In the News

July 14, 2015

A state bill to educate small businesses about access violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and give them time to fix them before facing costly litigation was unanimously approved Tuesday, July 14, by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

July 06, 2015

Legislation to provide overdue revenue to four Riverside County cities -- one of which is barely able to pay its debts -- was not included in the bevy of bills signed into law this week by Gov. Jerry Brown as part of the 2015-16 fiscal year budget, but an inland lawmaker expressed optimism that the state senate will still get the proposal to the governor’s desk.

“I am continuing to work with the senate leadership and my colleagues to ensure this budget trailer bill is passed, enacting the governor’s commitment reflected in his May revision of the state budget,” said Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside. “And I am confident this item will be voted on soon. I look forward to getting this budget bill to the governor for his signature and finally providing relief for our cities.”

July 05, 2015

High school students may no longer have to take a test that is now required for graduation.

Proposed state legislation calls for suspending the California High School Exit Exam for three years and setting up a panel to recommend whether to replace or eliminate the test.

Schools are moving toward more rigorous Common Core standards. Many standardized tests were halted during the transition to the new standards, but the exit exam remains a graduation requirement.

July 02, 2015

A more than $23 million state financial assist for four Riverside County cities stung by a 2011 revenue hit may collapse – the victim of a dispute between the governor and a state group over loan payments for now-defunct redevelopment agencies.

June 19, 2015

By SAL RODRIGUEZ / Staff Columnist

Published: June 19, 2015 Updated: 5:14 p.m.

Abusing well-intended laws for financial gain has become a pastime in states like California.

When President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law in 1990, the intent was to enhance the quality of life for persons with disabilities by prohibiting discrimination.

June 19, 2015

As enrollment soars, doctors are becoming scarce. That’s the dilemma faced by Medi-Cal, the state’s version of the national Medicaid program for the poor, in the two years since the federal Affordable Care Act has been implemented.

June 08, 2015

Americans care about helping the disabled. The 1990 federal Americans With Disabilities Act made discrimination against the disabled illegal. After that, California made violating the ADA also a violation of the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, with damages no less than $4,000 per violation. 


Unfortunately, some lawyers have abused the ADA by filing frivolous lawsuits. To curb such abuses while still protecting the disabled, last week the California Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 251. If passed in the Assembly and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, it significantly will protect small business owners from costly and pointless ADA lawsuits.

June 05, 2015

Lee Ky, owner of Doughnuts to Go in the small town of Reedley, California, thought it was just another work day when she was unexpectedly sued for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Born with cerebral palsy, Ky has been confined to a wheelchair all her life, and accessibility had never been an issue for her at work. So how could she be sued? As Ky read the list of alleged violations, she learned almost all of them were technical. For instance, a restroom sign was in the shape of a triangle instead of a square.

June 04, 2015

A bill to help small businesses fix access violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act while dampening costly litigation has advanced in the state Legislature.

The bill, SB 251, is primarily authored by State Sen. Richard Roth, a Riverside Democrat. The bill was unanimously approved by the California Senate on Wednesday, June 4 and heads to the state Assembly.

June 01, 2015

Slowly, but surely, the California Legislature is making progress tackling the issue of shakedown lawsuits alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We saw the first bit of success in 2008 with SB 1608 and more in 2012 with SB 1186. These bills represented the growing acknowledgement among our state’s elected leaders that these trial lawyer shakedown artists are profiting from the abuse of our legal system, and our state’s small businesses are paying the price. However, because the reforms did not go far enough, the lawsuits have kept coming.