in March.
Drug testing--Mandatory once-a-year drug testing was approved for about 7,400 sworn officers with the rank of lieutenant or below. Also, a computer will be used to randomly select 30% of the force for an additional testing. High-ranking management, such as captains and above, have already agreed to mandatory drug testing and new recruits and probationary officers also have been subject to drug testing for some time. Approved in November.
Parking tax--The city's first parking tax of 10% affects virtually all who pay to park their cars in the city, including people who pay to park in lots and garages owned by their employers. Approved in June.
Pit bulls--The Los Angeles Department of Animal Regulation outlawed the adoption of stray pit bulls and related breeds. Any pit bull remaining at the city's six animal shelters after a seven-day waiting period will be destroyed. Approved in March.
Sanitation fees--A doubling of fees for sanitation trucks is expected to bring in $9.8 million and is added to Department of Water and Power bills. The fee, previously $1.50 a month per household, jumped to $3. Apartment renters who do not have private garbage services now pay $2 a month instead of $1. Approved in August.
Security deposits--Landlords that fall under the city's rent control law are required to pay 5% annual interest on security deposits to renters who stay in their apartments for at least a year. Also, landlords are banned from increasing rent if a minor child of a tenant moves into the unit, but an increase up to 10% is permitted if another adult moves in. Approved in October.
Spray paint--In the battle to control graffiti, merchants who sell aerosol spray paint and wide felt-tip markers are required to keep them in locked cabinets or in storage compartments available only to sales personnel. The measure attempts to reduce graffiti by making the tools of the trade harder to get. Similar measures have been approved by the county and Monterey Park. Approved in November.
Storm drain tax--Property owners were taxed an average of $2 on their 1990-91 county property tax bills to fund a storm-water cleanup program aimed at reducing the amount of polluted water flowing from the city's 1,100 miles of storm drains into the ocean. This measure is expected to raise about $4.2 million the first year, which will be used to hire staff to devise the cleanup program and develop a public education campaign and pilot programs. Approved in August.
Water wasters--Thirty newly assigned officers will issue citations against anyone caught violating rules designed to conserve water. First-time violators caught hosing off sidewalks and driveways or watering lawns between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. will be issued written warnings. Fines, or surcharges, are $50 for second-time violators and $100 for a third violation. Fourth-time violators can have water service to their homes or businesses cut to a gallon-per-minute trickle or water service can be cut off for 48 hours. These penalties, approved in May, were added to the water law which was enacted two years ago.