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Ted W. Lieu (D) - District 28

Senator Ted Lieu


From humble beginnings -- to the American Dream

Looking for a better life and opportunity for their children, Ted Lieu's family immigrated to the United States when Ted was three years old. Starting off living in someone's basement and selling gifts at flea markets to make ends meet, the Lieu family cobbled together the American dream. After many years of perseverance his parents were eventually able to expand to six stores. With the support of hard-working parents and a country that provided limitless opportunity, Ted would go on to attend Stanford for his undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Political Science, and then Georgetown University, where he received his law degree magna cum laude after serving as Editor-in-Chief of the law review. Ted also received four American Jurisprudence Awards.

Recognizing the great opportunities America had given to his family, Ted wanted to serve his country. He joined the United States Air Force, where he served as a prosecutor in the JAG corps. After serving on active duty for four years, Ted wanted to continue to serve his country and joined the reserves. Currently, Ted wears a uniform in the JAG corps and was recently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Ted has received numerous medals for his outstanding military service, including the Air Force Humanitarian Service Medal and two Meritorious Service Medals.

Military service brought Ted West

Ted's service at Los Angeles Air Force base is what brought him to Southern California. Professionally, Ted clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, practiced civil law at Munger, Tolles & Olson, and then worked in the private sector before he joined the Legislature. Locally, Ted continued to serve his community. Ted served on the Rampart Independent Review Panel, the Torrance Environmental Quality and Energy Conservation Commission, and was later elected to the Torrance City Council. When the local Assemblymember passed away suddenly in 2005, Ted was overwhelmingly elected in a special election.

Legislative overview

While serving three terms in the Legislature, Ted was a leader in standing up to Wall Street's excesses, reforming the subprime mortgage industry, increasing green buildings, reducing global warming, protecting public safety, and preventing domestic violence. Ted has repeatedly stood up to powerful interests on behalf of consumers, crime victims, seniors, children, and those without a voice.

In 2014, for example, Gov. Brown signed Lieu-authored measures to protect children from sex trafficking, improve privacy from illegal federal snooping and help exonerate the wrongfully convicted.

In 2013, nearly two dozen of his measures were adopted or signed into law, including bills to create jobs, improve career training and protect consumers.

In 2012, the governor signed 13 of the 15 Lieu bills that reached his desk, including the first-in-the-nation ban on sexual orientation conversion ‘therapy’ for gay children under 18 and a halt to using packs of dogs to hunt either bears or bobcats. He also won better protections from disruptive protests at military and civilian funerals, and helped protect against fraud and abuse in the California National Guard. As a result of his environmental legislation, the Coastal Conservancy was able to award over $3 million in climate change adaptation grants to organizations and communities.

In 2011, laws he sponsored helped create jobs, save taxpayer dollars and protect children by banning anyone under 18 from using cancer-causing tanning beds.

In recognition of his hard work, Governing Magazine, a national publication on policy and governance, in 2011 for the second consecutive year named him one of the 12 top lawmakers in the nation as ‘worth watching’ and the only Californian.

He also has been honored for his work by the CA Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Crime Victims United of California, the California State Sheriffs Association, the American Legion of California, CalPIRG, Environment California, the Humane Society and many others. He served as Chair of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee, Chair of the powerful Rules Committee and as Chair of the Select Committee on Consumer Financial Protection.

In 2014, Lieu was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.


SB 266 – Prevailing Wages
This clarifies the notice of completion process for public works assessments.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 916, statutes of 2014.

SB 315 – Contractors Licensing
This bill addressed several issues the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) identified with existing law.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 392, statutes of 2014.

SB 600 – Prescription Drug Importation
This measure helps protect consumers from illegally imported drugs and deters black market importation and distribution of pharmaceuticals. 
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 492, statutes of 2014.

SB 650 – Motion Picture Residuals
This enables the motion picture production industry to continue its practice of paying some compensation to artists by use of “residuals,” delayed payment based on rebroadcast or exploitation of productions.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 118, statutes of 2014.

SB 828 – 4th Amendment Protection Act
This makes it the clear policy of the state to refuse compliance with requests from a federal agency or employee of a federal agency to collect electronically stored information or metadata of any person if the state has actual knowledge that the request constitutes an illegal or unconstitutional collection of electronically stored information or metadata.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 861, statutes of 2014.

SB 980 – Post-conviction DNA Testing
SB 980’s reforms clarify and streamline the judicial process associated with post-conviction DNA testing requests, thus reducing delay and saving the costs of unnecessary litigation. These reforms would help reduce the likelihood of people spending time in prison for crimes they did not commit and further the cause of justice in California.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 554, statutes of 2014.

SB 1272 – Citizens United
This seeks to add an advisory question to the ballot which would allow the people of California to voice their opinion as to whether or not an amendment to the US Constitution is required to reverse the SCOTUS decisions that equate money with free speech and grant constitutional rights and protections to incorporated entities.
Status: Made law without signature, Chapter 175, statutes of 2014.

SB 1323 – Pet Lover’s License Plates
SB 1323 appropriates revenue from the Pet Lover’s License plates to the Veterinary Medical Board which would then be deposited into the Pet Lover’s License Plate Fund.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 375, statutes of 2014.

SB 1388 – Human Trafficking
This bill increases resources and revenues to better fund services for victims of sex trafficking.  This bill would also strengthen criminal penalties against sex buyers, a.k.a., “johns.”
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 714, statutes of 2014.



SB 50 – Payphone Fairness
Consumers using credit, debit or calling cards for payphones in a pinch – such as stranded holiday travelers, those caught with dead cell phones or troops in transit – will be better protected from fees of up to $20 for 20 seconds under this mandatory-signage disclosure plan on payphones.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 140, statutes of 2013.

SB 57 – GPS Bracelet Enforcement
This public safety measure supported widely by law enforcement will increase penalties for convicted sex offenders who cut off their ankle-mounted GPS monitors to avoid detection. 
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 776, statues of 2013.

SB 118 – Economic Sector Strategies
With the goal of preparing today’s workers for skilled, well-paying jobs that are in demand, this bill will increase resources and training to better prepare workers for tomorrow’s jobs. 
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 562, statutes of 2013.       

SB 122 – Abandoned Vessels
The pro-environment will bill renew Lieu’s successful 2009 law to remove pollution-spewing abandoned vessels from state waterways and has been praised by boating and law enforcement officials for saving taxpayer dollars.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 204, statutes of 2013.

SB 209 – Reversing Retroactive Taxes
This bipartisan measure, in conjunction with a companion measure, will repeal a recent Franchise Tax Board decision imposing millions in retroactive taxes on thousands of California taxpayers.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 543, statutes of 2013.

SB 288 – Victim Employment Protections
This law will provide greater protections for victims who choose to exercise their constitutional right to attend their perpetrator’s court proceedings without fear of discrimination or retribution from their employer.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 756, statutes of 2013.

SB 304 – Reforming the California Medical Board
This consumer-protection bill will ensure the Medical Board of California continues to operate through 2018 and enhances the board’s ability to take action against dangerous physicians and surgeons.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 515, statutes of 2013.

SB 333 – Swatting
In response to dozens of bogus 911 calls that endangered residents, motorists and law enforcement officers, this bipartisan measure will crack down on those who falsely report emergencies by holding perpetrators of all ages liable for the full costs associated with the incident.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 284, statutes of 2013.

SB 353 – Preventing Deceptive Marketing of Health Care
Health care consumers seeking coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act will have better protections against deceptive marketing of medical services because of stronger consumer protections and the closing of gaps in state law.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 447, statutes of 2013.

SB 558 – Journalism Protection Act
California reporters and their news organizations will have greater protections from secret wiretaps or other invasions of their newsgathering communications under this measure by Lieu, former editor-in-chief of the Law Review at Georgetown Law School.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 519, statutes of 2013.

SB 569 – Videotaping Interrogations of Minors
In response to research indicating that false confessions by children under 18 have led to an increase in wrongful convictions, this bill will require law enforcement agencies statewide to videotape interviews of minors accused of homicide.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 799, statutes of 2013.



SB 661 – Funeral Protests
This measure will provide greater protections for grieving families from disruptive protests by balancing the constitutionally protected right of free speech with limited restrictions on the time, place and manner in which protests at funerals can be held to protect the grieving families’ right to privacy.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 354, Statutes of 2012.

SB 921 – National Guard Inspector General
In response to repeated financial abuses by the California National Guard, this bill by Lieu, a former Air Force prosecutor who remains in the military reserves, will protect against fraud and abuse and help restore confidence to the Guard by creating a California Military Whistleblower Protection Act for service members on state active duty.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 731, Statutes of 2012.

SB 1055 – Rental Payment Flexibility
In response to complaints from residents that more and more landlords are requiring rental payments be made only online, this measure ensures landlords also accept other forms of payment that are neither cash nor an electronic transfer of funds.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 268, Statutes of 2012.

SB 1058 – Victims of Corporate Fraud
Since 2002 through January of this year, California’s fraud-compensation fund has raised nearly $15 million to help compensate those who have been taken advantage of or swindled by smooth-talking hustlers. But through January, only seven victims have been paid – for a total of $112,000. SB 1055 would help speed up state payments to these victims of corporate fraud.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 564, Statutes of 2012.

SB 1066 – Climate Change
The consequences of climate change could ultimately cost the state tens of billions of dollars if not addressed. Sponsored by the California Nature Conservancy, SB 1066 will empower the California Coastal Conservancy to address climate change and its impacts as part of its broader mission.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 611, Statutes of 2012.

SB 1172 – Sexual Orientation Change Therapies
Sen. Lieu’s patient-protection plan makes California the first state in the nation to end the psychological abuse of children through unethical treatments that falsely promise to change a minor’s sexual orientation. Legal challenges are pending.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 835, Statutes of 2012.

SB 1210 – Victim’s Restitution
With the goal of helping the recovery of those hurt most by crime, this law provides county law enforcement officials the authority to collect restitution from offenders to help the victims of their crimes receive financial restitution.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 762, Statutes of 2012.

SB 1221 – Hounding of Bears and Bobcats
Endorsed by The Los Angeles Times, The San Jose Mercury News, The Ventura Sun-Star and others, this animal-protection effort bans hunters from using packs of dogs to pursue bears and bobcats.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 595, Statutes of 2012.

SB 1402 – Workforce Development
Labeled a ‘job creator’ by the California Chamber of Commerce, this improves and extends the Economic and Workforce Development Program at California Community Colleges to help create a workforce that meets the ongoing and future needs of employers.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 361, Statutes of 2012.

SB 1500 – Animal Cruelty
Neglected or injured animals will no longer be returned to abusive owners under this animal-protection measure sponsored by the Los Angeles District Attorney.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 598, Statutes of 2012.

SCR 79 – Jenny Oropeza Memorial Highway
This measure names a bridge over Pacific Coast Highway in Wilmington, at zero cost to the state, to the memory of his predecessor, the late-Sen. Jenny Oropeza of Long Beach.
Status: Chaptered by the Secretary of State, Res. Chapter 102, Statutes of 2012.

SCR 98 – 225th Anniversary of the U.S. Constitution
This measure celebrates Sept. 17, 2012 as the 225th anniversary of the original signing of the U.S. Constitution.
Status: Chaptered by the Secretary of State, Res. Chapter 118, Statutes of 2012.

SB 336 – Emergency Room Crowding
Hospital emergency-room patients would have received better medical care under a doctor-supported plan to reduce overcrowding through better planning.
Status: Vetoed by the Governor.

SB 956 – Buy Here Pay Here
This consumer-protection bill would have enacted milestone protections for used-car outlets by cracking down on predatory ‘buy here, pay here’ dealers where interest rates can be as high as 30 percent. Lieu is considering re-introducing a new version of the bill at a later date.
Status: Vetoed by the Governor.



SB 698 – Workforce Development Funds
As California faces the toughest jobs crisis in over 50 years, high-quality employment services that connect workers with good paying jobs are crucial for California’s economic recovery.  SB 698 creates additional financial incentives for local workforce investment boards to train workers for jobs that are available in their communities while also increasing performance standards for these boards.  The goal of SB 698 is to connect workers with good paying jobs.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 497 of 2011

SB 702 – Pet Microchipping
Every year, animal shelters in California impound over 1 million dogs and cats.  Tragically, more than half of these animals have to be euthanized because they could not be reunited with their owners, which also costs taxpayers as much as $300 million every year.  SB 702 helps to reunite lost pets with their owners by requiring all pets to be microchipped with the owner’s contact information when they are reunited or adopted from a shelter.  Many low cost and free microchip clinics are available for pet owners by animal shelters, veterinarians, and nonprofit rescue groups.
Status: Vetoed by the Governor

SB 746 – Tanning and Cancer Prevention
The science is clear: tanning beds cause cancer.  Doctors, pediatricians, dermatologists, scientists, insurers and health organizations recommend governments prohibit all children from using ultra-violet tanning beds.  SB 746 reduces the occurrence of melanoma, one of the most deadly skin cancers, by prohibiting children under the age of 18 from using ultra violet tanning beds.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 664 of 2011

SB 757 – Insurance Equality for Domestic Partners
Despite California’s law to prohibit discriminatory insurance policy coverage to LGBT Californians, some out-of-state health insurers are refusing to insure these hard-working Californians and their families.  SB 757 closes an important insurance loophole for domestic partners and spouses of LGBT Californians by requiring all health insurance policies issued to someone in California to be subject to the state’s equal coverage law.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 722 of 2011

SB 759 – Water Conservation – Vetoed by the Governor
Landscape irrigation makes up 70 percent of an average household’s water use, with some lawns using 46 gallons of water per square foot per year.  Unfortunately, many homeowners associations prohibit the use of waterless alternatives for landscaping.  SB 759 provides homeowners with the flexibility to use waterless grass to help conserve water and lower their utility bill.
Status: Vetoed by the Governor

SB 857 – Protecting the Right to Strike
A recent administrative decision undermined a worker’s fundamental rights to strike. This decision found that an employer could be entitled to damages even when no actual strike occurred. SB 857 restores this administrative over-reach and helps ensure that workers have the right to strike for better working conditions and fair pay.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 539 of 2011

SB 888 – Funeral Protest Restrictions – Vetoed by the Governor
Funerals are times when family members and friends pay respect and mourn their loved ones in a private and peaceful manner.  Unfortunately, there are despicable groups and individuals who attempt to disrupt these services for selfish political gain.  Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that funeral protesters have the right to express their opinions but also reaffirmed the government’s ability to restrict those protesters.  SB 888 protects these sacred events by imposing time and place restriction for funeral protests.
Status: Vetoed by the Governor

SB 917 – Curbing Animal Abuse and Neglect – Signed into Law
California’s parking lots and sidewalks are places where people often try to sell their litters of puppies and kittens, but purchasing these animals can create serious problems as these pets may not be healthy, leaving little recourse for the unsuspecting consumer.  SB 917 prohibits the practice of selling puppies and kittens in parking lots and sidewalks throughout California but does not prohibit anyone from giving pets away for free or selling them on private property.  SB 917 also conforms California’s penalties for animal neglect with the penalties for animal abuse.
Status: Signed by the Governor, Chapter 131 of 2011