Gover­nor OKs bills on missing chil­dren

Los Angeles Times - - California - Pa­trick McGreevy re­port­ing from sacra­mento pa­trick.mcgreevy

Mea­sures to im­prove the search for missing chil­dren, pro­tect in­tox­i­cated mi­nors who call 911 for help and ex­pand bet­ting on horserac­ing in Cal­i­for­nia are among dozens of bills signed into law by Gov. Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger, he an­nounced Fri­day.

With less than a week left to act on 765 pieces of leg­is­la­tion, the gover­nor also ve­toed 43 bills, in­clud­ing mea­sures that would ex­empt many state work­ers from fur­loughs, reg­u­late pet in­surance and out­law dor­mancy fees on gift cards.

A re­quire­ment that mi­nors wear hel­mets while ski­ing and snow­board­ing will not be­come law even though Sch­warzeneg­ger signed it to show his sup­port.

SB 880 by Sen. Le­land Yee (D-San Fran­cisco) can­not take ef­fect with­out a com­pan­ion mea­sure, which the gover­nor ve­toed, re­quir­ing ski re­sorts to pro­vide the pub­lic with safety plans and re­ports of fa­tal­i­ties.

Sch­warzeneg­ger said the hel­met bill would “help pre­vent avoid­able in­juries to chil­dren” but added that AB 1652, the linked mea­sure, “may place an un­nec­es­sary bur­den on re­sorts, with­out as­sur­ance of a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in ski and snow­board-re­lated in­juries and fa­tal­i­ties.”

The pack­age of miss­ing­per­son bills signed by Sch­warzeneg­ger was cham­pi­oned by Moe Dubois, the fa­ther of 14-year-old Am­ber Dubois, one of two teenagers killed in San Diego County by con­victed sex of­fender John Al­bert Gardner III.

AB 33 will al­low law en­force­ment agen­cies to ob­tain and bet­ter use a list of reg­is­tered sex of­fend­ers when a child is re­ported ab­ducted by a stranger. It also im­proves po­lice train­ing in missing-per­sons cases.

The mea­sure was writ­ten by Assem­bly­man Pe­dro Nava (D-Santa Bar­bara), who also au­thored AB 34, a re­lated bill signed by the gover­nor that re­quires the state Vi­o­lent Crime In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter to share in­for­ma­tion on cases with the Na­tional Missing and Uniden­ti­fied Per­sons Sys­tem.

Sch­warzeneg­ger also signed AB 1999, which gives im­mu­nity from pros­e­cu­tion to peo­ple younger than 21for drink­ing al­co­hol in cases in which they call 911 to re­port an al­co­hol-re­lated med­i­cal emer­gency.

The gover­nor also ap­proved a bill to boost Cal­i­for­nia’s dis­tressed horserac­ing in­dus­try by al­low­ing peo­ple to bet on horses to lose be­gin­ning in 2012.

The mea­sure, SB 1072 by Sen. Ron Calderon (DMon­te­bello), also seeks to lure the nation’s top horses by al­low­ing a larger share of bets to be used for purses.

Sch­warzeneg­ger also signed a bill to help fi­nance op­er­a­tion of a new pri­vate hos­pi­tal to re­place the closed Martin Luther King Jr.-Har­bor Hos­pi­tal. AB 2599 by As­sem­bly­woman Karen Bass (D-Los An­ge­les) re­quires that the hos­pi­tal be re­im­bursed from the Med­i­Cal health in­surance pro­gram for the poor at a higher rate than other in­sti­tu­tions are guar­an­teed.

In all, the gover­nor said he has signed 76 bills into law.

The gover­nor ve­toed two bills that would have ex­empted many state work­ers from un­paid fur­loughs that he has used to trim the bud­get.

AB 1765 by Assem­bly­man Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) would have ex­empted work­ers from the Cal­i­for­nia Un­em­ploy­ment In­surance Ap­peals Board and the Em­ploy­ment Devel­op­ment Depart­ment from be­ing fur­loughed dur­ing high un­em­ploy­ment.

AB 2008 by Assem­bly­man Juan Aram­bula (IFresno) would have ex­empted em­ploy­ees of the Fran­chise Tax Board and the Board of Equal­iza­tion, who help col­lect tax rev­enue that helps in a state bud­get cri­sis.

On both bills, Sch­warzeneg­ger wrote in his veto mes­sage that “while there may be a need to ex­empt spe­cific em­ploy­ees from fur­lough, that ex­emp­tion should be de­ter­mined on a case-by-case ba­sis depend­ing on the ex­i­gen­cies of the fis­cal cri­sis.”

And the bill reg­u­lat­ing pet in­surance, AB 2411, is not nec­es­sary be­cause the state Depart­ment of In­surance al­ready has author­ity to over­see the in­dus­try, Sch­warzeneg­ger wrote in his veto mes­sage.

He also re­jected the mea­sure bar­ring dor­mancy fees on gift cards, writ­ing in his veto mes­sage that SB 885 by Sen. Ellen Cor­bett (DSan Le­an­dro) “can place an ad­di­tional bur­den on small busi­nesses that of­fer gift cer­tifi­cates and cards.”

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