Assembly Judiciary Committee approves bill to help counties fight false advertising

June 8, 2016

Sacramento – The Assembly Judiciary Committee approved a bill today by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) to give county counsels increased authority to fight misleading or false advertising in California.  SB 1130, which has already passed the Senate, now heads to the Assembly floor.

“The bill gives county counsels the ability to contact companies and demand substantiation of advertising claims before deciding whether to file a lawsuit,” said Senator Wieckowski, a member of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee.  “Giving them this expanded authority enables the counsels to receive and properly evaluate information about advertising claims.  This is part of the process that has been missing for county counsels.  But with the powers to seek substantiation of advertising claims, the county counsels will possess the same tools as other public attorneys and have more information in their hands before deciding whether to pursue litigation.  It will help avoid unnecessary lawsuits and save taxpayers money.” 

The state attorney general, district attorneys and city attorneys have the ability to demand substantiation of claims made in advertisements.

The bill is supported by Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, the Consumer Federation of California, the California State Association of Counties and the Urban Counties of California. 

“Giving county counsels this power will reduce litigation in the end and enhance the ability of public prosecutors to protect consumers from false and misleading advertising,” said Danny Chou, assistant county counsel of Santa Clara County.

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th District, which includes southern Alameda County and northeast Santa Clara County.