AB 52

BILL TO INCREASE PROTECTION OF NATIVE AMERICAN SACRED SITES PASSES ASSEMBLY, BUT KEY LOOPHOLE COULD LIMIT ITS EFFECT

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 30, 2013 (Sacramento) – A measure to require that developers consult with Native American tribes before initiating projects that affect tribal sacred sites and cultural resources has unanimously passed the state Assembly by a 56-0 vote. The bill now heads to the State Senate.

The approval of AB 52, authored by Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), came despite opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce, which called the measure a “job killer.”

The bill strengthens consultation standards with tribes under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), including impacts to tribal sites among the environmental impacts that must be weighed.  But the bill also contains a provision that could allow tribal concerns to be ignored if any one of a list of other benefits is found to outweigh tribal concerns.

CA ASSEMBLY PASSES BILL TO MAKE HEALTH INSURERS GET STATE APPROVAL BEFORE HIKING RATES; REPUBLICANS WALK OUT IN PROTEST

 

Updated June 3, 2011

June 2, 2011 (Sacramento) – Car insurance and homeowner insurance companies have long been required to get state approval before raising rates. But not health insurers. Some have hiked up rates multiple times a year; Blue Cross sought to jack up rates 59% with three increases in six months.

Gouging consumers with unjustifiable rate hikes will no longer be allowed if AB 52 becomes law. The bill would require health insurers to provide justification and get permission from state regulators before imposing increased costs for health care premiums, copayments, or deductibles on consumers.