Senator Wieckowski bills taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018

December 19, 2017

Sacramento – State Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) authored a number of bills that will go into effect on January 1, 2018.  The bills protect revenge porn victims, reduce fees on accessory dwelling units, protect free speech rights in homeowner associations, increase transit-oriented development, clarify financial disclosure requirements in family law cases and improve oversight of special districts.  

SB 157 – Protects cyber retaliation, or “revenge porn” victims from further exposure and threats to their privacy by providing stronger confidentiality protections. It broadens the definition of “identifying characteristics” to include social media profiles, email addresses, account names, avatars, handles, IP addresses, and other unique digital markers. It also gives victims a chance to request and receive a sealing order to protect their case records from public access for up to 60 days.

SB 217 – Clarifies that the legally-required financial disclosures in family law cases remain admissible even if prepared in the context of mediation. Under California law, spouses owe each other a fiduciary duty to disclose full and accurate information of all their assets and liabilities during marriage dissolution or separation proceedings. This bill ensures that no one can use mediation confidentiality as a shield to fulfilling that duty.

SB 229 – Eliminates onerous barriers to the construction of accessory dwelling units by clarifying that the limits on connection fees and capacity charges apply to water and sewer districts, as well as cities and counties.

SB 407 – Ensures that people governed by homeowner’s associations have the ability to exercise their rights guaranteed under the law to peacefully assemble and freely communicate with one another for social, political, or educational purposes. Californians’ housing situations do not dictate their free speech rights.

SB 448 – Resolves issues of inefficiency in special districts. It requires the creation of a comprehensive list of special districts and develops an expedited dissolution process for districts that demonstrate through regular audits that they are not performing their promised services.

SB 680 – Expands the radius within which BART can pursue transit-oriented development projects from one-quarter mile to one-half mile. The developments are designed to connect active and public transit and reduce dependence on the automobile.

SB 178 – An urgency bill that took effect immediately, authorizes the City of Fremont to transfer park land to the Fremont Unified School District for construction of a new elementary school in central Fremont and the development of two new parks.

Senator Wieckowski chairs the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and the Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation.  He also serves on the following committees:  Budget and Fiscal Review; Judiciary; and Transportation and Housing.

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