State Regulators to Consumers: Trust Us – Latest Draft of Green Chemistry Regulations Includes Worrisome Gaps
Maybe I’ve become too cynical, but I can’t help feeling a bit wary when I sense someone is trying too hard to win me over. Even if it’s just a pitchman demonstrating a kitchen implement I shouldn’t be able to live without, I find myself wondering: “Why the urgent appeal; what are you hoping I […]
Some of the most important decisions affecting consumers in California are made with surprisingly little input from consumers themselves.
That’s certainly the case with California’s Green Chemistry Initiative. Three years after the Legislature passed groundbreaking laws to create a system for making consumer products safer, regulators in Sacramento are still about the business of writing the rules that will put the laws into action. But after three years of public hearings, written comments, sub-committee meetings and reports, it remains unclear whether consumers are being heard from in a meaningful way.
To be sure, there is no shortage of participants claiming to represent the interests of consumers. At times in these hearings, everyone who testifies claims to be interested only in what ordinary consumers want and need.
Imagine you’re in the market for a fire extinguisher. What do you
suppose might be the first question you’d ask of the store clerk who
hopes to sell it to you?
"Does it come in other colors besides red?" Perhaps you’d ask this,
but it’s not likely to be your first question. The same goes for "Is
that handle ergonomically designed?"
Chances are the question at the forefront of your mind would be, "Will
this thing actually put out fires and make my home safer?" If you’re
about to pay for a safety measure, you’d want to know whether the
investment will, in fact, enhance your safety.
Signature gathering begins this week on an initiative scheduled for the 2010 ballot which will fix an inconsistency in the law, expand a discount, and lower auto insurance rates for millions of California consumers who continually maintain auto insurance coverage.
Under current law, insurers can give their own customers a discount for having maintained continuous auto insurance coverage (sometimes called the loyalty discount), but that discount is not portable if the customer wants to switch insurers.
The Continuous Coverage Auto Insurance Discount Act ensures all drivers who maintain their automobile insurance coverage are eligible for this discount even if they change their insurance company. Who benefits? Consumers do. Eighty-two percent of California drivers have auto insurance as required by law. This includes working families, single parents, elderly and young drivers.