In the News

August 12, 2016

State Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, is hoping Gov. Jerry Brown will sign a bill he authored calling for affordable veterans housing specifically for women. The goal, he said, is to provide an environment where female veterans who have suffered sexual trauma feel safer.

The bill passed both the Senate and Assembly without any opposition and was sent to the governor on Thursday, Aug. 11.

Roth, who sits on the Senate’s Veterans Affairs Committee, was a co-author of Prop. 41 in 2014, which provided money for affordable housing for low-income and homeless veterans. Since then, Roth said, statistics showing that one in four women in the military report experiencing sexual assault, have troubled him. Those women, he said, may feel intimidated in a housing situation where they are surrounded by male veterans.

May 31, 2016

The governor has vetoed similar legislation to help Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Wildomar and Menifee.

By JEFF HORSEMAN / STAFF WRITER

Once again, California’s Senate has passed legislation that would restore vehicle license fee revenue to four cities in Riverside County.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, passed 38-0 on Tuesday, May 31. It would restore license fee money to Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Wildomar and Menifee, all of which have gone without the funding after state lawmakers re-allocated the fees in 2011 to solve a budget crunch.

Similar bills have been repeatedly vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, citing the need to protect the state’s general fund. A compromise offered by the governor’s office in the last state budget gave Riverside County a fire services credit intended to provide financial relief to the four cities.

May 12, 2016

PRESS-ENTERPRISE EDITORIAL

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed sensible legislation aimed at protecting small businesses from costly lawsuits over technical violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Senate Bill 269, by Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, provides businesses 15 days to fix minor violations of the ADA upon receipt of a complaint or written notification. The sorts of violations covered by the law include faded or damaged paint in parking lots.

May 11, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) — After it passed the California Legislature unanimously, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a bill giving protections to small businesses against frivolous Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits.

Under Senate Bill 269, which takes effect immediately, businesses with under 50 employees will be given additional time to fix ADA violations before being slapped with fines from the state. If sued, businesses would also be allowed 15 days to address violations claimed in the lawsuit.

The bill's author, state Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, called Brown's signing a "major victory for all Californians."

"SB 269 is a bipartisan, common-sense solution that will guarantee access for disabled Californians by providing small businesses with the tools and resources necessary to comply with state and federal disability access regulations," Roth said in a statement.

May 10, 2016

By Reed Fujii
Record Staff Writer 

Legislation to protect small businesses against costly lawsuits and fines over minor violations of disabled access laws, while helping increase access, was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The reform of the state’s Americans with Disabilities Act rules gives a small business, one with 50 or fewer employees, 120 days to correct any violations found by an access specialist and protect it from any claims during that period.

It also would protect a small business from certain minor ADA violations, giving it 15 days to make corrections without any penalties. Those violations involve outside and interior signage; parking lot striping color and visibility; and detectable warning surfaces (bumpy ground strips).

May 10, 2016

Small businesses will get an opportunity to fix handicap access violations without liability with Sen. Roth’s SB269.

BY RICHARD K. De ATLEY / STAFF WRITER

A bill that gives small businesses four months to fix disability access issues and avoid California’s minimum civil liability of $4,000 for each violation if certain conditions are met, was signed into law Tuesday, May 10, by Gov. Jerry Brown

April 26, 2016

By Julie Reeder

RIVERSIDE  – A Riverside County lawmaker’s bill aimed at deterring disability rights lawsuits targeting small businesses was unanimously approved today by the state Senate.

Sen. Richard Roth’s SB 269 passed on a 38-0 vote and is now bound for the governor’s desk. “SB 269’s unanimous approval proves that my proposal is a common-sense, bipartisan solution to protect the disabled community and small businesses,” Roth said.

The senator introduced the measure in January as a repackaged version of his SB 251, which made it to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk last year but was vetoed after the governor repudiated it over a small business tax credit.

April 25, 2016

PRESS ENTERPRISE EDITORIAL

The Americans with Disabilities Act was intended to prohibit discrimination against people with physical or mental impairments and to improve access for the disabled to public accommodations. Too often, however, it has been used to shake down businesses for minor violations, such as a door sign affixed an inch too high or too low or a disabled parking logo that is a little too faded or painted in the wrong shade of blue.

California is a particular magnet for extortionary ADA litigation, thanks to state law which mandates a minimum $4,000 penalty for each violation – no matter how small – plus the plaintiff’s attorney fees. It is home to about 12 percent of the country’s disabled population, but accounts for 40 percent of ADA lawsuits. Its disability access lawsuits were one of the main reasons the American Tort Reform Foundation once again named California the nation’s No. 1 “Judicial Hellhole” last year.

April 22, 2016

By Liam Dillon

It has been called the most important climate change agency in the world, with a budget that might soon reach $1 billion, a four-fold increase in the last decade.

The California Air Resources Board's unremarkable name belies its power to influence how much you pay at the gas pump and the car you’ll be driving in 30 years. 

The agency’s growing influence over environmental issues and the economy has increasingly led to tension among state lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown. The governor has counted on the agency and its longtime leader, Mary Nichols, to put into practice his sweeping goals to combat climate change around the world.

But it’s the Air Resources Board’s efforts to deal with pollution closer to home that led to the most recent move by the Legislature to loosen the governor's grip over the agency — a decision that could reshape how the state plans to meet its goals for dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

April 15, 2016

By Rob McMillan

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Riverside police officer Andrew Tachias is still recovering from the bullet wounds, more than three years after being shot nine times by rogue ex-cop Christopher Dorner.

Under current state law, cities only have to pay the full salary of wounded officers like Tachias for one year. After that, they can go on disability, but might be forced to retire early.

But some officers, like Tachias, want the state to grant them extra time to recover, allowing them to avoid early retirement and eventually get back on the force.

"What I want to say to you guys, is that it would be tough at the time I got injured to be 28 years old and be retired," Tachias told a State Senate committee last week.

The legislation sponsored by state Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, would require cities to pay the full salary of wounded officers for an extra year, before the costs were covered by the disability system.