VENTURA COUNTY STAR: SB 1172 and SB 956 go to governor

August 31, 2012

SACRAMENTO — Working to meet a midnight Friday deadline, lawmakers sent to Gov. Jerry Brown bills that would pave the way for implementation of federal health care reform, prevent state parks from closing for at least two years by allocating $20 million in previously undisclosed park funds and establish consumer protections for people who purchase used vehicles from so-called "buy here, pay here" car lots.

Those measures were among scores acted upon Thursday, with legislators preparing for Friday's final day to take up a major overhaul of public-employee pension regulations.

The bill dealing with "buy here, pay here" car lots addresses establishments, primarily in urban locations, that require purchasers to return to the lot each month to make payments on their car loans.

The bill would cap interest rates on those loans, which can now reach up to 30 percent, at 17 percent and provide a grace period for buyers who can now have their vehicles repossessed if they are as little as one day late on a payment.

Brown will have until Sept. 30 to act on the hundreds of bills that will be sent to him this week.

Among other bills sent to his desk on Thursday (included) sexual orientation treatments. SB 1172 would prohibit children under 18 from undergoing psychotherapy designed to change their sexual orientation.

Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, the bill's author, said the professional research on the question has determined such efforts to be "quackery" and they constitute a form of "psychological child abuse."

The measure is supported by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the American Psychoanalytic Association.