Gino DiCaro

Corporate Counsel Bills Vetoed

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Oct. 1, 2004 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Late Thursday afternoon, September 30th, Governor Schwarzenegger completed the task of signing and vetoing the final batch of 844 bills sent to him during the final weeks of session. He signed 571 of the bills and vetoed 273.

SB 1154 (Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont) proposed to regulate manufacturers' and retailers' rebates to consumers. The bill had weak proof of purchase standards, mandated timelines for consumers submitting their rebate requests and short timelines for manufacturers fulfilling those requests. It also required rebate forms on site if they weren't included with the product and made restrictions that would have likely caused conflicts for nationwide company rebate offers.

In his veto message, the Governor indicated that existing contract law and federal and state consumer protection laws are suitable for protecting consumers and that the bill could cause conflicts for companies that offer nationwide rebates because rebate terms for California residents would differ from those in the rest of the country and increase the chances that companies would exclude California from their nationwide consumer rebate offers.

AB 1829 (Carol Liu, D-La Canada Flintridge) would have prohibited a state agency or local government from contracting for services unless the contractor or subcontractor certified that the service be performed solely with workers within the United States. Exempted from the bill were the State Treasurer and any "seismic retrofit work."

The Governor's veto message clearly highlights that this bill "adds additional restrictions on state contractors, thereby resulting in less competition at the state and local levels and would ultimately result in higher prices paid by government entities for goods and services." Additionally, the Governor indicated that the bill is the wrong way to expand economic opportunity, as it would have restricted trade, invited retaliation or violated the U.S. Constitution and California's foreign trade agreements.

SB 888 (Joseph Dunn, D-Santa Ana) would have prohibited the performance of any work involving "information that is essential to homeland security" at a worksite located outside of the United States unless expertise or materials necessary to perform the work was not available in the U.S.

While the Governor articulated his strong support for ensuring the safety and protection of California's citizens against threats of terrorism, he criticized the bill for having "overly broad" language that may have inadvertently created issues concerning international commerce. The Governor went on to say that "there is no guarantee that work performed within a specific locality will somehow be inherently safer than work performed in another country" and, instead argued that "the types and levels of security measures taken to protect such information whether here or abroad is a better indicator of how safe that information will remain."
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