Cross posted at www.cala.com
The CA Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) was established through legislation (SB 1608)
signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the fall of 2008. It is a
17-member commission with a budget of $80,000 and six committees. One
of the committees is the Civil Enforcement Committee, which is designed
to look at the whole issue of litigation in California related to the
Americans with Disability Act.
Has this committee met since January 1st, 2009? No. Was it supposed
to meet? Yes. On May 27th it was supposed to have its first
meeting. However it was cancelled due to lack of quorum. It will likely
be rescheduled in July sometime. In the meantime ADA lawsuits are being
filed left and right throughout the state.
I think it is fair to say that most people in the business community
supported SB 1608, not because it was the model legislation that would
rid us of these predatory lawsuits, but because it is a compromise that
has the potential to end the the rampage of lawsuits being filed by a
bunch of trial lawyers in this state. Has it done that? No. Not even
close. And the CCDA is doing nothing about it.
One of the principal roles of the CCDA is to "conduct studies
relative to specific problem areas and develop recommendations that
will enable persons with disabilities to exercise their right to full
and equal access to public facilities, and that will
facilitate business compliance with the applicable laws, building
standards and regulations to avoid unnecessary litigation."
Are you feeling the love? I am not. The CCDA is still trying to come
up with a master checklist by July 1st that can be used by building
inspectors. I find it rather strange that there never was one and that
businesses have been paying the price. There is still not one location
a business can go to see what exactly they need to do to be compliant.
In the meantime, the lawsuits continue to flow. The CCDA continues
to find its way and there is little if no light at the end of the
tunnel. Californians should be outraged that the Civil Enforcement
Committee has still not met and this commission does not even have the
budget or staff to deal with all the issues related to ADA access.