Home > News > News Articles > 2012 > August > Big Win on AB 1551 Accident Liability Bill, AB 2451 Death Benefits Bill Moves to Assembly
News Feed

Big Win on AB 1551 Accident Liability Bill, AB 2451 Death Benefits Bill Moves to Assembly

August 24, 2012

It was a big win for cities Thursday when League-opposed hot bill AB 1551 (Torres) was amended to address an unrelated housing issue. While AB 2451 (Pérez) another priority bill is still moving after being passed in the Senate this week.


AB 1551

AB 1551 would have shifted the liability for accidents occurring in a public safety officer’s personal vehicle from a personal insurance provider to the employer’s insurance provider.

In addition to unnecessarily increasing employer’s costs, the League was also opposed to the bill for several other reasons:

  • The Internal Revenue Service established mileage reimbursement rates already cover the “fixed costs” of automobile operation including depreciation, lease payments, registration, license fees, personal property taxes and insurance;
  • Many local jurisdictions have already adopted policies and memoranda of understanding to address liability for accidents involving personal vehicles; and
  • The bill does not release an employer from liability if an employee is driving negligently. 

The League’s opposition letter is available on the League’s website by typing “AB 1551” into the search box. However, with these new amendments, the League is no longer opposed to AB 1551.

The League would like to thank city officials who sent opposition letters on this bill.

AB 2451

Despite recent amendments to AB 2451 which narrowed the scope of the bill, the League remains opposed to the bill because it would burden public employers with new costs.

This bill continues to provide an increased benefit to public safety employees at a time when public agencies can least afford them. Instead of eliminating the statute of limitation on death benefits, the bill now extends the current timeframe for cancer, tuberculosis, and MRSA from 240 weeks to 480 weeks. Essentially, the bill doubles the timeframe to file a death benefit claim for these specific presumptive injuries.

At a time when all levels of government are struggling to maintain public safety and other vital services, AB 2451 will further stress already tight budgets. It is unclear just how much the bill will increase public agencies’ costs with these new amendments, but by doubling the statute of limitations we are certain to see some kind of cost increase.

AB 2451 was voted off the Senate Floor and now heads to the Assembly for a vote on the recent amendments. It is anticipated that the Assembly will adopt the amendments and send the bill to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

City officials are urged to submit request for veto letters directly to the Governor at this time. The League’s opposition letter and a sample request for veto letter are available on the League’s website by typing “AB 2451” into the search box.

© League of California Cities