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Davis Signs Bills to Aid Families of 9/11 Victims

September 11, 2002

The Legislature sent hundreds of bills to Gov. Gray Davis at the close of session last month. The governor has until Sept. 30 to veto legislation, sign it or allow it to become law without his signature.

Among the bills Davis has signed:

* Victims--SB 1873 by Sen. Martha Escutia (D-Whittier) allows the state's victim compensation fund to cover the wages lost by families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as they attend memorial services.

AB 1746 by Assemblywoman Carol Liu (D-La Canada) gives free University of California and California State University tuition to the children of those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. It also offers a free community college education to the children of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty.

* Graves--SB 1448 by Sen. Wes Chesbro (D-Arcata) requires the state Department of Mental Health to identify the gravesites of patients who have died at state hospitals and developmental centers. The department must also identify those patients whose remains were donated to medical research. More than 16,000 people died at state hospitals from the 1880s through the 1960s, and several thousand are buried in unmarked graves.

* Domestic partners--AB 2216 by Assemblyman Fred Keeley (D-Boulder Creek) gives partial inheritance rights to domestic partners registered with the state. Current law prohibits a domestic partner from inheriting any portion of a deceased partner's estate if there is no will.

* Scholarships--SB 1264 by Sen. Dede Alpert (D-Coronado) exempts scholarships from counting toward family income under the state's CalWORKs welfare-to-work program. The law ensures that students who earn college scholarships won't see their family's public assistance grant reduced as a result.

* Tenants--SB 1403 by Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica) requires landlords to give their tenants at least 60 days' notice before terminating a lease. The bill was inspired by the case of a Japanese investor who evicted hundreds of families in Sacramento and Santa Rosa this year with 30 days' notice.

* Skateboards--SB 994 by Sen. Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside) extends until 2008 a law protecting public skateboard parks from liability for injuries to users 14 years or older.

* Used cars--SB 91 by Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont) attempts to protect consumers from unlicensed "curbside" car dealers by clarifying what car dealers can and cannot legally do.

* Pawnbrokers--AB 2344 by Assemblyman Lou Correa (D-Anaheim) allows pawnbrokers to store pawned property off premises and to notify customers of loan expiration by express delivery services other than the U.S. Postal Service. It also clarifies what types of fees are allowed in loan extensions.

* Abuse--SB 1421 by Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) allows the victim of sexual abuse by a doctor or other professional during a fraudulent physical examination to prosecute for rape.

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