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AB-1578 Judiciary omnibus.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/12/2021 09:00 PM
AB1578:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1578


Introduced by Committee on Judiciary (Assembly Members Stone (Chair), Chau, Chiu, Lorena Gonzalez, Holden, Kalra, Maienschein, and Reyes)

March 08, 2021


An act to amend Sections 52.1 and 2983.3 of the Civil Code, to amend Sections 1245.020, 1245.060, 1250.320, and 1260.230 of the Code of Civil Procedure, to amend Section 44944 of the Education Code, to amend Section 22329 of the Financial Code, to amend Sections 11425.20, 11440.20, 11507.6, 11508, and 12935 of, and to add Section 68154 to, 12935, 12945.2, and 19242 of the Government Code, to amend Sections 13009 and 13009.1 of the Health and Safety Code, to amend Section 10139 of the Insurance Code, to amend Section 1000.7 of the Penal Code, and to amend Section 4712 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to state government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1578, as amended, Committee on Judiciary. Judiciary omnibus.
(1) Existing law, known as the Automobile Sales Finance Act, prohibits the seller or holder of a conditional sale contract for a motor vehicle from accelerating the maturity of any part or all of the amount due under the contract or repossessing the vehicle in the absence of default in the performance of any of the buyer’s obligations under the contract. That act establishes a right in the buyer to reinstate a conditional sale contract for a motor vehicle after default, details various methods by which to cure the default, and in all cases requires reimbursing the seller or holder for all reasonable and necessary collection and repossession costs and fees incurred. A willful violation of these provisions is a crime.
This bill would instead establish that in order to cure a default by any method, the buyer is required to reimburse the seller or holder for all reasonable and necessary collection and repossession costs and fees actually paid by the seller or holder. By changing the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law, the Eminent Domain Law, authorizes any person authorized to acquire property for a particular use by eminent domain to enter upon property to make photographs, studies, surveys, examinations, tests, soundings, borings, samplings, or appraisals or to engage in similar activities reasonably related to acquisition or use of the property for that use. Existing law provides that if the entry and activities upon property cause actual damage to or substantial interference with the possession or use of the property, the owner may recover for the damage or interference in a civil action or by application to the court. If funds are on deposit, upon application of the owner, the court is required to determine and award the amount the owner is entitled to recover and order that amount paid out of the funds on deposit.
This bill, among other things, would provide that the civil action in which the owner could collect damages would be as a defendant in an eminent domain proceeding affecting the property. The bill would provide that when the owner seeks funds on deposit upon application to the court, the owner has a right to a jury trial, unless waived, on the amount of compensation for actual damage or substantial interference with the possession or use of the property. The bill would also provide that if the owner seeks damages, the answer is required to include a statement that the defendant claims compensation under the specified provision, but need not specify the amount of that compensation, and if the owner seeks compensation for losses caused by the plaintiff’s unreasonable conduct prior to commencing the eminent domain proceeding, the answer is required to include a statement that the owner claims compensation for that loss, but need not specify the amount of the compensation.
(3) Existing law establishes procedures for the dismissal and suspension of school employees. Existing law prohibits a permanent school employee from being dismissed, except for one or more of certain enumerated causes, and authorizes the suspension of a permanent school employee on specified grounds. Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school district to notify the permanent school employee of its intention to dismiss or suspend the employee, and authorizes the employee to demand a hearing on the charges before a Commission on Professional Competence or an administrative law judge. Existing law requires the hearing to be conducted in a place selected by agreement among the members of the Commission on Professional Competence, and, in the absence of agreement, requires the place to be selected by the administrative law judge.
This bill, notwithstanding the latter provision, would authorize the parties to agree to hold the hearing by telephone, videoconference, or other electronic means.
(4) Existing law requires an administrative hearing to be open to public observation, unless otherwise specified, and requires certain conditions to be met if the hearing is conducted by telephone, television, or other electronic means, including that the public have an opportunity to be physically present at the place where the presiding officer is conducting the hearing. Existing law prescribes specified locations where an administrative hearing is authorized to take place.
This bill would additionally specify that an administrative hearing may take place virtually by telephone, videoconference, or other electronic means. The bill, if the presiding officer of an administrative hearing is conducting the hearing from a private home or other location not normally accessible to the public, would require a location to be designated from which members of the public can observe the hearing or a live audio or video feed of the hearing be made available to the public on the internet.
Existing law requires a writing served to a person in conjunction with an administrative hearing to meet specified requirements, including that the writing be sent by mail to the person’s last known mailing address. Existing law also specifies rules for discovery and evidence review in relation to an administrative hearing.
This bill would additionally authorize the writing to be an electronic document, and would allow a writing, electronic document, or notice to be delivered to the person’s last known mailing address by electronic means. The bill would specify that discovery of certain categories of evidence may be conducted electronically by means prescribed by an administrative law judge.
(5) Existing law requires the Fair Employment and Housing Council to adopt, promulgate, amend, and rescind suitable rules, regulations, and standards that either implement various provisions with regard to prohibiting discrimination or to carry out all other functions and duties of the council, as provided.
This bill would add the prohibition on sex discrimination in wages to the provisions with regard to discrimination.

(6)Existing law provides for the management of trial court records, including, but not limited to, that trial court records may be created, maintained, and preserved in any form or forms of communication or representation, including paper, optical, electronic, magnetic, micrographic, or photographic media or other technology pursuant to the rules adopted by the Judicial Council.

This bill would provide that the public is not to be prohibited from duplicating audio or video footage from a streaming court proceeding that is accessible by the public, unless that proceeding is closed to the public, as provided.

(6) Existing law, on and after January 1, 2021, makes it an unlawful employment practice for any government employer or employer with 5 or more employees to refuse to grant a request by any employee with more than 12 months of service with the employer, and who has at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period or who meets certain other requirements, to take up to a total of 12 workweeks in any 12-month period to, among other things, bond with a new child of the employee or to care for themselves or a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner, as specified.
This bill would expand the population that an employee can take leave to care for to include parents-in-law.
(7) Existing law specifically grants the Department of Human Resources the powers, duties, and authority necessary to operate the state civil service system in accordance with Article VII of the California Constitution, the Government Code, the merit principle, and applicable rules duly adopted by the State Personnel Board. Existing law creates the Limited Examination and Appointment Program (LEAP), which the Department of Human Resources administers, to provide an alternative to the traditional civil service examination and appointment process to facilitate the hiring of persons with disabilities. Existing law also repeals, on January 1, 2022, certain provisions of LEAP regarding conducting competitive examinations to determine the qualifications and readiness of persons with disabilities for state employment.
This bill would extend the repeal date to January 1, 2023.

(7)

(8) Existing law makes a person who negligently, or in violation of the law, sets a fire, allows a fire to be set, or allows a fire kindled or attended by the person to escape onto any public or private property liable for the fire suppression costs incurred in fighting the fire, the cost of providing rescue or emergency medical services, the cost of investigating and making any reports with respect to the fire, and the costs relating to accounting for the fire and the collection of specified funds. Existing law applies the 2-year statute of limitations applicable to an action upon a contract, obligation, or liability not founded upon an instrument of writing to an action brought pursuant to these provisions.
Existing law provides that the statute of limitations for specified actions, including an action upon a liability created by statute other than a penalty or forfeiture action, is 3 years.
This bill would apply this 3-year statute of limitations to an action brought pursuant to the above-described provisions regarding liability for fires.

(8)

(9) Existing law provides that a transfer of payment rights from a settlement obligor or an annuity issuer under a structured settlement agreement is void unless the transfer has been approved in advance by a court based on specified court findings. Existing law defines “structured settlement agreement” for these purposes to mean an arrangement for periodic payment of damages established by settlement or judgment in resolution of a tort claim in which the payment of the judgment or award is paid in whole, or in part, in periodic tax-free payments rather than a lump-sum payment. Existing law requires a transferee, at the time of filing a petition for court approval of a transfer of structured settlement payment rights, to file with the Attorney General a copy of the transferee’s petition for court approval, and other specified, related documents. Existing law authorizes the Attorney General to charge a reasonable fee for the filing of the transfer agreement.
This bill would eliminate the requirement to file those documents with the Attorney General and instead would require the transferee to retain those documents for 3 years after the date of the last payment under the structured settlement agreement, or for 5 years after the date of the transfer, whichever date is later.
(10) Existing law authorizes, until January 1, 2022, the Counties of Alameda, Butte, Napa, Nevada, Santa Clara, and Ventura to establish a pilot program to operate a deferred entry of judgment program for eligible defendants. The pilot program allows a defendant to participate in the program within the county’s juvenile hall if that person is charged with committing a felony offense, except as specified, pleads guilty to the charge or charges, and the probation department determines that the person meets specified requirements, including that the defendant meets the age requirements, as specified, is suitable for the program, and shows the ability to benefit from services generally reserved for delinquents. Existing law requires each participating county to establish a multidisciplinary team to meet periodically to review and discuss the implementation, practices, and impact of the program.
This bill would extend the pilot program to January 1, 2024.

(9)

(11) Existing law, the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, requires the State Department of Developmental Services to contract with regional centers to provide services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities. Under existing law, the regional centers purchase needed services for individuals with developmental disabilities through approved service providers or arrange for those services through other publicly funded agencies. Existing law requires a service agency, defined, in part, as a developmental center or regional center, to have a fair hearing procedure that meets prescribed requirements, including adequate notice standards and that if a fair hearing is requested, the claimant has the right to appear in person with counsel or with other representatives of the claimant’s choosing. Existing law requires the fair hearing to be held at a time and place reasonably convenient to the claimant and the authorized representative, as specified.
This bill would authorize a location for the above-described fair hearing to include a hearing by telephone, videoconference, or other electronic means, by agreement.

(10)

(12) The bill would also make nonsubstantive and conforming changes.

(11)

(13) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 52.1 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

52.1.
 (a) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act.
(b) If a person or persons, whether or not acting under color of law, interferes by threat, intimidation, or coercion, or attempts to interfere by threat, intimidation, or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual or individuals of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, the Attorney General, or any district attorney or city attorney may bring a civil action for injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief in the name of the people of the State of California, in order to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured. An action brought by the Attorney General, any district attorney, or any city attorney may also seek a civil penalty of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000). If this civil penalty is requested, it shall be assessed individually against each person who is determined to have violated this section and the penalty shall be awarded to each individual whose rights under this section are determined to have been violated.
(c) Any individual whose exercise or enjoyment of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, has been interfered with, or attempted to be interfered with, as described in subdivision (b). may institute and prosecute in their own name and on their own behalf a civil action for damages, including, but not limited to, damages under Section 52, injunctive relief, and other appropriate equitable relief to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured, including appropriate equitable and declaratory relief to eliminate a pattern or practice of conduct as described in subdivision (b).
(d) An action brought pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c) may be filed either in the superior court for the county in which the conduct complained of occurred or in the superior court for the county in which a person whose conduct complained of resides or has their place of business. An action brought by the Attorney General pursuant to subdivision (b) also may be filed in the superior court for any county wherein the Attorney General has an office, and in that case, the jurisdiction of the court shall extend throughout the state.
(e) If a court issues a temporary restraining order or a preliminary or permanent injunction in an action brought pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c), ordering a defendant to refrain from conduct or activities, the order issued shall include the following statement: VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIME PUNISHABLE UNDER SECTION 422.77 OF THE PENAL CODE.
(f) The court shall order the plaintiff or the attorney for the plaintiff to deliver, or the clerk of the court to mail, two copies of any order, extension, modification, or termination thereof granted pursuant to this section, by the close of the business day on which the order, extension, modification, or termination was granted, to each local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the residence of the plaintiff and any other locations where the court determines that acts of violence against the plaintiff are likely to occur. Those local law enforcement agencies shall be designated by the plaintiff or the attorney for the plaintiff. Each appropriate law enforcement agency receiving any order, extension, or modification of any order issued pursuant to this section shall serve forthwith one copy thereof upon the defendant. Each appropriate law enforcement agency shall provide to any law enforcement officer responding to the scene of reported violence, information as to the existence of, terms, and current status of, any order issued pursuant to this section.
(g) A court shall not have jurisdiction to issue an order or injunction under this section, if that order or injunction would be prohibited under Section 527.3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(h) An action brought pursuant to this section is independent of any other action, remedy, or procedure that may be available to an aggrieved individual under any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, an action, remedy, or procedure brought pursuant to Section 51.7.
(i) In addition to any damages, injunction, or other equitable relief awarded in an action brought pursuant to subdivision (c), the court may award the petitioner or plaintiff reasonable attorney’s fees.
(j) A violation of an order described in subdivision (e) may be punished either by prosecution under Section 422.77 of the Penal Code, or by a proceeding for contempt brought pursuant to Title 5 (commencing with Section 1209) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure. However, in any proceeding pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure, if it is determined that the person proceeded against is guilty of the contempt charged, in addition to any other relief, a fine may be imposed not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or the person may be ordered imprisoned in a county jail not exceeding six months, or the court may order both the imprisonment and fine.
(k) Speech alone is not sufficient to support an action brought pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c), except upon a showing that the speech itself threatens violence against a specific person or group of persons; and the person or group of persons against whom the threat is directed reasonably fears that, because of the speech, violence will be committed against them or their property and that the person threatening violence had the apparent ability to carry out the threat.
(l) No order issued in any proceeding brought pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c) shall restrict the content of any person’s speech. An order restricting the time, place, or manner of any person’s speech shall do so only to the extent reasonably necessary to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of constitutional or statutory rights, consistent with the constitutional rights of the person sought to be enjoined.
(m) The rights, penalties, remedies, forums, and procedures of this section shall not be waived by contract except as provided in Section 51.7.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2983.3 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

2983.3.
 (a) In the absence of default in the performance of any of the buyer’s obligations under the contract, the seller or holder may not accelerate the maturity of any part or all of the amount due thereunder or repossess the motor vehicle.
(b) If after default by the buyer, the seller or holder repossesses or voluntarily accepts surrender of the motor vehicle, any person liable on the contract shall have a right to reinstate the contract and the seller or holder shall not accelerate the maturity of any part or all of the contract prior to expiration of the right to reinstate, unless the seller or holder reasonably and in good faith determines that any of the following has occurred:
(1) The buyer or any other person liable on the contract by omission or commission intentionally provided false or misleading information of material importance on the buyer’s or other person’s credit application.
(2) The buyer, any other person liable on the contract, or any permissive user in possession of the motor vehicle, in order to avoid repossession has concealed the motor vehicle or removed it from the state.
(3) The buyer, any other person liable on the contract, or any permissive user in possession of the motor vehicle, has committed or threatens to commit acts of destruction, or has failed to take care of the motor vehicle in a reasonable manner, so that the motor vehicle has become substantially impaired in value, or the buyer, any other person liable on the contract, or any nonoccasional permissive user in possession of the motor vehicle has failed to take care of the motor vehicle in a reasonable manner, so that the motor vehicle may become substantially impaired in value.
(4) The buyer or any other person liable on the contract has committed, attempted to commit, or threatened to commit criminal acts of violence or bodily harm against an agent, employee, or officer of the seller or holder in connection with the seller’s or holder’s repossession of or attempt to repossess the motor vehicle.
(5) The buyer has knowingly used the motor vehicle, or has knowingly permitted it to be used, in connection with the commission of a criminal offense, other than an infraction, as a consequence of which the motor vehicle has been seized by a federal, state, or local agency or authority pursuant to federal, state, or local law.
(6) The motor vehicle has been seized by a federal, state, or local public agency or authority pursuant to (A) Section 1324 of Title 8 of the United States Code or Part 274 of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations, (B) Section 881 of Title 21 of the United States Code or Part 9 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or (C) other federal, state, or local law, including regulations, and, pursuant to that other law, the seizing authority, as a precondition to the return of the motor vehicle to the seller or holder, prohibits the return of the motor vehicle to the buyer or other person liable on the contract or any third person claiming the motor vehicle by or through them or otherwise effects or requires the termination of the property rights in the motor vehicle of the buyer or other person liable on the contract or claimants by or through them.
(c) Exercise of the right to reinstate the contract shall be limited to once in any 12-month period and twice during the term of the contract.
(d) The provisions of this subdivision cover the method by which a contract shall be reinstated with respect to curing events of default which were a ground for repossession or occurred subsequent to repossession:
(1) Where the default is the result of the buyer’s failure to make any payment due under the contract, the buyer or any other person liable on the contract shall make the defaulted payments and pay any applicable delinquency charges.
(2) Where the default is the result of the buyer’s failure to keep and maintain the motor vehicle free from all encumbrances and liens of every kind, the buyer or any other person liable on the contract shall either satisfy all encumbrances and liens or, in the event the seller or holder satisfies the encumbrances and liens, the buyer or any other person liable on the contract shall reimburse the seller or holder for all reasonable costs and expenses incurred therefor.
(3) Where the default is the result of the buyer’s failure to keep and maintain insurance on the motor vehicle, the buyer or any other person liable on the contract shall either obtain the insurance or, in the event the seller or holder has obtained the insurance, the buyer or any other person liable on the contract shall reimburse the seller or holder for premiums paid and all reasonable costs and expenses, including, but not limited to, any finance charge in connection with the premiums permitted by Section 2982.8, incurred therefor.
(4) Where the default is the result of the buyer’s failure to perform any other obligation under the contract, unless the seller or holder has made a good faith determination that the default is so substantial as to be incurable, the buyer or any other person liable on the contract shall either cure the default or, if the seller or holder has performed the obligation, reimburse the seller or holder for all reasonable costs and expenses incurred in connection therewith.
(5) Additionally, the buyer or any other person liable on the contract shall, in all cases, reimburse the seller or holder for all reasonable and necessary collection and repossession costs and fees actually paid by the seller or holder, including attorney’s fees and legal expenses expended in retaking and holding the vehicle.
(e) If the seller or holder denies the right to reinstatement under subdivision (b) or paragraph (4) of subdivision (d), the seller or holder shall have the burden of proof that the denial was justified in that it was reasonable and made in good faith. If the seller or holder fails to sustain the burden of proof, the seller or holder shall not be entitled to a deficiency, but it shall not be presumed that the buyer is entitled to damages by reason of the failure of the seller or holder to sustain the burden of proof.
(f) This section does not apply to a loan made by a lender licensed under Division 9 (commencing with Section 22000) of the Financial Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1245.020 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

1245.020.
 In any case in which the entry and activities mentioned in Section 1245.010 will subject the person having the power of eminent domain to liability under Section 1245.060, before making that entry and undertaking those activities, the person shall secure at least one of the following:
(a) The written consent of the owner to enter upon the owner’s property and to undertake those activities.
(b) An order for entry from the superior court in accordance with Section 1245. 030.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1245.060 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

1245.060.
 (a) If the entry and activities upon property cause actual damage to or substantial interference with the possession or use of the property, whether or not a claim has been presented in compliance with Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code, the owner may recover for that damage or interference in a civil action, as a defendant in an eminent domain action affecting the property, or by application to the court under subdivision (c).
(b) The prevailing claimant in an action or proceeding under this section shall be awarded the claimant’s costs and, if the court finds that any of the following occurred, the claimant’s litigation expenses incurred in proceedings under this article:
(1) The entry was unlawful.
(2) The entry was lawful but the activities upon the property were abusive or lacking in due regard for the interests of the owner.
(3) There was a failure substantially to comply with the terms of an order made under Section 1245.030 or 1245.040.
(c) If funds are on deposit under this article, upon application of the owner, the court shall determine and award the amount the owner is entitled to recover under this section and shall order that amount paid out of the funds on deposit. If the funds on deposit are insufficient to pay the full amount of the award, the court shall enter judgment for the unpaid portion. In a proceeding under this subdivision, the owner has a right to a jury trial, unless waived, on the amount of compensation for actual damage or substantial interference with the possession or use of the property.
(d) Nothing in this section affects the availability of any other remedy the owner may have for the damaging of the owner’s property.

SEC. 5.

 Section 1250.320 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

1250.320.
 (a) The answer shall include a statement of the nature and extent of the interest the defendant claims in the property described in the complaint.
(b) If the defendant seeks compensation provided in Article 6 (commencing with Section 1263.510) (goodwill) of Chapter 9, the answer shall include a statement that the defendant claims compensation under Section 1263.510, but the answer need not specify the amount of that compensation.
(c) If the defendant seeks compensation as provided in Article 1 (commencing with Section 1245.010) of Chapter 4, the answer shall include a statement that the defendant claims compensation under Section 1245.060, but need not specify the amount of that compensation.
(d) If the defendant seeks compensation for losses caused by the plaintiff’s unreasonable conduct prior to commencing the eminent domain proceeding, the answer shall include a statement that the defendant claims compensation for that loss, but need not specify the amount of the compensation.

SEC. 6.

 Section 1260.230 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

1260.230.
 As far as practicable, the trier of fact shall assess separately each of the following:
(a) Compensation for the property taken as required by Article 4 (commencing with Section 1263.310) of Chapter 9.
(b) When the property acquired is part of a larger parcel:
(1) The amount of the damage, if any, to the remainder as required by Article 5 (commencing with Section 1263.410) of Chapter 9.
(2) The amount of the benefit, if any, to the remainder as required by Article 5 (commencing with Section 1263.410) of Chapter 9.
(c) Compensation for loss of goodwill, if any, as required by Article 6 (commencing with Section 1263.510) of Chapter 9.
(d) Compensation claimed under subdivision (c) of Section 1250.320.
(e) Compensation claimed under subdivision (d) of Section 1250.320.

SEC. 7.

 Section 44944 of the Education Code is amended to read:

44944.
 (a) This section applies only to dismissal or suspension proceedings initiated pursuant to Section 44934.
(b) (1) (A) In a dismissal or suspension proceeding initiated pursuant to Section 44934, if a hearing is requested by the employee, the hearing shall be commenced within six months from the date of the employee’s demand for a hearing. A continuance shall not extend the date for the commencement of the hearing more than six months from the date of the employee’s request for a hearing, except for extraordinary circumstances, as determined by the administrative law judge. If extraordinary circumstances are found that extend the date for the commencement of the hearing, the deadline for concluding the hearing and closing the record pursuant to this subdivision shall be extended for a period of time equal to the continuance. The hearing date shall be established after consultation with the employee and the governing board of the school district, or their representatives, except that if the parties are not able to reach an agreement on a date, the Office of Administrative Hearings shall unilaterally set a date in compliance with this section. The hearing shall be completed by a closing of the record within seven months of the date of the employee’s demand for a hearing. A continuance shall not extend the date for the close of the record more than seven months from the date of the employee’s request for a hearing, except for good cause, as determined by the administrative law judge.
(B) If substantial progress has been made in completing the previously scheduled days of the hearing within the seven-month period but the hearing cannot be completed, for good cause shown, within the seven-month period, the period for completing the hearing may be extended by the presiding administrative law judge. If the administrative law judge grants a continuance under this subparagraph, the administrative law judge shall establish a reasonable timetable for the completion of the hearing and the closing of the record. The hearing shall be initiated and conducted, and a decision made, in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the Commission on Professional Competence shall have all of the power granted to an agency pursuant to that chapter, except as described in this article.
(2) (A) A witness shall not be permitted to testify at the hearing except upon oath or affirmation. Testimony shall not be given or evidence shall not be introduced relating to matters that occurred more than four years before the date of the filing of the notice, except in one of the following circumstances:
(i) Testimony or evidence regarding allegations of behavior or communication of a sexual nature with a pupil that is beyond the scope or requirements of the educational program, which may constitute misconduct, or an act described in Section 212.5, but not amounting to conduct described in clause (ii), may be introduced in a disciplinary proceeding based on similar conduct, where such allegations have been substantiated through an investigation or proceeding, or for which the employee was subject to discipline or other form of penalty.
(ii) Testimony or evidence regarding allegations of an act described in Section 288 of the Penal Code with respect to a pupil of any age, Section 288.3 of the Penal Code, Section 44010 of this code, or Sections 11165.2 to 11165.6, inclusive, of the Penal Code may be introduced in any disciplinary proceeding.
(B) Evidence of records regularly kept by the governing board of the school district concerning the employee may be introduced, but no decision relating to the dismissal or suspension of an employee shall be made based on charges or evidence of any nature relating to matters occurring more than four years before the filing of the notice, except as allowed pursuant to subparagraph (A).
(c) (1) The hearing provided for in this section shall be conducted by a Commission on Professional Competence, unless the parties submit a statement in writing to the Office of Administrative Hearings, indicating that both parties waive the right to convene a Commission on Professional Competence and stipulate to having the hearing conducted by a single administrative law judge. If the parties elect to waive a hearing before the Commission on Professional Competence, the hearing shall be initiated and conducted, and a decision made, in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and the administrative law judge conducting the hearing shall have all the powers granted to a Commission on Professional Competence pursuant to that chapter, except as described in this article.
(2) If the parties elect not to waive a hearing before a Commission on Professional Competence, one member of the commission shall be selected by the employee, one member shall be selected by the governing board of the school district, and one member shall be an administrative law judge of the Office of Administrative Hearings who shall be chairperson and a voting member of the commission and shall be responsible for assuring that the legal rights of the parties are protected at the hearing.
(3) The governing board of the school district and the employee shall select Commission on Professional Competence members no later than 45 days before the date set for hearing, and shall serve notice of their selection upon all other parties and upon the Office of Administrative Hearings. Failure to meet this deadline shall constitute a waiver of the right to selection, and the county board of education or its specific designee shall immediately make the selection. If the county board of education is also the governing board of the school district or has by statute been granted the powers of a governing board, the selection shall be made by the Superintendent, who shall be reimbursed by the school district for all costs incident to the selection.
(4) Any party who believes that a selected Commission on Professional Competence member is not qualified may file an objection, including a statement describing the basis for the objection, with the Office of Administrative Hearings and serve the objection and statement upon all other parties within 10 days of the date that the notice of selection is filed. Within seven days after the filing of any objection, the administrative law judge assigned to the matter shall rule on the objection or convene a teleconference with the parties for argument.
(5) (A) The member selected by the governing board of the school district and the member selected by the employee shall not be related to the employee and shall not be employees of the school district initiating the dismissal or suspension. Each member shall hold a currently valid credential and have at least three years’ experience within the past 10 years in the discipline of the employee.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, the following terms have the following meanings:
(i) For an employee subject to dismissal whose most recent teaching assignment is in kindergarten or any of the grades 1 to 6, inclusive, “discipline” means a teaching assignment in kindergarten or any of the grades 1 to 6, inclusive.
(ii) For an employee subject to dismissal whose most recent assignment requires an education specialist credential or a services credential, “discipline” means an assignment that requires an education specialist credential or a services credential, respectively.
(iii) For an employee subject to dismissal whose most recent teaching assignment is in any of the grades 7 to 12, inclusive, “discipline” means a teaching assignment in any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, in the same area of study, as that term is used in Section 51220, as the most recent teaching assignment of the employee subject to dismissal.
(d) (1) The decision of the Commission on Professional Competence shall be made by a majority vote, and the commission shall prepare a written decision containing findings of fact, determinations of issues, and a disposition that shall be, solely, one of the following:
(A) That the employee should be dismissed.
(B) That the employee should be suspended for a specific period of time without pay.
(C) That the employee should not be dismissed or suspended.
(2) The decision of the Commission on Professional Competence that the employee should not be dismissed or suspended shall not be based on nonsubstantive procedural errors committed by the school district or governing board of the school district unless the errors are prejudicial errors.
(3) The Commission on Professional Competence shall not have the power to dispose of the charge of dismissal by imposing probation or other alternative sanctions. The imposition of suspension pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) shall be available only in a suspension proceeding authorized pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 44932 or Section 44933.
(4) The decision of the Commission on Professional Competence shall be deemed to be the final decision of the governing board of the school district.
(5) The governing board of the school district may adopt from time to time rules and procedures not inconsistent with this section as may be necessary to effectuate this section.
(6) The governing board of the school district and the employee shall have the right to be represented by counsel.
(e) (1) If the member selected by the governing board of the school district or the member selected by the employee is employed by any school district in this state, the member shall, during any service on a Commission on Professional Competence, continue to receive salary, fringe benefits, accumulated sick leave, and other leaves and benefits from the school district in which the member is employed, but shall not receive additional compensation or honorariums for service on the commission.
(2) If the member selected is a retired employee, the member shall receive pay at the daily substitute teacher rate in the school district that is a party to the hearing. Service on a Commission on Professional Competence shall not be credited toward retirement benefits.
(3) If service on a Commission on Professional Competence occurs during summer recess or vacation periods, the member shall receive compensation proportionate to that received during the current or immediately preceding contract period from the member’s employing school district, whichever amount is greater.
(f) (1) If the Commission on Professional Competence determines that the employee should be dismissed or suspended, the governing board of the school district and the state shall share equally the expenses of the hearing, including the cost of the administrative law judge. The state shall pay any costs incurred under paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (e), the reasonable expenses, as determined by the administrative law judge, of the member selected by the governing board of the school district and the member selected by the employee, including, but not limited to, payments or obligations incurred for travel, meals, and lodging, and the cost of the substitute or substitutes, if any, for the member selected by the governing board of the school district and the member selected by the employee. The Controller shall pay all claims submitted pursuant to this paragraph from the General Fund, and may prescribe reasonable rules, regulations, and forms for the submission of the claims. The employee and the governing board of the school district shall pay their own attorney’s fees.
(2) If the Commission on Professional Competence determines that the employee should not be dismissed or suspended, the governing board of the school district shall pay the expenses of the hearing, including the cost of the administrative law judge, any costs incurred under paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (e), the reasonable expenses, as determined by the administrative law judge, of the member selected by the governing board of the school district and the member selected by the employee, including, but not limited to, payments or obligations incurred for travel, meals, and lodging, the cost of the substitute or substitutes, if any, for the member selected by the governing board of the school district and the member selected by the employee, and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the employee.
(3) As used in this section, “reasonable expenses” shall not be deemed “compensation” within the meaning of subdivision (e).
(4) If either the governing board of the school district or the employee petitions a court of competent jurisdiction for review of the decision of the Commission on Professional Competence, the payment of expenses to members of the commission required by this subdivision shall not be stayed.
(5) If the decision of the Commission on Professional Competence is reversed or vacated by a court of competent jurisdiction, either the state, having paid the commission members’ expenses, shall be entitled to reimbursement from the governing board of the school district for those expenses, or the governing board of the school district, having paid the expenses, shall be entitled to reimbursement from the state. If either the governing board of the school district or the employee petitions a court of competent jurisdiction for review of the decision to overturn the administrative law judge’s decision, the payment of the expenses of the hearing, including the cost of the administrative law judge required by this paragraph, shall be stayed until no further appeal is sought, or all appeals are exhausted.
(g) (1) The hearing provided for in this section shall be conducted in a place selected by agreement among the members of the Commission on Professional Competence. In the absence of agreement, the place shall be selected by the administrative law judge.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the parties may agree to hold the hearing by telephone, videoconference, or other electronic means.

SEC. 8.

 Section 22329 of the Financial Code is amended to read:

22329.
 (a) This section applies to a loan secured in whole or in part by a lien on a motor vehicle as defined by subdivision (k) of Section 2981 of the Civil Code.
(b) In the absence of default in the performance of any of the borrower’s obligations under the loan, the licensee may not accelerate the maturity of any part or all of the amount due thereunder or repossess the motor vehicle.
(c) If, after default by the borrower, the licensee repossesses or voluntarily accepts surrender of the motor vehicle, any person liable on the loan shall have a right to reinstate the loan and the licensee shall not accelerate the maturity of any part or all of the loan prior to the expiration of the right to reinstate, unless the licensee reasonably and in good faith determines that:
(1) The borrower or any other person liable on the loan by omission or commission intentionally provided false or misleading information of material importance on their credit application.
(2) The borrower or any other person liable on the loan has concealed the motor vehicle or removed it from the state in order to avoid repossession.
(3) The borrower or any other person liable on the loan has committed or threatens to commit acts of destruction, or has failed to take care of the motor vehicle in a reasonable manner, so that the motor vehicle has or may become substantially impaired in value.
(d) Exercise of the right to reinstate the loan shall be limited to once in any 12-month period and twice during the term of the loan.
(e) The provisions of this subdivision shall govern the method by which a loan shall be reinstated with respect to curing events of default that were grounds for repossession or that occurred subsequent to repossession.
(1) When the default is the result of the borrower’s failure to make any payment due under the loan, the borrower or any other person liable on the loan shall make the defaulted payments and pay any applicable delinquency charges.
(2) When the default is the result of the borrower’s failure to keep and maintain the motor vehicle free from all encumbrances and liens of every kind, the borrower or any person liable on the loan shall either satisfy all the encumbrances and liens or, in the event the licensee satisfies the encumbrances and liens, the borrower or any other person liable on the loan shall reimburse the licensee for all reasonable costs and expenses incurred therefor.
(3) When the default is the result of the borrower’s failure to keep and maintain insurance on the motor vehicle, the borrower or any other person liable on the loan shall either obtain the insurance or, in the event the licensee has obtained the insurance, the borrower or any other person liable on the loan shall reimburse the licensee for premiums paid and all reasonable costs and expenses incurred therefor.
(4) When the default is the result of the borrower’s failure to perform any other obligation under the loan, unless the licensee has made a good faith determination that the default is so substantial as to be incurable, the borrower or any other person liable on the loan shall reimburse the licensee for all reasonable costs and expenses incurred therefor.
(5) Additionally, the borrower or any other person liable on the loan shall reimburse the licensee for actual and necessary fees in an amount not exceeding the amount specified in subdivision (e) of Section 22202 paid in connection with the repossession of a motor vehicle to a repossession agency licensed pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 7500) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, and actual fees in conformity with Sections 26751 and 41612 of the Government Code in an amount not exceeding the amount specified in those sections of the Government Code.
(f) If the licensee denies the right to reinstatement under subdivision (c) or paragraph (4) of subdivision (e), the licensee shall have the burden of proof that the denial was justified in that it was reasonable and made in good faith. If the licensee fails to sustain the burden of proof, the licensee shall not be entitled to a deficiency.

SEC. 9.

 Section 11425.20 of the Government Code is amended to read:

11425.20.
 (a) A hearing shall be open to public observation. This subdivision shall not limit the authority of the presiding officer to order closure of a hearing or make other protective orders to the extent necessary or proper for any of the following purposes:
(1) To satisfy the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, federal or state statute, or other law, including, but not limited to, laws protecting privileged, confidential, or other protected information.
(2) To ensure a fair hearing in the circumstances of the particular case.
(3) To conduct the hearing, including the manner of examining witnesses, in a way that is appropriate to protect a minor witness or a witness with a developmental disability, as defined in Section 4512 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, from intimidation or other harm, taking into account the rights of all persons.
(b) To the extent a hearing is conducted by telephone, television, or other electronic means, and is not closed as otherwise required by law, the requirement that the meeting is open to public observation pursuant to subdivision (a) is satisfied if members of the public have an opportunity to do both of the following:
(1) At reasonable times, hear or inspect the agency’s record, and inspect any transcript obtained by the agency.
(2) Be physically present at the place where the presiding officer is conducting the hearing, unless the presiding officer is conducting the hearing from a private home or other location not normally accessible to the public. If the presiding officer conducts the hearing from a private home or other location not normally accessible to the public, a location shall be designated from which members of the public can observe the hearing or a live audio or video feed of the hearing shall be made available to the public on the internet.
(c) This section does not apply to a prehearing conference, settlement conference, or proceedings for alternative dispute resolution other than binding arbitration.

SEC. 10.

 Section 11440.20 of the Government Code is amended to read:

11440.20.
 Service of a writing or electronic document on, or giving of a notice to, a person in a procedure provided in this chapter is subject to the following provisions:
(a) The writing, electronic document, or notice shall be delivered personally or sent by mail, electronic, or other means to the person at the person’s last known address or, if the person is a party with an attorney or other authorized representative of record in the proceeding, to the party’s attorney or other authorized representative. If a party is required by statute or regulation to maintain an address with an agency, the party’s last known address is the address maintained with the agency.
(b) Unless a provision specifies the form of mail, service or notice by mail may be by first-class mail, registered mail, or certified mail, by mail delivery service, by facsimile transmission if complete and without error, or by other electronic means as provided by regulation, in the discretion of the sender.

SEC. 11.

 Section 11507.6 of the Government Code is amended to read:

11507.6.
 After initiation of a proceeding in which a respondent or other party is entitled to a hearing on the merits, a party, upon written request made to another party, prior to the hearing and within 30 days after service by the agency of the initial pleading or within 15 days after the service of an additional pleading, is entitled to (1) obtain the names and addresses of witnesses to the extent known to the other party, including, but not limited to, those intended to be called to testify at the hearing, and (2) inspect and make a copy of any of the following in the possession or custody or under the control of the other party:
(a) A statement of a person, other than the respondent, named in the initial administrative pleading, or in any additional pleading, when it is claimed that the act or omission of the respondent as to this person is the basis for the administrative proceeding;
(b) A statement pertaining to the subject matter of the proceeding made by any party to another party or person;
(c) Statements of witnesses then proposed to be called by the party and of other persons having personal knowledge of the acts, omissions or events which are the basis for the proceeding, not included in (a) or (b) above;
(d) All writings, including, but not limited to, reports of mental, physical and blood examinations and things which the party then proposes to offer in evidence;
(e) Any other writing or thing which is relevant and which would be admissible in evidence;
(f) Investigative reports made by or on behalf of the agency or other party pertaining to the subject matter of the proceeding, to the extent that these reports (1) contain the names and addresses of witnesses or of persons having personal knowledge of the acts, omissions or events which are the basis for the proceeding, or (2) reflect matters perceived by the investigator in the course of their investigation, or (3) contain or include by attachment any statement or writing described in (a) to (e), inclusive, or summary thereof.
For the purpose of this section, “statements” include written statements by the person signed or otherwise authenticated by the person, stenographic, mechanical, electrical or other recordings, or transcripts thereof, of oral statements by the person, and written reports or summaries of these oral statements.
Nothing in this section shall authorize the inspection or copying of any writing or thing which is privileged from disclosure by law or otherwise made confidential or protected as the attorney’s work product.
Discovery of all categories of evidence specified in this section may be conducted electronically by means prescribed by an administrative law judge.

SEC. 12.

 Section 11508 of the Government Code is amended to read:

11508.
 (a) The agency shall consult the office, and subject to the availability of its staff, shall determine the time and place of the hearing. The hearing shall be held at a hearing facility maintained by the office in Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, or San Diego and shall be held at the facility that is closest to the location where the transaction occurred or the respondent resides.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the hearing may be held at any of the following places:
(1) A place selected by the agency that is closer to the location where the transaction occurred or the respondent resides.
(2) A place within the state selected by agreement of the parties.
(3) Virtually by telephone, videoconference, or other electronic means.
(c) The respondent may move for, and the administrative law judge has discretion to grant or deny, a change in the place of the hearing. A motion for a change in the place of the hearing shall be made within 10 days after service of the notice of hearing on the respondent.
(d) Unless good cause is identified in writing by the administrative law judge, hearings shall be held in a facility maintained by the office.

SEC. 13.

 Section 12935 of the Government Code is amended to read:

12935.
 The council shall have the following functions, powers, and duties:
(a) To adopt, promulgate, amend, and rescind suitable rules, regulations, and standards that do either of the following:
(1) Interpret, implement, and apply all provisions of this part, Article 9.5 (commencing with Section 11135) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of this code, Sections 51, 51.5, 51.7, 54, 54.1, and 54.2 of the Civil Code, and Section 1197.5 of the Labor Code.
(A) As of January 1, 2017, Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 98000), Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 98100), and Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 98200) of Division 8 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations shall be transferred from the portion of the California Code of Regulations that is under the authority of the California Health and Human Services Agency to the portion of the California Code of Regulations that is under the authority of the department, and upon transfer shall be deemed adopted by the council.
(B) The council shall, within existing resources and pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340), adopt additional regulations, as necessary, and amend or repeal, as necessary, regulations transferred to the department from the California Health and Human Services Agency relating to Article 9.5 (commencing with Section 11135) of Chapter 1 of Part 1.
(2) Carry out all other functions and duties of the council pursuant to this part.
(b) To meet at any place within the state and function in any office of the department.
(c) To create or provide technical assistance to any advisory agencies and conciliation councils, local or otherwise, as in its judgment will aid in effectuating the purposes of this part, and to empower them to study the problems of discrimination in all or specific fields of human relationships or in particular instances of employment discrimination on the bases enumerated in this part or in specific instances of housing discrimination on the bases enumerated in this part and to foster, through community effort or otherwise, good will, cooperation, and conciliation among the groups and elements of the population of the state and to make recommendations to the Fair Employment and Housing Council for the development of policies and procedures in general except for procedural rules and regulations that carry out the investigation, prosecution, and dispute resolution functions and duties of the department. These advisory agencies and conciliation councils shall be composed of representative citizens, serving without pay.
(d) To hold hearings, issue publications, results of inquiries and research, and reports to the Governor and the Legislature that, in its judgment, will tend to aid in effectuating the purpose of this part, promote good will, cooperation and conciliation, and minimize or eliminate unlawful discrimination, or advance civil rights in the State of California.

SEC. 14.Section 68154 is added to the Government Code, to read:
68154.

The public shall not be prohibited from duplicating audio or video footage from a streaming court proceeding that is accessible by the public, unless that proceeding is closed to the public pursuant to California Rule of Court 2.551.

SEC. 14.

 Section 12945.2 of the Government Code is amended to read:

12945.2.
 (a) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for any employer, as defined in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b), to refuse to grant a request by any employee with more than 12 months of service with the employer, and who has at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period or who meets the requirements of subdivision (r), to take up to a total of 12 workweeks in any 12-month period for family care and medical leave. Family care and medical leave requested pursuant to this subdivision shall not be deemed to have been granted unless the employer provides the employee, upon granting the leave request, a guarantee of employment in the same or a comparable position upon the termination of the leave. The council shall adopt a regulation specifying the elements of a reasonable request.
(b) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Child” means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, a child of a domestic partner, or a person to whom the employee stands in loco parentis.
(2) “Domestic partner” has the same meaning as defined in Section 297 of the Family Code.
(3) “Employer” means either of the following:
(A) Any person who directly employs five or more persons to perform services for a wage or salary.
(B) The state, and any political or civil subdivision of the state and cities.
(4) “Family care and medical leave” means any of the following:
(A) Leave for reason of the birth of a child of the employee or the placement of a child with an employee in connection with the adoption or foster care of the child by the employee.
(B) Leave to care for a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner who has a serious health condition.
(C) Leave because of an employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of that employee, except for leave taken for disability on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
(D) Leave because of a qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent in the Armed Forces of the United States, as specified in Section 3302.2 of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
(5) “Employment in the same or a comparable position” means employment in a position that has the same or similar duties and pay that can be performed at the same or similar geographic location as the position held prior to the leave.
(6) “FMLA” means the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-3).
(7) “Grandchild” means a child of the employee’s child.
(8) “Grandparent” means a parent of the employee’s parent.
(9) “Health care provider” means any of the following:
(A) An individual holding either a physician’s and surgeon’s certificate issued pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 2080) of Chapter 5 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, an osteopathic physician’s and surgeon’s certificate issued pursuant to Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 2099.5) of Chapter 5 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, or an individual duly licensed as a physician, surgeon, or osteopathic physician or surgeon in another state or jurisdiction, who directly treats or supervises the treatment of the serious health condition.
(B) Any other person determined by the United States Secretary of Labor to be capable of providing health care services under the FMLA.
(10) “Parent” means a biological, foster, or adoptive parent, a parent-in-law, a stepparent, a legal guardian, or other person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a child.
(11) “Parent-in-law” means the parent of a spouse or domestic partner.
(12) “Serious health condition” means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either of the following:
(A) Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility.
(B) Continuing treatment or continuing supervision by a health care provider.
(13) “Sibling” means a person related to another person by blood, adoption, or affinity through a common legal or biological parent.
(c) An employer shall not be required to pay an employee for any leave taken pursuant to subdivision (a), except as required by subdivision (d).
(d) An employee taking a leave permitted by subdivision (a) may elect, or an employer may require the employee, to substitute, for leave allowed under subdivision (a), any of the employee’s accrued vacation leave or other accrued time off during this period or any other paid or unpaid time off negotiated with the employer. If an employee takes a leave because of the employee’s own serious health condition, the employee may also elect, or the employer may also require the employee, to substitute accrued sick leave during the period of the leave. However, an employee shall not use sick leave during a period of leave in connection with the birth, adoption, or foster care of a child, or to care for a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner with a serious health condition, unless mutually agreed to by the employer and the employee.
(e) (1) During any period that an eligible employee takes leave pursuant to subdivision (a) or takes leave that qualifies as leave taken under the FMLA, the employer shall maintain and pay for coverage under a “group health plan,” as defined in Section 5000(b)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code, for the duration of the leave, not to exceed 12 workweeks in a 12-month period, commencing on the date leave taken under the FMLA commences, at the level and under the conditions coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued in employment continuously for the duration of the leave. Nothing in the preceding sentence shall preclude an employer from maintaining and paying for coverage under a “group health plan” beyond 12 workweeks. An employer may recover the premium that the employer paid as required by this subdivision for maintaining coverage for the employee under the group health plan if both of the following conditions occur:
(A) The employee fails to return from leave after the period of leave to which the employee is entitled has expired.
(B) The employee’s failure to return from leave is for a reason other than the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition that entitles the employee to leave under subdivision (a) or other circumstances beyond the control of the employee.
(2) Any employee taking leave pursuant to subdivision (a) shall continue to be entitled to participate in employee health plans for any period during which coverage is not provided by the employer under paragraph (1), employee benefit plans, including life insurance or short-term or long-term disability or accident insurance, pension and retirement plans, and supplemental unemployment benefit plans to the same extent and under the same conditions as apply to an unpaid leave taken for any purpose other than those described in subdivision (a). In the absence of these conditions an employee shall continue to be entitled to participate in these plans and, in the case of health and welfare employee benefit plans, including life insurance or short-term or long-term disability or accident insurance, or other similar plans, the employer may, at the employer’s discretion, require the employee to pay premiums, at the group rate, during the period of leave not covered by any accrued vacation leave, or other accrued time off, or any other paid or unpaid time off negotiated with the employer, as a condition of continued coverage during the leave period. However, the nonpayment of premiums by an employee shall not constitute a break in service, for purposes of longevity, seniority under any collective bargaining agreement, or any employee benefit plan.
For purposes of pension and retirement plans, an employer shall not be required to make plan payments for an employee during the leave period, and the leave period shall not be required to be counted for purposes of time accrued under the plan. However, an employee covered by a pension plan may continue to make contributions in accordance with the terms of the plan during the period of the leave.
(f) During a family care and medical leave period, the employee shall retain employee status with the employer, and the leave shall not constitute a break in service, for purposes of longevity, seniority under any collective bargaining agreement, or any employee benefit plan. An employee returning from leave shall return with no less seniority than the employee had when the leave commenced, for purposes of layoff, recall, promotion, job assignment, and seniority-related benefits such as vacation.
(g) If the employee’s need for a leave pursuant to this section is foreseeable, the employee shall provide the employer with reasonable advance notice of the need for the leave.
(h) If the employee’s need for leave pursuant to this section is foreseeable due to a planned medical treatment or supervision, the employee shall make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment or supervision to avoid disruption to the operations of the employer, subject to the approval of the health care provider of the individual requiring the treatment or supervision.
(i) (1) An employer may require that an employee’s request for leave to care for a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner who has a serious health condition be supported by a certification issued by the health care provider of the individual requiring care. That certification shall be sufficient if it includes all of the following:
(A) The date on which the serious health condition commenced.
(B) The probable duration of the condition.
(C) An estimate of the amount of time that the health care provider believes the employee needs to care for the individual requiring the care.
(D) A statement that the serious health condition warrants the participation of a family member to provide care during a period of the treatment or supervision of the individual requiring care.
(2) Upon expiration of the time estimated by the health care provider in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1), the employer may require the employee to obtain recertification, in accordance with the procedure provided in paragraph (1), if additional leave is required.
(j) (1) An employer may require that an employee’s request for leave because of the employee’s own serious health condition be supported by a certification issued by the employee’s health care provider. That certification shall be sufficient if it includes all of the following:
(A) The date on which the serious health condition commenced.
(B) The probable duration of the condition.
(C) A statement that, due to the serious health condition, the employee is unable to perform the function of the employee’s position.
(2) The employer may require that the employee obtain subsequent recertification regarding the employee’s serious health condition on a reasonable basis, in accordance with the procedure provided in paragraph (1), if additional leave is required.
(3) (A) In any case in which the employer has reason to doubt the validity of the certification provided pursuant to this section, the employer may require, at the employer’s expense, that the employee obtain the opinion of a second health care provider, designated or approved by the employer, concerning any information certified under paragraph (1).
(B) The health care provider designated or approved under subparagraph (A) shall not be employed on a regular basis by the employer.
(C) In any case in which the second opinion described in subparagraph (A) differs from the opinion in the original certification, the employer may require, at the employer’s expense, that the employee obtain the opinion of a third health care provider, designated or approved jointly by the employer and the employee, concerning the information certified under paragraph (1).
(D) The opinion of the third health care provider concerning the information certified under paragraph (1) shall be considered to be final and shall be binding on the employer and the employee.
(4) As a condition of an employee’s return from leave taken because of the employee’s own serious health condition, the employer may have a uniformly applied practice or policy that requires the employee to obtain certification from the employee’s health care provider that the employee is able to resume work. Nothing in this paragraph shall supersede a valid collective bargaining agreement that governs the return to work of that employee.
(k) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to hire, or to discharge, fine, suspend, expel, or discriminate against, any individual because of any of the following:
(1) An individual’s exercise of the right to family care and medical leave provided by subdivision (a).
(2) An individual’s giving information or testimony as to the individual’s own family care and medical leave, or another person’s family care and medical leave, in any inquiry or proceeding related to rights guaranteed under this section.
(l) This section shall not be construed to require any changes in existing collective bargaining agreements during the life of the contract, or until January 1, 1993, whichever occurs first.
(m) The amendments made to this section by Chapter 827 of the Statutes of 1993 shall not be construed to require any changes in existing collective bargaining agreements during the life of the contract, or until February 5, 1994, whichever occurs first.
(n) This section shall be construed as separate and distinct from Section 12945.
(o) Leave provided for pursuant to this section may be taken in one or more periods. The 12-month period during which 12 workweeks of leave may be taken under this section shall run concurrently with the 12-month period under the FMLA, and shall commence the date leave taken under the FMLA commences.
(p) Leave taken by an employee pursuant to this section shall run concurrently with leave taken pursuant to the FMLA, except for any leave taken under the FMLA for disability on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The aggregate amount of leave taken under this section or the FMLA, or both, except for leave taken for disability on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, shall not exceed 12 workweeks in a 12-month period. An employee is entitled to take, in addition to the leave provided for under this section and the FMLA, the leave provided for in Section 12945, if the employee is otherwise qualified for that leave.
(q) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any right provided under this section.
(r) (1) An employee employed by an air carrier as a flight deck or cabin crew member meets the eligibility requirements specified in subdivision (a) if all of the following requirements are met:
(A) The employee has 12 months or more of service with the employer.
(B) The employee has worked or been paid for 60 percent of the applicable monthly guarantee, or the equivalent annualized over the preceding 12-month period.
(C) The employee has worked or been paid for a minimum of 504 hours during the preceding 12-month period.
(2) As used in this subdivision, the term “applicable monthly guarantee” means both of the following:
(A) For employees described in this subdivision other than employees on reserve status, the minimum number of hours for which an employer has agreed to schedule such those employees for any given month.
(B) For employees described in this subdivision who are on reserve status, the number of hours for which an employer has agreed to pay such those employees on reserve status for any given month, as established in the collective bargaining agreement or, if none exists, in the employer’s policies.
(3) The department may provide, by regulation, a method for calculating the leave described in subdivision (a) with respect to employees described in this subdivision.

(s)This section shall become operative on January 1, 2021.

SEC. 15.

 Section 19242 of the Government Code, as amended by Section 6 of Chapter 367 of the Statutes of 2020, is amended to read:

19242.
 (a) The department or its designee shall conduct competitive examinations to determine the qualifications and readiness of persons with disabilities for state employment. The examinations may include an on-the-job-performance evaluation and any other selection techniques deemed appropriate.
(b) (1) The department or its designee shall permit a person with a developmental disability to choose to complete a written examination or readiness evaluation, or to complete an internship, as described in this paragraph, in order to qualify for service in a position under the Limited Examination and Appointment Program. The use of an internship as a competitive examination of a person with a developmental disability shall consist of both of the following:
(A) Successful completion of an internship with a state agency of at least 512 hours in duration.
(B) Certification by the state agency that the employee has completed the internship and has demonstrated the skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary to successfully perform the requirements of the position.
(2) A person with a developmental disability who successfully completes the examination or internship required by this subdivision is deemed to meet the minimum qualifications, as determined by the board, for the position in which the internship was performed.
(c) Examination results may be ranked or unranked.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 16.

 Section 19242 of the Government Code, as amended by Section 7 of Chapter 367 of the Statutes of 2020, is amended to read:

19242.
 (a) The department or its designee shall conduct competitive examinations to determine the qualifications and readiness of persons with disabilities for state employment. The examinations may include an on-the-job-performance evaluation and any other selection techniques deemed appropriate. Examination results may be ranked or unranked.
(b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2022. January 1, 2023.

SEC. 15.SEC. 17.

 Section 13009 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

13009.
 (a) Any person (1) who negligently, or in violation of the law, sets a fire, allows a fire to be set, or allows a fire kindled or attended by the person to escape onto any public or private property, (2) other than a mortgagee, who, being in actual possession of a structure, fails or refuses to correct, within the time allotted for correction, despite having the right to do so, a fire hazard prohibited by law, for which a public agency properly has issued a notice of violation respecting the hazard, or (3) including a mortgagee, who, having an obligation under other provisions of law to correct a fire hazard prohibited by law, for which a public agency has properly issued a notice of violation respecting the hazard, fails or refuses to correct the hazard within the time allotted for correction, despite having the right to do so, is liable for the fire suppression costs incurred in fighting the fire and for the cost of providing rescue or emergency medical services, and those costs shall be a charge against that person. The charge shall constitute a debt of that person, and is collectible by the person, or by the federal, state, county, public, or private agency, incurring those costs in the same manner as in the case of an obligation under a contract, expressed or implied.
(b) Public agencies participating in fire suppression, rescue, or emergency medical services as set forth in subdivision (a), may designate one or more of the participating agencies to bring an action to recover costs incurred by all of the participating agencies. An agency designated by the other participating agencies to bring an action pursuant to this section shall declare that authorization and its basis in the complaint, and shall itemize in the complaint the total amounts claimed under this section by each represented agency.
(c) Any costs incurred by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in suppressing any wildland fire originating or spreading from a prescribed burning operation conducted by the department pursuant to a contract entered into pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 4475) of Chapter 7 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code shall not be collectible from any party to the contract as provided in subdivision (a), to the extent that those costs were not incurred as a result of a violation of any provision of the contract.
(d) This section applies to all areas of the state, regardless of whether primarily wildlands, sparsely developed, or urban.
(e) The statute of limitations applicable to an action brought pursuant to this section is that set forth in Section 338 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

SEC. 16.SEC. 18.

 Section 13009.1 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

13009.1.
 (a) Any person (1) who negligently, or in violation of the law, sets a fire, allows a fire to be set, or allows a fire kindled or attended by the person to escape onto any public or private property, (2) other than a mortgagee, who, being in actual possession of a structure, fails or refuses to correct, within the time allotted for correction, despite having the right to do so, a fire hazard prohibited by law, for which a public agency properly has issued a notice of violation respecting the hazard, or (3) including a mortgagee, who, having an obligation under other provisions of law to correct a fire hazard prohibited by law, for which a public agency properly has issued a notice of violation respecting the hazard, fails or refuses to correct the hazard within the time allotted for correction, despite having the right to do so, is liable for both of the following:
(1) The cost of investigating and making any reports with respect to the fire.
(2) The costs relating to accounting for that fire and the collection of any funds pursuant to Section 13009, including, but not limited to, the administrative costs of operating a fire suppression cost recovery program. The liability imposed pursuant to this paragraph is limited to the actual amount expended that is attributable to the fire.
(b) In any civil action brought for the recovery of costs provided in this section, the court in its discretion may impose the amount of liability for costs described in subdivision (a).
(c) The burden of proof as to liability shall be on the plaintiff and shall be by a preponderance of the evidence in an action alleging that the defendant is liable for costs pursuant to this section. The burden of proof as to the amount of costs recoverable shall be on the plaintiff and shall be by a preponderance of the evidence in any action brought pursuant to this section.
(d) Any testimony, admission, or any other statement made by the defendant in any proceeding brought pursuant to this section, or any evidence derived from the testimony, admission, or other statement, shall not be admitted or otherwise used in any criminal proceeding arising out of the same conduct.
(e) The liability constitutes a debt of that person and is collectible by the person, or by the federal, state, county, public, or private agency, incurring those costs in the same manner as in the case of an obligation under a contract, expressed or implied.
(f) This section applies in all areas of the state, regardless of whether primarily wildlands, sparsely developed, or urban.
(g) The statute of limitations applicable to an action brought pursuant to this section is that set forth in Section 338 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

SEC. 17.SEC. 19.

 Section 10139 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10139.
 The transferee shall retain, for three years after the date of the last payment under the structured settlement agreement, or for five years after the date of the transfer, whichever date is later, a copy of the transferee’s petition for approval filed pursuant to Section 10139.5, a copy of the written disclosure statement required by subdivision (b) of Section 10136, a copy of the transfer agreement as defined in subdivision (o) of Section 10134, and, unless excepted pursuant to subparagraph (H) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 10139.5, a copy of the annuity contract, any qualified assignment agreement, the underlying structured settlement agreement, or any order or approval of any court or responsible administrative authority authorizing or approving the structured settlement, and a copy and proof of notice to the interested parties, and a verified statement from the transferee stating that all of the conditions set forth in Sections 10136, 10137, and 10138 have been met.

SEC. 20.

 Section 1000.7 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

1000.7.
 (a) The following counties may establish a pilot program pursuant to this section to operate a deferred entry of judgment pilot program for eligible defendants described in subdivision (b):
(1) County of Alameda.
(2) County of Butte.
(3) County of Napa.
(4) County of Nevada.
(5) County of Santa Clara.
(6) County of Ventura.
(b) A defendant may participate in a deferred entry of judgment pilot program within the county’s juvenile hall if that person is charged with committing a felony offense, other than the offenses listed under subdivision (d), pleads guilty to the charge or charges, and the probation department determines that the person meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Is 18 years of age or older, but under 21 years of age on the date the offense was committed. A defendant who is 21 years of age or older, but under 25 years of age on the date the offense was committed, may participate in the program with the approval of the multidisciplinary team established pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (m).
(2) Is suitable for the program after evaluation using a risk assessment tool, as described in subdivision (c).
(3) Shows the ability to benefit from services generally reserved for delinquents, including, but not limited to, cognitive behavioral therapy, other mental health services, and age-appropriate educational, vocational, and supervision services, that are currently deployed under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
(4) Meets the rules of the juvenile hall developed in accordance with the applicable regulations set forth in Title 15 of the California Code of Regulations.
(5) Does not have a prior or current conviction for committing an offense listed under subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7 or subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, or subdivision (b) of Section 707 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(6) Is not required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section 290) of Title 9 of Part 1.
(c) The probation department, in consultation with the superior court, district attorney, and sheriff of the county or the governmental body charged with operating the county jail, shall develop an evaluation process using a risk assessment tool to determine eligibility for the program.
(d) A defendant is not eligible for the program if the defendant is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section 290) of Title 9 of Part 1 or has been convicted of one or more of the following offenses:
(1) An offense listed under subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7.
(2) An offense listed under subdivision (c) of Section 667.5.
(3) An offense listed under subdivision (b) of Section 707 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(e) The court shall grant deferred entry of judgment if an eligible defendant consents to participate in the program, waives the right to a speedy trial or a speedy preliminary hearing, pleads guilty to the charge or charges, and waives time for the pronouncement of judgment.
(f) (1) If the probation department determines that the defendant is not eligible for the deferred entry of judgment pilot program or the defendant does not consent to participate in the program, the proceedings shall continue as in any other case.
(2) If it appears to the probation department that the defendant is performing unsatisfactorily in the program as a result of the commission of a new crime or the violation of any of the rules of the juvenile hall, or that the defendant is not benefiting from the services in the program, the probation department may make a motion for entry of judgment. After notice to the defendant, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether judgment should be entered. If the court finds that the defendant is performing unsatisfactorily in the program or that the defendant is not benefiting from the services in the program, the court shall render a finding of guilt to the charge or charges pleaded, enter judgment, and schedule a sentencing hearing as otherwise provided in this code, and the probation department, in consultation with the county sheriff, shall remove the defendant from the program and return the defendant to custody in county jail. The mechanism of when and how the defendant is moved from custody in juvenile hall to custody in a county jail shall be determined by the local multidisciplinary team specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (m).
(3) If the defendant has performed satisfactorily during the period in which deferred entry of judgment was granted, at the end of that period, the court shall dismiss the criminal charge or charges.
(g) A defendant shall serve no longer than one year in custody within a county’s juvenile hall pursuant to the program.
(h) The probation department shall develop a plan for reentry services, including, but not limited to, housing, employment, and education services, as a component of the program.
(i) The probation department shall submit data relating to the effectiveness of the program to the Division of Recidivism Reduction and Re-Entry, within the Department of Justice, including recidivism rates for program participants as compared to recidivism rates for similar populations in the adult system within the county.
(j) A defendant participating in the program pursuant to this section shall not come into contact with minors within the juvenile hall for any purpose, including, but not limited to, housing, recreation, or education.
(k) Prior to establishing a pilot program pursuant to this section, the county shall apply to the Board of State and Community Corrections for approval of a county institution as a suitable place for confinement for the purpose of the pilot program. The board shall review and approve or deny the application of the county within 30 days of receiving notice of this proposed use. In its review, the board shall take into account the available programming, capacity, and safety of the institution as a place for the confinement and rehabilitation of individuals within the jurisdiction of the criminal court, and those within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
(l) The Board of State and Community Corrections shall review a county’s pilot program to ensure compliance with requirements of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (34 U.S.C. Sec. 11101 et seq.), as amended, relating to “sight and sound” separation between juveniles and adult inmates.
(m) (1) This section applies to a defendant who would otherwise serve time in custody in a county jail. Participation in a program pursuant to this section shall not be authorized as an alternative to a sentence involving community supervision.
(2) Each county shall establish a multidisciplinary team that shall meet periodically to review and discuss the implementation, practices, and impact of the program. The team shall include representatives from the following:
(A) Probation department.
(B) The district attorney’s office.
(C) The public defender’s office.
(D) The sheriff’s department.
(E) Courts located in the county.
(F) The county board of supervisors.
(G) The county health and human services department.
(H) A youth advocacy group.
(n) (1) A county that establishes a pilot program pursuant to this section shall submit data regarding the pilot program to the Board of State and Community Corrections. The data submitted shall be used for the purposes of paragraph (2).
(2) The board shall conduct an evaluation of the pilot program’s impact and effectiveness. The evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, evaluating each pilot program’s impact on sentencing and impact on opportunities for community supervision, monitoring the program’s effect on minors in the juvenile facility, if any, and its effectiveness with respect to program participants, including outcome-related data for program participants compared to young adult offenders sentenced for comparable crimes.
(3) Each evaluation shall be combined into a comprehensive report and submitted to the Assembly and Senate Committees on Public Safety, no later than December 31, 2020.
(4) The board may contract with an independent entity, including, but not limited to, the Regents of the University of California, for the purposes of carrying out the duties of the board pursuant to this subdivision.
(o) This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, 2024, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2022, 2024, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 18.SEC. 21.

 Section 4712 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

4712.
 (a) The fair hearing shall be held within 50 days of the date the hearing request form is received by the service agency, unless a continuance based upon a showing of good cause has been granted to the claimant. The service agency may also request a continuance based upon a showing of good cause, provided that the granting of the continuance does not extend the time period for rendering a final administrative decision beyond the 90-day period provided for in this chapter. For purposes of this section, good cause includes, but is not limited to, the following circumstances:
(1) Death of a spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent of the claimant or authorized representative, or legal guardian or conservator of the claimant.
(2) Personal illness or injury of the claimant or authorized representative.
(3) Sudden and unexpected emergencies, including, but not limited to, court appearances of the claimant or authorized representative, conflicting schedules of the authorized representative if the conflict is beyond the control of the authorized representative.
(4) Unavailability of a witness or evidence, the absence of which would result in serious prejudice to the claimant.
(5) An intervening request by the claimant or the claimant’s authorized representative for mediation.
(b) Notwithstanding Sections 19130, 19131, and 19132 of the Government Code, the department shall contract for the provision of independent hearing officers. Hearing officers shall have had at least two years of full-time legal training at a California or American Bar Association accredited law school or the equivalent in training and experience as established by regulations to be adopted by the department pursuant to Section 4705. These hearing officers shall receive training in the law and regulations governing services to developmentally disabled individuals and administrative hearings. Training shall include, but not be limited to, the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act and regulations adopted thereunder, relevant case law, information about services and supports available to persons with developmental disabilities, including innovative services and supports, the standard agreement contract between the department and regional centers and regional center purchase-of-service policies, and information and training on protecting the rights of consumers at administrative hearings, with emphasis on assisting, where appropriate, those consumers represented by themselves or an advocate inexperienced in administrative hearings in fully developing the administrative record. The State Department of Developmental Services shall seek the advice of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, the protection and advocacy agency designated by the Governor in this state to fulfill the requirements and assurances of the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, contained in Chapter 144 (commencing with Section 15001) of Title 42 of the United States Code, the Association of Regional Center Agencies, and other state agencies or organizations and consumers and family members as designated by the department in the development of standardized hearing procedures for hearing officers and training materials and the implementation of training procedures by the department. The department shall provide formal training for hearing officers on at least an annual basis. The training shall be developed and presented by the department, however, the department shall invite those agencies and organizations listed in this subdivision to participate.
(c) The hearing officer shall not be an employee, agent, board member, or contractor of the service agency against whose action the appeal has been filed, or a spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, legal guardian, or conservator of the claimant, or any person who has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the fair hearing, or any other interest which would preclude a fair and impartial hearing.
(d) The claimant and the service agency shall exchange a list of potential witnesses, the general subject of the testimony of each witness, and copies of all potential documentary evidence at least five calendar days prior to the hearing. The hearing officer may prohibit testimony of a witness that is not disclosed and may prohibit the introduction of documents that have not been disclosed. However, the hearing officer may allow introduction of the testimony or witness in the interest of justice.
(e) (1) The fair hearing shall be held at a time and place reasonably convenient to the claimant and the authorized representative. The claimant or the authorized representative of the claimant and the regional center shall agree on the location of the fair hearing.
(2) A location pursuant to paragraph (1) may include an agreement to conduct the hearing by telephone, videoconference, or other electronic means.
(f) Merits of a pending fair hearing shall not be discussed between the hearing officer and a party outside the presence of the other party.
(g) The hearing officer shall voluntarily disqualify themselves and withdraw from any case in which the hearing officer cannot accord a fair and impartial hearing or consideration. Any party may request the disqualification of the hearing officer by filing an affidavit, prior to the taking of evidence at a hearing, stating with particularity the grounds upon which it is claimed that a fair and impartial hearing cannot be accorded. The issue shall be decided by the hearing officer.
(h) Both parties to the fair hearing shall have the rights specified in subdivision (f) of Section 4701.
(i) The fair hearing need not be conducted according to the technical rules of evidence and those related to witnesses. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted. Both parties shall be allowed to submit documents into evidence at the beginning of the hearing. No party shall be required to formally authenticate any document unless the hearing officer determines the necessity to do so in the interest of justice. All testimony shall be under oath or affirmation which the hearing officer is empowered to administer.
(j) A service agency shall present its witnesses and all other evidence before the claimant presents the claimant’s case unless the parties agree otherwise or the hearing officer determines that there exists good cause for a witness to be heard out of order. This section does not alter the burden of proof.
(k) A recording shall be made of the proceedings before the hearing officer. Any cost of recording shall be borne by the responsible state agency.
(l) The fair hearing shall be conducted in the English language. However, if the claimant, the claimant’s guardian or conservator, parent of a minor claimant, or authorized representative does not understand English, an interpreter shall be provided by the responsible state agency.
(m) The fair hearing shall be open to the public except at the request of the claimant or authorized representative or when personnel matters are being reviewed.
(n) The agency awarded the contract for independent hearing officers shall biennially conduct, or cause to be conducted, an evaluation of the hearing officers who conduct hearings under this part. The department shall approve the methodology used to conduct the evaluation. Information and data for this evaluation shall be solicited from consumers who were claimants in an administrative hearing over the past two years, their family members or authorized representative if involved in the hearing, regional centers, and nonattorney advocates, attorneys who represented either party in an administrative hearing over the past two years, and the organizations identified in subdivision (b). Regional centers shall forward copies of administrative decisions reviewed by the superior court to the department. The areas of evaluation shall include, but not be limited to, the hearing officers’ demeanor toward parties and witnesses, conduct of the hearing in accord with fairness and standards of due process, ability to fairly develop the record in cases where consumers represent themselves or are represented by an advocate that does not have significant experience in administrative hearings, use of legal authority, clarity of written decisions, and adherence to the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 4712.5. The department shall be provided with a copy of the evaluation and shall use the evaluation in partial fulfillment of its evaluation of the contract for the provision of independent hearing officers. A summary of the data collected shall be made available to the public upon request, provided that the names of individual hearing officers and consumers shall not be disclosed.

SEC. 19.SEC. 22.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.