New CA Laws: Toll Violations Relief &
Gun Violence Prevention
Two of my bills from last year took effect this month, which I hope will have a positive impact on people's lives. The first is relief from bridge toll penalties.
After toll takers were removed at the start of the pandemic, many drivers, especially unbanked individuals who can't get FasTrak transponders, accumulated fines and late fees after crossing one of the Bay Area's state-owned bridges. Some balances escalated to thousands of dollars.
As a result of my legislation, AB 2594, anyone from now through September 2024 can pay their toll debt and have all or some of their penalties waived by calling the customer service center at 877-229-8655 (877-BAY-TOLL). Customers without a credit or debit card can also make cash payments at the FasTrak Walk-In Center at 375 Beale Street in San Francisco, or at any of the cash payment network locations in the Bay Area. Mail-in payments by check or money order are also accepted. More information is available at www.bayareafastrak.org.
In addition, the payment plan option is available for customers whose household income is no more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level (about $60,000 for a family of four) and whose outstanding amounts owed (tolls, penalties and DMV fees combined) is at least $100. Customers who choose to enter a payment plan must make an initial payment of 50 percent of the outstanding tolls or $100, whichever is lower.
My other bill, AB 1594, strengthens the rights of gun violence victims to sue companies that manufacture and sell firearms, and whose misconduct consequently causes harm. For too long, the gun industry has enjoyed federal immunity from lawsuits. My hope is the threat of civil liability pushes them to be more responsible in preventing the illegal sale and theft of firearms by following our state's strict gun laws. It's unacceptable that the leading cause of death among kids and teens is gun violence.
Our current legislative session ends this Fall. I'll report back on any more successes that moves California forward.
Assemblymember, 19th District