BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  SB 1454
          Author:   Torlakson (D) and Aanestad (R)
          Amended:  8/21/06
          Vote:     21

           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE :  6-0, 4/4/06
          AYES:  Migden, Poochigian, Cedillo, Margett, Perata, Romero

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  13-0, 5/25/06
          AYES:  Murray, Aanestad, Alarcon, Alquist, Ashburn, Battin,  
            Dutton, Escutia, Florez, Ortiz, Poochigian, Romero,  

           SENATE FLOOR  :  34-2, 5/30/06
          AYES:  Aanestad, Alarcon, Alquist, Ashburn, Battin, Bowen,  
            Cedillo, Cox, Denham, Ducheny, Dunn, Dutton, Figueroa,  
            Florez, Kehoe, Kuehl, Lowenthal, Machado, Maldonado,  
            Margett, Migden, Morrow, Murray, Ortiz, Perata,  
            Poochigian, Romero, Runner, Scott, Simitian, Soto,  
            Speier, Torlakson, Vincent
          NOES:  Hollingsworth, McClintock
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Ackerman, Chesbro, Escutia, Vacancy

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  78-0, 8/24/06 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Hazing:  Matts Law

           SOURCE  :     Author

           DIGEST  :    This bill repeals the Education Code hazing  


                                                               SB 1454

          provisions and instead codifies within the Penal Code a new  
          definition of hazing and prescribes misdemeanor and felony  
          penalties, as specified.  This bill also allows a person to  
          bring a civil action for injury or damages against  
          individuals who participate in, or organizations who  
          authorize, the hazing.

           Assembly Amendments  changed the definition of "hazing".

           ANALYSIS  :    Current law defines "hazing" as any method of  
          initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or  
          student body or any pastime or amusement engaged in with  
          respect to these organizations which causes, or is likely  
          to cause, bodily danger, physical harm, or personal  
          degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental  
          harm, to any pupil or other person attending any school,  
          community college, college, university, or other  
          educational institution in this state.  The term "hazing"  
          does not include customary athletic events or other similar  
          contests or competitions.  [Section 32050 of the Education  

          Current law prohibits a student or other person in  
          attendance at a public, private, parochial or military  
          school, community college or other educational institution  
          from conspiring to engage in hazing, participate in hazing  
          or commit an act that causes or is likely to cause bodily  
          danger, physical harm or personal degradation or disgrace  
          resulting in physical or mental harm to a fellow student or  
          person attending the institution.  Current law states that  
          a violation of the Education Code section mentioned above  
          shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or  
          imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year,  
          or both.  [Section 32051 of the Education Code]

          This bill is tombstoned "Matt's Law" in memory of Matthew  
          William Carrington, who died on February 2, 2005, as a  
          result of hazing.

          This bill repeals the above two sections of the Education  
          Code and adds Section 245.6 to the Penal code.

          The new language is as follows:


                                                               SB 1454

            "This bill provides that it is unlawful to engage in  

            "This bill defines 'hazing' as any method of initiation  
            or preinitiation into a student organization or student  
            body, whether or not the organization or body is  
            officially recognized by an educational institution,  
            which is likely to cause, serious bodily injury to any  
            former, current or prospective student of any school,  
            community college, college, university, or other  
            educational institution in this state.  The term  
            'hazing' does not include customary athletic events or  
            school-sanctioned events.

            "A violation that does not result in serious bodily  
            injury is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not  
            less than $100, nor more than $5,000, or imprisonment  
            in the county jail for not more than one year, or both.

            "This bill provides that any person who personally  
            engages in hazing that results in death or serious  
            bodily injury, is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a  
            felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in county  
            jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the  
            state prison.

            "This bill provides that the person against whom the  
            hazing is directed may commence a civil action for  
            injury or damages.  The action may be brought against  
            any participants in the hazing, or any organization, to  
            which the student is seeking membership, whose agents,  
            directors, trustees, managers, or officers authorized,  
            requested, commanded, participated in, or ratified the  

            "Prosecution under the provisions of this bill do not  
            prohibit prosecution under any other provision of law."

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

                         Fiscal Impact (in thousands)


                                                               SB 1454

            Major Provisions     2006-07     2007-08     2008-09      Fund  

           Penalty enhancements          Potentially in excess of  
           $150 annually       General

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/24/06)

          Butte County District Attorney
          California District Attorneys Association
          California State University
          California State University, Chico
          California State University, Chico Interfraternity Council
          California State University, Chico Panhellenic
          California Teachers Association
          Chico Police Department
          City of Chico 
          Crime Victims United of California
          MASH, Inc. (Mothers Against School Hazing)
          Office of the Attorney General
          Peace Officers Research Association of California
          Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce
          Roseville Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
          Security On Campus, Inc.
          Sheriff of Contra Costa County
          University of California

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The author states:

            "This bill creates appropriate penalties for serious  
            hazing incidents and also creates a deterrent to  
            prevent any more tragedies.  SB 1454 resulted from the  
            death of Matthew Carrington, a 21-year-old student at  
            Cal-State Chico, who died from injuries suffered in a  
            fraternity initiation hazing ritual. 

            "Hazing is currently a misdemeanor in the Education  
            Code.  This bill moves hazing into the Penal Code,  
            increases penalties to a felony in case of injury or  
            death, and broadens the ability of prosecutors to seek  
            sentences against any persons - not just students - who  
            participate in hazing.  Fraternity officials can also  
            be held responsible.


                                                               SB 1454

            "Hazing is a unique crime in which peer pressure can  
            play a pivotal role.  This bill ensures that someone's  
            participation in hazing cannot be used as a defense by  
            those (who) kill, injure of psychologically harm the  
            victim.  Matt's Law will protect students, their  
            families and friends from the torments of hazing."

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Aghazarian, Arambula, Baca, Benoit, Berg, Bermudez,  
            Blakeslee, Bogh, Calderon, Canciamilla, Chan, Chavez,  
            Chu, Cogdill, Cohn, Coto, Daucher, De La Torre, DeVore,  
            Dymally, Emmerson, Evans, Frommer, Garcia, Goldberg,  
            Hancock, Haynes, Jerome Horton, Shirley Horton, Houston,  
            Huff, Jones, Karnette, Keene, Klehs, Koretz, La Malfa, La  
            Suer, Laird, Leno, Leslie, Levine, Lieber, Lieu, Liu,  
            Matthews, Maze, McCarthy, Montanez, Mountjoy, Mullin,  
            Nakanishi, Nation, Nava, Negrete McLeod, Niello, Oropeza,  
            Parra, Pavley, Plescia, Richman, Ridley-Thomas, Sharon  
            Runner, Ruskin, Saldana, Salinas, Spitzer, Strickland,  
            Torrico, Tran, Umberg, Vargas, Villines, Walters, Wolk,  
            Wyland, Yee, Nunez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Bass, Vacancy

          RJG:mel  8/25/06   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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