Legislation authored by Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Sen. Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga), to stop the out-of-control problem of abusive Americans with Disability Act (ADA) lawsuits against small businesses in California, cleared the Senate Floor today with unanimous bipartisan support of the members.
Senate Bill 1186, approved on a 36-0 vote, is aimed to help California businesses comply with the requirements of the ADA without facing the threat of frivolous lawsuits.
"The issue of shakedown lawsuits is affecting every county in this state and the fact that we have gotten unanimous bipartisan support of this legislation as it moves forward is proof that the issue has caught the attention of the entire Senate," Senator Dutton said. "I look forward to working with Senator Steinberg in the weeks ahead in finalizing legislation that will put an end to these predatory lawsuits, while protecting access of the disabled community."
Senator Steinberg and Dutton have organized weekly meetings with their staffs and stakeholder groups, and will continue to meet to craft final legislation that must be passed and sent to the governor by the end of August. The working group includes small business groups and representatives from organizations from the disabled community.
"California has 12 percent of the nation's population, but 40 percent of the ADA lawsuits in this country," Senator Dutton pointed out. "Clearly there is a serious problem that must be fixed and I am committed to trying to find a solution before the end of this legislative session."
SB 1186 now heads to the Assembly for consideration before coming back to the Senate for final approval.