Wieckowski releases package of consumer protection bills

February 22, 2021

SACRAMENTO – California State Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) has introduced a package of bills to protect worker rights, reform the state’s broken Bottle Bill program, require a label on products with synthetic food dyes and notify consumers when their debt is sold, along with other pro-consumer legislation. Friday marked the bill introduction deadline in the California Legislature.

“This package of bills will continue and improve the strong consumer protection that Californians deserve and expect from their representatives,” said Wieckowski, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a strong consumer-rights advocate. “It expands transparency, and worker and consumer rights at a time when many people our struggling and corporations are trying to tip the scales even further in their favor.”

Here is a partial list of the bills introduced this session by Sen. Wieckowski.

SB 38 – Introduced in December, SB 38 creates an extended producer responsibility program that places redemption and recycling responsibility on those who are distributing beverage containers inside California.

SB 274 – Supported by the Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition and the California Taxpayers Association, this bill makes it easier, faster and cheaper for the public to receive agenda packets by requiring local agencies to email such items if a person requests them.

SB 346 – Requires customers to be informed at the time of purchase if a camera is installed inside their vehicle, and would prohibit video recordings made of the interior of the car by an in-vehicle camera from being used for advertising or sold to third parties.

SB 531 – Prohibits a creditor from selling a consumer debt unless the creditor has provided a notice to the debtor at least 30 days before selling the debt. The notice must include the amount of the outstanding debt.

SB 651 – Enhances public health for children and families by requiring a safety warning label informing consumers that synthetic food dyes are known to cause or worsen behavioral problems in children.

SB 688 – This bill prohibits the use of “confession of judgments” in any contract.  This is a clause in a contract that basically gives the drafting party the ability to bypass the court for an alleged breach of contract and directly go after the other party to collect money.

SB 762 – Currently a spot bill, this is a follow up to Senator Wieckowski and Senator Hertzberg’s SB 707, passed in 2019.  Amendments will ensure that arbitration companies’ cozy relationships with their corporate clients do not result in stalling the arbitration process or preventing consumers/employees from being able to proceed in court when fees are not paid by companies.

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