In The News: ESRA helps California legislature better enable electronic signatures

NEWSWIRE: October 17, 2016

DATELINE: Sacramento, California

While federal e-signature statutes have been in existence since the start of the 21st century, some states have struggled more than others enabling and supporting these processes. Despite billions of e-signatures being completed each year, representing trillions of dollars of commerce and countless savings to everyone from consumers to small business owners to massive corporations, some jurisdictions saw discrepancies in them.

California was the largest example of that, but thanks in part to members of ESRA, that is no more.

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a California bill, sponsored by Assembly member Evan Low, to clarify how state government agencies can accept signatures electronically. This bill resolved the issues around perceived discrepancies in the legislation, making it easier for agencies to use electronic signature technology. ESRA worked closely with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s staff to find a way to clarify the law.

In the late ’90s, California (along with many other states) passed the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), which allowed public and private sectors to use both digital and electronic signatures. But an earlier California law had prescribed the use of “digital signatures” for government transactions. Without clear guidance on how to reconcile the two statutes, most California agencies had thought they must follow the earlier state law. As a result, localities such as Palo Alto and Sacramento adopted ordinances clarifying that their city governments may use both digital and electronic signatures.

Now, as a result of Assembly bill 2296, California government agencies of all sizes can transition to use of electronic records at an even more rapid pace.

For all the details, read the full article here.