Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

News from assemblymember Ed Chau

Governor Brown Signs Legislation To Calculate The Environmental Impact
Of Imported Natural Gas

On September 14 Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bill (AB) 2195, authored by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), to require the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to quantify the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, associated with the leakage of gas into the atmosphere, during the production, processing, and transportation of natural gas that is imported into the state from out-of-state sources. Photo provided by Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
“Some estimates put the nationwide emissions from natural gas leakage at levels comparable to the emissions of 18 coal fired power plants, so it is vital to have accurate information about the environmental impact of California importing natural gas,” said Assemblymember Chau. “AB 2195 will help the state to accurately calculate GHG emissions to better understand the scope of the leakage related to the use of natural gas.”
California imports approximately 90% of the natural gas that is used in the state. Methane, a primary component of natural gas, is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat over the course of its first 20 years in the atmosphere, leading to serious environmental impacts if a large amount of gas is lost into the atmosphere.  CARB currently only calculates “in-state” natural gas combustion and leakage even though our in-state use of imported natural gas is responsible for significant pollution outside the state. Accordingly, millions of tons of GHG pollution go uncounted every year.  As a result, the true environmental footprint of California natural gas use is hidden from the state’s inventory, consumers and policy makers.
“With the Trump Administration rolling back policies to curb methane emissions, state policies based on sound science that enhance our understanding of methane emissions from the entire supply chain are more important now than ever,” said Tim O’Connor, the California Oil and Gas Director for Environmental Defense Fund, AB 2195’s sponsor. “AB 2195 is a critical bill to better our understanding of California’s natural gas carbon footprint as California imports 90% of the natural gas we use in the state.”

Governor Brown signs bill to reform parental consent practices by online retailers

Legislation also leads to first-in-the-nation model social media parental consent agreement

On September 28 Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed into law AB 2511, authored by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D- Monterey Park) and sponsored by the Children’s Advocacy Institute, which requires online retailers to do more to verify the age of the purchaser, when selling products illegal to sell to minors, rather than having such presumption buried in the fine-print “Terms and Conditions” agreements.
“It’s extremely alarming to learn that a child can easily purchase, online, weapons such as throwing knives and BB guns without the online retailer taking steps to verify the age of purchaser. Such practice or inaction is irresponsible and it demonstrates the need for all retailers to operate under the same set of rules to safeguard our children against purchasing products they cannot legally own,” said Assemblymember Chau, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protections.  “I applaud the Governor for his action today to put our children before profits.”
Compared to their brick and mortar competitors, some online retailers make no effort to obtain age verification, or parental consent, when selling products that are currently illegal for minors to purchase. The dangers of Internet companies doing nothing, to verify age, or obtain parental consent, for the kinds of transactions covered by the bill, are very real.  For example, a recent KCRA news story detailed how a 14 year old boy was able to purchase online a BB gun, throwing knives, and a hunting knife, all without his parent’s consent or knowledge.  In this situation, the 14 year old was able to buy these items because the company made no effort to verify if the purchaser was over the age of 18.  The only effort made by this company was to insert language into its fine print, boilerplate, “Terms and Conditions,” as follows:
“If you are under 18, you may use the… Services only with involvement of a parent or guardian.”
This newly enacted law will specifically require businesses that seek to sell any products or services, in or into California, which are illegal for a minor to purchase under state law to take reasonable steps in ensuring the legal age of the purchaser, either at the time of purchase or delivery, including, but not limited to, age verification.
“This first-in-the-nation, landmark legislation will ensure that the same common-sense laws that protect children from dangerous products in the brick and mortar world are updated to apply to the online world as well,” said Ed Howard, Senior Council for the Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law, the sponsor of AB 2511. “Assembly member Chau is to be congratulated for his bravery in authoring the bill and Governor Brown applauded for his wisdom in signing it.”
The legislation has also resulted in the transformation of how some social media websites obtain parental consent. Currently, Facebook obtains parental permission “to use [the] name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content” of a user, including children, in their general Terms and Conditions, with language as follows:
“You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you. If you have selected a specific audience for your content or information, we will respect your choice when we use it. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), you represent that a parent or legal guardian also agrees to this section on your behalf.”
A previous component of AB 2511 would have prohibited a person or business in California that operates a social media Internet website or application from using a minor‘s name, picture, or information without obtaining prior parental consent. The Assemblymember dropped his legislative effort to prohibit the current practice of obtaining consent, as outlined in the sample above, since Facebook is going to implement a mechanism whereby a child-user will be able to permit use of the child’s name, photo, and child-created content in connection with ads created by third parties, if they obtain parental permission, as follows:
•         Through a method that is clear.
•         The clear method shall be distinct and separate from Facebook’s terms of service, privacy policy, or similar generally applicable permission or document.
•         The means shall clearly indicate permission by the child’s parent or legal guardian to the child’s participation in the program.
•         The opportunity to opt-out of the use of the child’s name, photo, and child-created content in connection with ads created by third parties.
•         Opting a child out of the program shall not result in the child being denied the ability to use Facebook.
“Everybody should get a chance to prove that they will do the right thing voluntarily when the situation allows for it,” said Assemblymember Chau. “Facebook is on the right track for its reform-minded, pro-parent decision, and I look forward to seeing this change. Should it not happen, I plan to author legislation to address the issue in the coming year.”


On October 5, Assemblymember Ed Chau (D–Monterey Park) held a press conference in Monterey Park to discuss bills from his legislative bill package that will become new laws on January 1, 2019.
“California residents across the state expect us, as Legislators, to act on issues affecting their everyday lives,” said Assemblymember Chau.  “Some of the legislation I authored this year will help to protect consumers from data breaches, provide consumers with greater notice when their life insurance policies are going to increase, require that retailers carry out age verification checks, prohibit online marketing of cannabis products to minors, and accurately calculate greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas imported into the state.”
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a total of 11 bills authored by Assemblymember Chau.  Some of the bills highlighted in today’s press conference included:
Consumer Protection
AB 1859 – Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies: Customer Records – Requires Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies to protect consumer information by patching vulnerable computer systems expeditiously or be subject to enforcement actions by the Attorney General if a breach occurs and the personal information of California residents is compromised because of a failure to patch the systems. Sponsor: Author. (Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 532, Statutes of 2018)
AB 2634 – Life Insurance – Requires an insurer to provide notice to a policyholder of a flexible premium life insurance policy whenever the policy is subject to an increase in the cost of insurance charge or administrative expense charge, no later than 90 days before the effective date of the increase so that the policyholder can make informed decisions and plan accordingly to avoid a possible cancellation of coverage. Sponsor: California Department of Insurance. (Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 545, Statutes of 2018)
Protecting Minors
AB 2511 – The Parent’s Accountability and Child Protection Act – Requires retailers, when selling products illegal to sell to minors, to take reasonable steps to ensure the purchasers of those products are of legal age. Sponsor: Children’s Advocacy Institute. (Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 872, Statutes of 2018)
AB 3067 – Internet Cannabis Marketing: Minors – Prohibits the operator of an Internet Web site or online service, online application, or mobile application from marketing cannabis products or services to a minor.  Sponsor: Author. (Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 347, Statutes of 2018)
AB 2195 – Natural Gas Emissions – Requires the California Air Resources Board to quantify the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the leakage of gas to the atmosphere during the production, processing, and transport of natural gas that is imported into the state from out-of-state sources. Sponsor: Environmental Defense Fund. (Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 371, Statutes of 2018)
Other bills signed into law include the following:
Assembly Bill (AB) 347 – Weights and Measures Inspection Fees – Extends the sunset date for the Commercial Weighing and Measuring Device Registration Program from January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2022; establishes a phased in device fee for liquefied natural gas and compressed natural gas dispensers; clarifies that the device fee limitation for jewelry and prescription scales also applies to Class II scales; and increases the device registration fee limitations for computing scales from $20 to $23 to offset increased testing costs. Sponsor: California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association. (Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 521, Statutes of 2018)
AB 375 – California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018– Gives California consumers greater rights to exercise control over their personal information, and provides reasonable certainty that there are safeguards in place to protect against data misuse. Specifically, it gives consumers the right to request that a business disclose the type and specific pieces of personal information that it collects or sells about the consumer; the business purposes for collecting or selling the information; and the categories of third parties with whom the information is shared, sold, or disclosed. It also generally gives consumers the right to request that a business delete any personal information collected from them and requires businesses to direct service providers to do the same. It also gives consumers the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information, while requiring affirmative consent to sell the personal information of kids up to age 16 (also known as the right to “opt in”), and ensures the right to equal service and price, meaning companies cannot discriminate against providing services to people if they do not want their data sold. Sponsor: Author. (Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 55, Statutes of 2018)
AB 1739 – Revocable Transfer on Death Deeds – Provides that the Frequently Asked Questions page that accompanies a revocable transfer on death deed is not required to be recorded in order for the deed to be legally effective. Sponsor: Author. (Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 65, Statutes of 2018)
AB 1999 – Local Government: Public Broadband Services – Expands existing authority for municipal and public utility districts to develop public broadband services to other types of local government, and require those entities to adhere to “net neutrality rules” when providing such services. Sponsor: Author.  (Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 963, Statutes of 2018)
AB 2485 – Code Enforcement: Financially Interested Parties – Prohibits a local government code enforcement officer or health officer from being accompanied by a person with a potential financial interest in the outcome of the inspection, when inspecting a commercial property or business for compliance with a state statute or regulation, or local ordinance. Sponsor: Author. (Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 263, Statutes of 2018)
AB 2764 – Information Technology (IT) Contracting – Ensures that the State will not enter into large scale contracts for IT goods and services with vendors who discriminate against their employees, or contract with vendors who have large tax delinquencies, and otherwise ensures that vendors doing business with the State adhere to National Labor Relations Board orders and the Darfur Contracting Act of 2008. Sponsor: Author. (Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 220, Statutes of 2018)

Assemblymember Ed Chau represents the 49th Assembly District, comprised of the communities of Alhambra, Arcadia, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City and portions of Montebello, and South El Monte.

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