Legislators

Many have suggested that a small group of California legislators control the power to clarify, or otherwise implement appropriate safeguards to California's highly profitable accessibility laws.  To appreciate some of the reasons why many think these laws need to be changed, please visit ADAabuse.com

The following legislators have been identifying as collectively having the power to improve California's problem of ADA/accessibility lawsuits.  To learn more about their voting records and see a list of ADA/accessibility lawsuits filed in their districts, please click on the following links:


Opportunities to improve California’s ADA/accessibility lawsuit crisis—

How did your legislators vote?

 

California legislators have had six distinct opportunities to improve— or worsen— California’s current crisis of over 14,000 ADA/accessibility lawsuits.  In each case, it grew worse:

 

  1. AB 1040 (2001):  At a time when there had already been more than 3,777 ADA/accessibility lawsuits in California, this bill would have required plaintiffs to provide written notice to defendants before filing lawsuits.  The bill died in committee.  If this solution was not acceptable, did the legislators opposing this measure take any action to improve the situation?  It is believed that Assemblymembers Corbett, Jackson, Longville, Steinberg, Shelley and Wayne opposed the measure.

 

  1. AB 587 (2001): In the same year, the following legislators voted to increase the minimum damages for certain access lawsuits from $1,000 to $4,000: Alarcon, Alpert, Alquist, Aroner, Burton, Calderon, Canciamilla, Cardenas, Cardoza, Cedillo, Chan, Chavez, Chesbro, Chu, Cohn, Correa, Diaz, Dunn, Dutra, Escutia, Figueroa, Firebaugh, Frommer, Goldberg, Havice, Hertzberg, Horton, Jackson, Karnette, Keeley, Kehoe, Koretz, Kuehl, Liu, Longville, Lowenthal, Machado, Matthews, McLeod, Migden, Murray, Nakano, Nation, Negrete, O'Connell, Oropeza, Ortiz, Rod Pacheco, Pavley, Perata, Polanco, Reyes, Richman, Romero, Salinas, Scott, Shelley, Sher, Simitian, Soto, Speier, Steinberg, Thomson, Torlakson, Vasconcellos, Vargas, Vincent, Washington, Wayne, Wesson and Wiggins. 

 

The following legislators were absent, did not vote, or abstained and might have made a difference: Briggs, Corbett, Florez, Maldonado, Papan, Pescetti, Strom-Martin, Wright

 

  1. AB 1707 (2003): In a year when the State had already suffered more than 10,000 ADA/accessibility lawsuits, these legislators voted to quadruple the minimum damage amount for certain accessibility lawsuits:         Alarcon, Alpert, Berg, Bermudez, Bowen, Burton, Calderon, Chavez, Chesbro, Chu, Cohn, Corbett, Diaz, Ducheny Dutra, Dymally, Escutia, Figueroa, Firebaugh, Florez Frommer, Goldberg, Hancock, Jerome Horton, Jackson, Karnette, Kehoe, Kuehl Koretz, Laird, Leno, Levine, Lieber, Liu, Longville, Lowenthal, Machado, Montanez, Mullin, Murray, Nakano, Nation, Nunez, Oropeza, Ortiz, Parra, Pavley, Perata, Reyes, Ridley-Thomas, Romero Salinas, Scott, Sher, Simitian, Soto, Speier, Steinberg, Torlakson, Vargas, Vasconcellos, Wesson, Wiggins, Wolk and Yee.

 

The following legislators were absent, abstained or did not vote: Cedillo, Dunn and Vincent

 

  1. AB 209 (2003): In that same year, a bill was introduced which would require a plaintiff to give written notice before filing a lawsuit.  That measure died in committee, and was voted against by Assemblymembers Corbett, Dutra, Hancock, Jackson, Laird, Longville, Steinberg and Vargas.

 

Assemblymembers Montanez and Spitzer were absent, abstained, or did not vote, and could have made a difference.

 

  1. SB 69 (2004):  The next year, a similar bill also died in committee.  The Senators voting against it were: Escutia, Cedillo, Ducheny, Kuehl and Sher.

 

  1. SB 855 (2005):  At a time when California had seen more than 14,000 ADA/accessibility lawsuits, Senators Cedillo, Figueroa and Kuehl voted against even the following simple “intent language” to acknowledge the problem and the need for a solution:

 

"It is the intent of the legislature to address concerns that have arisen regarding lawsuits brought under the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act and Disabled Persons' Act that do not achieve the goals of compliance with these statutes."

 

Senators Dunn and Escutia abstained or did not vote, and could have made a difference.

     

If they will neither acknowledge a problem not take steps to improve it, should we assume that these legislators simply don’t care? The vote on each of the bills which has contributed to California’s current crisis of accessibility lawsuits is shown below:

 

  • 1994 SB 1288 (Calderon): Increased minimum damage amount under Unruh Civil Rights Act from $250.00 to $1,000.  Status: became law.

 

Assembly vote:

 

In favor: Alpert, Archie-Hudson, Areias, Baca, Bates, Bornstein, Bowen, Bronshvag, Valerie Brown, Burton, Caldera, Campbell, Cannella, Connolly, Cortese, Ducheny, Eastin, Epple, Escutia, Barbara Friedman, Terry Friedman, Gotch, Hannigan, Hauser, Horcher, Isenberg, Karnette, Katz, Klehs, Lee, Margolin, Martinez, McDonald, Murray, Napolitano, O'Connell, Polanco, Sher, Snyder, Solis, Speier, Tucker, Umberg, Vasconcellos, Willie Brown

 

Against: Aguiar, Alby, Allen, Andal, Boland, Bowler, Brulte, Conroy, Ferguson, Frazee, Goldsmith, Harvey, Haynes, Hoge, Honeycutt, Johnson, Knight, Knowles, McPherson, Morrow, Mountjoy, Pringle, Quackenbush, Rainey, Richter, Rogan, Seastrand, Takasugi, Weggeland

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting: Bustamante, Costa, Jones, Moore, Statham, Woodruff

 

Senate vote:

 

In favor: Alquist, Ayala, Calderon, Campbell, Dills, Greene, Hart, Hayden, Hughes, Johnston, Killea, Lockyer, Marks, Mello, Peace, Petris, Roberti, Rosenthal, Thompson, Torres, Watson

 

Against: Beverly, Boatwright, Hurtt, Johannessen, Kelley, Kopp, Leonard, Leslie, Lewis, Maddy, Presley, Rogers, Russell, Wright, Wyman

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting: Bergeson, Craven, McCorquodale, Vacancy

 

  • 1994 SB 1240 (Marks): Increased minimum damage amount for interfering with rights of persons with disabilities from $250.00 to $750.00. Status: became law.

 

Assembly vote:

 

In favor:  Aguiar, Alpert, Archie-Hudson, Areias, Baca, Bates, Bornstein, Bowen, Bronshvag, Valerie Brown, Burton, Bustamante, Caldera, Campbell, Cannella, Connolly, Cortese, Costa, Ducheny, Eastin, Epple, Escutia, Frazee, Barbara Friedman, Terry Friedman, Goldsmith, Gotch, Hannigan, Hauser, Horcher, Isenberg, Karnette, Katz, Klehs, Lee, Martinez, McDonald, McPherson, Moore, Murray, Napolitano, O'Connell, Polanco, Rainey, Richter, Rogan, Seastrand, Sher, Snyder, Solis, Speier, Statham, Tucker, Umberg, Vasconcellos, Weggeland, Willie Brown

 

Against: Alby, Allen, Andal, Boland, Bowler, Brulte, Conroy, Ferguson, Harvey, Haynes, Hoge, Honeycutt, Knight, Knowles, Morrow, Mountjoy, Pringle, Quackenbush, Takasugi

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:    Johnson, Jones, Margolin, Woodruff

 

Senate Vote:

 

In favor:  Alquist, Ayala, Bergeson, Beverly, Boatwright, Campbell, Craven, Dills, Greene, Hayden, Hughes, Johnston, Kelley, Killea, Kopp, Leslie, Lockyer, Marks, McCorquodale, Mello, Peace, Presley, Rogers, Rosenthal, Thompson, Torres, Watson, Wright, Wyman

 

Against: Johannessen, Leonard

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:    Calderon, Hart, Hurtt, Lewis, Maddy, Petris, Roberti, Russell, Vacancy

 

  • 1996 SB 1687 (Marks): Made a violation of the ADA a violation of  California’s Disabled Persons’ Act; increased minimum damage amount for anyone interfering with disabled person’s rights (under Sec 54) from $750.00 to $1,000.  Status: became law.

 

Senate Vote:

 

In favor:  Alquist, Ayala, Calderon, Costa, Dills, Greene, Hayden, Hughes, Johnston, Kelley, Kopp, Leonard, Leslie, Lockyer, Maddy, Marks, Mello, Monteith, O'Connell, Peace, Rosenthal, Sher, Solis, Thompson, Wright

 

Against: None

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:

 

Beverly, Boatwright, Craven, Haynes, Hurtt, Johannessen, Johnson, Killea, Lewis, Mountjoy, Petris, Polanco, Rogers, Russell, Watson

 

Assembly Vote:

 

In favor:  Ackerman, Aguiar, Alpert, Archie-Hudson, Baca, Bates, Battin, Baugh, Boland, Bordonaro, Bowen, Brewer, Brown, Brulte, Burton, Bustamante, Caldera, Campbell, Cannella, Conroy, Cortese, Cunneen, Davis, Ducheny, Escutia, Figueroa, Firestone, Friedman, Frusetta, Gallegos, Goldsmith, Granlund, Hannigan, Harvey, Hauser, Hawkins, Hoge, House, Isenberg, Kaloogian, Katz, Knowles, Knox, Kuehl, Kuykendall, Lee, Machado, Martinez, Mazzoni, McPherson, Migden, Miller, Morrissey, Morrow, Kevin Murray, Willard Murray, Napolitano, Poochigian, Rainey, Rogan, Setencich, Speier, Sweeney, Takasugi, Thompson, Tucker, Vasconcellos, Villaraigosa, Weggeland, Woods, Pringle

 

Against: None

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:    Alby, Baldwin, Bowler, Knight, Margett, Olberg, Richter, Vacancy, Vacancy

 

  • 1998 AB 2702 (Aroner): Changed discrimination law— which did not require the modification of existing buildings—so that it would not require modification of buildings other than as required by other laws (such as the ADA). Status: became law.

 

Senate Vote:

 

In favor:  Alpert, Ayala, Brulte, Burton, Calderon, Costa, Dills, Greene, Hayden, Haynes, Hughes, Hurtt, Johannessen, Johnson, Johnston, Karnette, Kelley, Knight, Kopp, Leslie, Lewis, Lockyer, Maddy, McPherson, Monteith, Mountjoy, O'Connell, Peace, Polanco, Rainey, Rosenthal, Schiff, Sher, Solis, Thompson, Vasconcellos, Watson, Wright

 

Against: None

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:    Craven, Vacancy

 

Assembly vote:

 

In favor:  Ackerman, Aguiar, Alby, Alquist, Aroner, Ashburn, Baca, Baldwin, Battin, Baugh, Bordonaro, Bowen, Bowler, Brewer, Brown, Bustamante, Campbell, Cardenas, Cardoza, Cedillo, Cunneen, Davis, Ducheny, Escutia, Figueroa, Firestone, Floyd, Frusetta, Gallegos, Goldsmith, Havice, Hertzberg, Honda, House, Kaloogian, Keeley, Kuehl, Kuykendall, Leach, Lempert, Leonard, Machado, Margett, Martinez, Mazzoni, Migden, Miller, Morrissey, Morrow, Murray, Napolitano, Olberg, Oller, Ortiz, Pacheco, Papan, Perata, Poochigian, Prenter, Richter, Runner, Scott, Shelley, Strom-Martin, Sweeney, Thompson, Thomson, Torlakson, Vincent, Washington, Wayne, Villaraigosa

 

Against: McClintock

 

Absent, Abstaining, Or Not Voting:   Granlund, Knox, Pringle, Takasugi, Wildman, Woods, Wright

 

  • 2000 AB 2222 (Kuehl): Broadened the definition of disability, and made it uniform across a number of statutes. Status: became law.

 

Senate Vote:

 

In Favor: Alarcon, Bowen, Burton, Chesbro, Dunn, Escutia, Figueroa, Hayden, Hughes, Johnston, Karnette, Murray, O'Connell, Ortiz, Perata, Polanco, Sher, Solis, Soto, Speier, Vasconcellos

 

Against: Costa, Haynes, Johannessen, Kelley, Knight, Lewis, McPherson, Monteith, Morrow, Mountjoy, Poochigian, Rainey, Wright

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:    Alpert, Brulte, Johnson, Leslie, Peace, Schiff

 

Assembly Vote:

 

In favor:  Alquist, Aroner, Bock, Calderon, Cardenas, Cardoza, Cedillo, Corbett, Davis, Ducheny, Dutra, Firebaugh, Floyd, Gallegos, Havice, Honda, Jackson, Keeley, Knox, Kuehl, Lempert, Longville, Lowenthal, Machado, Mazzoni, Migden, Papan, Reyes, Romero, Scott, Shelley, Steinberg, Strom-Martin, Thomson, Torlakson, Villaraigosa, Vincent, Washington, Wayne, Wesson, Wiggins, Wildman, Wright, Hertzberg

 

Against: Aanestad, Ackerman, Ashburn, Baldwin, Bates, Battin, Baugh, Brewer, Briggs, Campbell, Cox, Cunneen, Dickerson, Florez, Granlund, House, Kaloogian, Leach, Leonard, Maddox, Maldonado, Margett, McClintock, Olberg, Oller, Robert Pacheco, Rod Pacheco, Pescetti, Runner, Strickland, Thompson, Zettel

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:    Correa, Frusetta, Nakano, Vacancy

 

  • 2001 AB 1040 (Dutra): Would have required a plaintiff to provide prior written notice to a business owner before filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination based on inaccessibility of commercial premises. Status: died in committee.

 

The members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee (in which the bill died) were: Bates, Corbett, Dutra, Harman, Jackson, Longville, Robert, Pacheco, Shelley, Steinberg and Wayne.  This bill is believed to have been supported by at least Dutra, Robert, Bates, Pacheco and Harman.

 

  • 2001 AB 587 (Firebaugh): Increased the minimum damage amount from $1,000 to $4,000 for violations of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act; legislators were told “this bill is about hat crimes and discrimination crimes.”.  Status: became law.

 

Senate Vote:

 

In Favor: Alarcon, Alpert, Burton, Chesbro, Dunn, Escutia, Figueroa, Karnette, Kuehl, Machado, Murray, O'Connell, Ortiz, Perata, Polanco, Romero, Scott, Sher, Soto, Speier, Torlakson, Vasconcellos, Vincent

 

Against: Ackerman, Battin, Brulte, Haynes, Johannessen, Margett, McClintock, Monteith, Morrow, Oller, Poochigian

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:

 

Assembly Vote:

 

In favor:  Alquist, Aroner, Calderon, Canciamilla, Cardenas, Cardoza, Cedillo, Chan, Chavez, Chu, Cohn, Correa, Diaz, Dutra, Firebaugh, Frommer, Goldberg, Havice, Horton, Jackson, Keeley, Kehoe, Koretz, Liu, Longville, Lowenthal, Matthews, Migden, Nakano, Nation, Negrete, McLeod, Oropeza, Rod Pacheco, Pavley, Reyes, Richman, Salinas, Shelley, Simitian, Steinberg, Thomson, Vargas, Washington, Wayne, Wesson, Wiggins Hertzberg

 

Against: Aanestad, Ashburn, Bates, Bogh, Bill Campbell, John Campbell, Cogdill, Cox, Daucher, Dickerson, Harman, Hollingsworth, Kelley, La Suer, Leach, Leonard, Leslie, Maddox, Mountjoy, Robert Pacheco, Runner, Strickland, Wyland, Wyman, Zettel

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:    Briggs, Corbett, Florez, Maldonado, Papan, Pescetti, Strom-Martin, Wright

 

  • 2003 AB 1707 (Corbett): Would have increased the penalty for a violation of the Disabled Persons’ Act from $1,000 to $4,000; while this bill passed both houses, it was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.

 

Senate vote:

 

In favor:  Alarcon, Alpert, Bowen, Burton, Chesbro, Ducheny, Escutia, Figueroa, Florez, Karnette, Kuehl, Machado, Murray, Ortiz, Perata, Romero, Scott, Sher, Soto, Speier, Torlakson, Vasconcellos

 

Against: Aanestad, Ackerman, Ashburn, Battin, Brulte, Denham, Hollingsworth, Johnson, Margett, McClintock, McPherson, Morrow, Oller, Poochigian

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:    Cedillo, Dunn, Vincent, Vacancy

 

Assembly vote:

 

In favor:  Berg, Bermudez, Calderon, Chavez, Chu, Cohn, Corbett, Diaz, Dutra, Dymally, Firebaugh, Frommer, Goldberg, Hancock, Jerome Horton, Jackson, Kehoe, Koretz, Laird, Leno, Levine, Lieber, Liu, Longville, Lowenthal, Montanez, Mullin, Nakano, Nation, Oropeza, Parra, Pavley, Reyes, Ridley-Thomas, Salinas, Simitian, Steinberg, Vargas, Wesson, Wiggins, Wolk, Yee Nunez

 

Against: Aghazarian, Bates, Benoit, Bogh, Campbell, Cogdill, Correa, Cox, Daucher, Dutton, Garcia, Harman, Haynes, Shirley Horton, Houston, Keene, La Malfa, La Suer, Leslie, Maddox, Maldonado, Matthews, Maze, McCarthy, Mountjoy, Nakanishi, Pacheco, Plescia, Richman, Runner, Samuelian, Spitzer, Strickland, Wyland

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:    Canciamilla, Chan, Negrete, McLeod

 

  • 2003 AB 209 (Leslie): Would have required a plaintiff to provide prior written notice to a business owner before filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination based on inaccessibility of commercial premises. Status: died in committee.

 

Assembly Judiciary Committee Vote:

 

In favor:  Harman, Bates, Pacheco

 

Against: Corbett, Dutra, Hancock, Jackson, Laird, Longville, Steinberg, Vargas

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:    Montanez, Spitzer, Vacancy

 

  • 2004 SB 69 (Oller): Would have required a plaintiff to provide prior written notice to a business owner before filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination based on inaccessibility of commercial premises. Status: died in committee.

 

Senate Judiciary Committee Vote:

 

In favor:  Morrow, Ackerman

 

Against: Escutia, Cedillo, Ducheny, Kuehl, Sher

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting:

 

  • 2005 SB 855 (Poochigian): Would have required a plaintiff to provide prior written notice to a business owner before filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination based on inaccessibility of commercial premises.  Note: because of lack of support in committee, the bill was reduced to the following “intent language” which also failed:

 

"It is the intent of the legislature to address concerns that have arisen regarding lawsuits brought under the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act and Disabled Persons' Act that do not achieve the goals of compliance with these statutes."

 

Because even the foregoing language was not acceptable, we must assume that the Senators voting against this very simple proposition do not intend to address these concerns; why else would they vote against this language?  The vote information was as follows:

 

Senate Judiciary Committee Vote:

 

In favor:  Morrow, Ackerman

 

Against: Cedillo, Figueroa, Kuehl

 

Absent, Abstaining, or Not Voting: Dunn, Escutia