With the Feb. 5 primary finally a thing of the past, state lawmakers are slowly unveiling new bills for the Legislature to consider this year. Here are a few of note:
AB 1828 would give poll workers, those kindly people who dole out ballots and "I Voted!" stickers, a 12-month, get-out-of-jury-duty-free card as an enticement to work on Election Day. It's hard to say how many poll workers / potential jurors would be affected. California typically has about 4,900 polling places, but some polls house more than one precinct and thus, more than one precinct board. Each precinct board comprises at least three people. Do the math and you're looking at thousands of Californians being able to tear up their jury summons. Can't exactly see the Judicial Council getting behind this bill.
AB 1891, backed by the Civil Justice Association of California, would expand a judge's authority to sanction civil plaintiffs for "any filing, action, or tactic that is frivolous." The bill would also require a judge to report any attorney who engages in such "frivolous" conduct to the State Bar. Either CJAC has quietly made massive inroads with legislative Democrats or this bill is DOA.
AB 1905 is a companion measure to AB 1891. It would allow appeals of class certification denials or approvals. The provision is similar to one proposed by tort reformers and shot down by Assembly members last year.
SB 1165 would put more pressure on presiding judges to assign lawsuits brought under the California Environmental Quality Act to specially trained CEQA judges.
And finally, there's SB 1163, the Honk-if-You're-a-Sex-Offender-Too! bill. Starting in 2009, this bill would require registered sex offenders to slap stickers or special license plates on their cars notifying passers-by of their transgressions.
— Cheryl Miller