Senator Roth’s Proposal to Protect Small Businesses, Ensure ADA Compliance Approved by Second Policy Committee on Bipartisan, Unanimous Vote

May 13, 2015

Senator Richard D. Roth’s (D-Riverside) proposal to protect California’s small businesses and the disabled community was approved by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee today on a bipartisan, unanimous vote.

“I thank my colleagues for supporting this common-sense, balanced measure to protect the disabled community and small businesses,” said Senator Roth.  “By incentivizing disability access compliance through robust tax credits and expedited project review, Senate Bill 251 is a critical step in guaranteeing access for disabled Californians and providing small businesses with the tools and resources necessary to comply with disability access laws.”

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 substantial tax incentives in an attempt to ensure full and fair access for all Californians.

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 to protecting disabled Californians and to Inland Southern California’s recovering economy.”

SB 251 now moves to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

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