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Wilson Signs Bill Eliminating Mandatory Premarital Blood Test

July 23, 1994|Jerry Gillam | Times staff writer

Marriage license applicants no longer will be required to take expensive blood tests to check for syphilis and rubella under legislation signed into law by Gov. Pete Wilson that goes into effect Jan. 1.

Wilson said the tests, which can cost up to $140, have not been effective in identifying cases of syphilis and rubella, which the governor said are no longer considered serious health risks.

Assemblywoman Jackie Speier (D-Burlingame), author of the legislation (AB 3128), said syphilis has been effectively treated by penicillin for the past 50 years and that rubella immunization programs now reach about 95% of the married population.

"People seeking public marriages in California are forced to spend over $20 million annually on blood tests for diseases that are no longer public health problems," Speier said. "Premarital blood testing, once a justifiable tradition, has become an unnecessary drain on personal finances."


Bills Signed

* 911 Calls: AB 2741 by Assemblyman Sal Cannella (D-Ceres) makes a crime of repeatedly calling 911 operators without reporting an emergency.

* Domestic Violence: SB 1827 by Senate leader Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward) allows prosecutors to refile misdemeanor domestic violence cases that have been dismissed because the victim failed to appear in court.

* Sex Offenders: AB 3458 by Assemblyman Trice Harvey (R-Bakersfield) prohibits registered sex offenders from working as volunteers in public schools.

* Prisoner Sick Call: AB 113 by Assemblyman Dean Andal (R-Stockton) requires inmates to reimburse the state $5 for non-emergency medical care visits to the prison infirmary if they can afford it.

* Contractor Penalties: SB 634 by Sen. William A. Craven (R-Oceanside) imposes fines of $500 to $25,000 and/or one-year jail terms for building contractors found guilty of defrauding property owners for work done after a natural disaster such as the Northridge earthquake.

* Organ Donors: AB 3111 by Assemblyman Fred Aguiar (R-Chino) extends from four to 12 hours the time in which hospitals can seek permission of family members to allow patient donation of organs.

* Mobile Homes: SB 750 by Sen. David Roberti (D-Van Nuys) and Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Sylmar) requires mobile home installations to meet earthquake and wind safety requirements.

* California Grown: SB 1412 by Sen. Henry J. Mello (D-Watsonville) makes it a crime to say "California grown" on supermarket poultry labels if the birds were not grown in the state.

* Veterans Affairs: AB 2597 by Assemblyman Stan Statham (R-Oak Run) elevates the state Department of Veterans Affairs to Cabinet-level status, and requires the governor to appoint a U.S. military veteran as the director.

Bills Vetoed

* Slot Machines: AB 3256 by Assemblywoman Julie Bornstein (D-Palm Desert) would have made it lawful to transport and possess slot machines for display at trade shows, conferences and conventions provided that they were rendered temporarily inoperative.

* Judges Retirement: AB 2385 by Assemblyman John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara) would have increased member contributions to the judges retirement system from 8% to 11%.

* Little Hoover Commission: SB 1604 by Sen. Gary K. Hart (D-Santa Barbara) would have made the governor's five appointments to the Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, better known as the Little Hoover Commission, subject to state Senate confirmation.


Bills Introduced

* Career Criminals: AB 166X by Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco) would create the Illegal Weapons and Violence Suppression Program within the state Department of Justice to help identify and apprehend armed career criminals and gang members who are involved in violent offenses. The program would be partially financed by federal funds.

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