Senator Roth’s Proposal to Protect Small Businesses, Ensure ADA Compliance Approved by Assembly Judiciary Committee
Senator Richard D. Roth’s (D-Riverside) proposal to protect California’s small businesses and the disabled community was approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee today on a bipartisan, unanimous vote of 10-0.
“I thank my colleagues for supporting this common-sense, balanced measure to protect the disabled community and small businesses,” said Senator Roth. “Senate Bill 251 is a critical step in guaranteeing access for disabled Californians by providing small businesses with the tools and resources necessary to comply with state and federal disability access laws.”
Due to a lack of education and resources, many businesses throughout California have found themselves out of compliance with state and federal disability access laws. This situation has prevented Californians in the disability community from having full and equal access to facilities and services.
The Legislature has attempted to reform ADA access laws and regulations over the past decade, with the most recent and substantial measure being Senate Bill 1186 (2012) by former Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and former Senator Robert Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga). While SB 1186 created important policies regarding Certified Access Specialists (CASPs) and compliance notification, there remain significant barriers to ensuring small businesses have the resources and tools necessary to maintain compliance with state and federal disability access laws. As a result, many businesses throughout California have found themselves out of compliance with the law. This situation has prevented Californians in the disability community from having full and equal access to facilities and services.
Supported by the California Chamber of Commerce as a “job creator,” SB 251 is a narrowly crafted provision to provide businesses with much needed disability access education, resources and training, and allows small businesses that have been proactive in identifying access issues a reasonable amount of time to fix any problems identified before a lawsuit arises. SB 251 also provides tax incentives in an attempt to ensure full and fair access for all Californians.
As it passed the Senate, SB 251 allowed small businesses 90 days to proactively correct access violations. In continuing to work with stakeholders in the disability rights and business community, SB 251 now extends the period of time small businesses have to proactively correct access violations from 90 days to 120 days. Further, if a building permit is required, the business could have up to six months to make such corrections.
Senator Roth said: “I will continue working to protect both small businesses as well as the rights of the disabled as SB 251 moves forward. A reasonable, common-sense approach to this issue is critical not only to protect disabled Californians, but to Inland Southern California’s recovering economy.”
SB 251 will next be heard by the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation.
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