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SB-626 Military and veterans: enlisted persons.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/26/2017 04:00 AM

Amended  IN  Senate  April 25, 2017


Senate Bill No. 626

Introduced by Senator Newman

February 17, 2017

An act to amend Section 17206.1 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to business. add Section 20 to the Military and Veterans Code, relating to military.


SB 626, as amended, Newman. Unfair competition. Military and veterans: enlisted persons.
Existing law establishes within state government a Military Department headed by an Adjutant General. Existing law includes within the Military Department the office of the Adjutant General, the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, the California Cadet Corps, and the Naval Militia. Existing law also generally governs the administration of military and veterans’ affairs, including those relating to enlisted men and women.
This bill would deem any reference in the Military and Veterans Code to “enlisted man or woman” or “enlisted men or women” to refer to “enlisted person” or “enlisted persons.”

Existing law authorizes the Attorney General and other public prosecutors to bring an action for relief from an act of unfair competition, as defined. Under existing law, a civil penalty may be assessed in the action that is designated for the exclusive use of a public prosecutor, including the Attorney General, for enforcing consumer protection laws. Under existing law, if a person violates these unfair competition provisions and the act or acts are perpetrated against one or more senior citizens or disabled persons, the person is authorized to be liable for a specified civil penalty. Existing law defines various terms for purposes of carrying out that provision.

This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to that definition provision.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 20 is added to the Military and Veterans Code, to read:

  Any reference in this code to “enlisted man or woman” or “enlisted men or women” shall be deemed to refer to “enlisted person” or “enlisted persons.”

SECTION 1.Section 17206.1 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

(a)(1)In addition to any liability for a civil penalty pursuant to Section 17206, a person who violates this chapter, and the act or acts of unfair competition are perpetrated against one or more senior citizens or disabled persons, may be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for each violation, which may be assessed and recovered in a civil action as prescribed in Section 17206.

(2)Subject to subdivision (d), any civil penalty shall be paid as prescribed by subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 17206.

(b)As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1)“Senior citizen” means a person who is 65 years of age or older.

(2)“Disabled person” means a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

(A)As used in this subdivision, “physical or mental impairment” means any of the following:

(i)A physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss substantially affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; or endocrine.

(ii)A mental or psychological disorder, including intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

“Physical or mental impairment” includes, but is not limited to, diseases and conditions including orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, intellectual disability, and emotional illness.

(B)“Major life activities” means functions that include caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

(c)In determining whether to impose a civil penalty pursuant to subdivision (a) and the amount thereof, the court shall consider, in addition to any other appropriate factors, the extent to which one or more of the following factors are present:

(1)Whether the defendant knew or should have known that his or her conduct was directed to one or more senior citizens or disabled persons.

(2)Whether the defendant’s conduct caused one or more senior citizens or disabled persons to suffer any of the following: loss or encumbrance of a primary residence, principal employment, or source of income; substantial loss of property set aside for retirement, or for personal or family care and maintenance; or substantial loss of payments received under a pension or retirement plan or a government benefits program, or assets essential to the health or welfare of the senior citizen or disabled person.

(3)Whether one or more senior citizens or disabled persons are substantially more vulnerable than other members of the public to the defendant’s conduct because of age, poor health or infirmity, impaired understanding, restricted mobility, or disability, and actually suffered substantial physical, emotional, or economic damage resulting from the defendant’s conduct.

(d)A court of competent jurisdiction hearing an action pursuant to this section may make orders and judgments as necessary to restore to a senior citizen or disabled person money or property, real or personal that may have been acquired by means of a violation of this chapter. Restitution ordered pursuant to this subdivision shall be given priority over recovery of a civil penalty designated by the court as imposed pursuant to subdivision (a), but shall not be given priority over a civil penalty imposed pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 17206. If the court determines that full restitution cannot be made to those senior citizens or disabled persons, either at the time of judgment or by a future date determined by the court, then restitution under this subdivision shall be made on a pro rata basis depending on the amount of loss.