Beginning Sunday, California will become the first state in the nation to prohibit the sale of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors.
The prohibition is the direct result of a law authored by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), Senate Bill 514.
DXM reportedly causes a life-threatening high, and the act of abusing is commonly known as “robotripping.” Starting January 1, store clerks must check ID's to ensure that no one under 18 purchases these medications.
The law was suggested by a constituent in Simitian's "There Oughta to Be A Law" contest.
Here's a rundown of some of their other noteworthy bills passed in Sacramento and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown:
Authored by Simitian:
SB 2X requires private and public utilities to obtain 33 percent of their electricity from renewable resources – such as solar, wind, and geothermal – by 2020. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has called SB 2X a “groundbreaking piece of legislation that would put California at the forefront of the clean-energy economy.”
SB 24 strengthens and standardizes the notification requirements when someone’s personal information has been hacked into, stolen, or lost. The bill also requires state agencies, businesses and others to notify the Attorney General if more than 500 Californians are affected by a data breach, so law enforcement can zero in on patterns of identity theft.
SB445 extends library privacy protections to electronic content: online records, emails or other communications with library staff, computer research, social media communications and online courses.
SB221 expands California consumers’ access to Small Claims Court, considered an efficient and cost-effective way to resolve minor disputes, by increasing the limit of damages from $7,500 to $10,000.
Authored by Yee:
SB 397 allows citizens to register to vote via the internet. Under the bill, citizens will input their voter information online and the county elections office can use the voter’s signature from the Department of Motor Vehicles to verify authenticity.
SB 41 allows pharmacies to sell sterile syringes to an adult without a prescription.
SB 602 requires government agencies to seek a court order if they want to access consumers’ reading records from bookstores and online retailers.
SB 216 requires PG&E and other gas utility companies to install automatic and remotely-controlled shutoff valves throughout California’s pipelines.
Assemblyman Hill authored additional pipeline legislation in the aftermath of the San Bruno explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.
Authored by Hill:
AB56 requires remote-controlled shut off valves in high population areas and the comprehensive testing and record-keeping of gas transmission lines. It also prohibits utilities from using ratepayer money to pay penalties for safety violations assessed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and requires natural gas corporations to meet annually with local fire departments to review emergency response plans.
AB1601 empowers judges to suspend a driver’s license for 10 years after a third DUI conviction. The current limit is three years and the authority to suspend a license rests with the Department of Motor Vehicles. According to Hill's office, if every judge utilized the 10-year license revocation created in this legislation, over 10,000 repeat DUI offenders could be removed from California roadways every year.
AB75 closes loopholes with respect to notary services and misleading solicitations sent to homes and businesses. Hill says solicitors often send official looking letters that contain threats of penalties, fines, and license suspension unless payment is remitted immediately. The letters appear to be from government agencies and cause many unsuspecting individuals and businesses to pay hundreds of dollars. The bill requires disclosure of nongovernmental status to be placed at the top of the first page of the solicitation to avoid any deception. The law was suggested by a constituent in Hill's 2010 "Oughta Be A Law...Or Not" contest.
AB459 says California, in conjunction with other states, will award all of its electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The legislation does not go into effect until it is adopted by states representing a majority of the Electoral College. His 2011 "Oughta Be A Law...Or Not" contest provided this idea.