BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1958
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          Date of Hearing:   April 23, 2008 

                                  Mark Leno, Chair

                   AB 1958 (Swanson) - As Amended:  March 25, 2008 

          Policy Committee:                              Transportation  
          Vote:        13-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No


          This bill adds firefighters, code enforcement officers, and  
          certain veterinarians to the list of peace officers and other  
          public officials who may request the DMV to keep their home  
          addresses confidential from disclosure to the general public.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)Moderate costs, in the range of $720,000 primarily in 2008-09,  
            to the DMV to modify its public official confidentiality  
            process and to add potentially several thousand names to the  
            confidentiality list. (Motor Vehicle Account (MVA).)

          2)Moderate ongoing costs, in the range of $400,000 annually  
            starting 2009-10, to the DMV to continue to add and delete  
            names from the public official confidentiality and to  
            "blackout" these home addresses if the general confidentiality  
            provisions of existing law are ever repealed and the DMV  
            decides to divulge this information to the general public.   


           1)Rationale  .  The author believes public access to personal  
            information regarding firefighters, code enforcement officers,  
            and certain veterinarians whose jobs may require them to be  
            placed in sensitive positions, should be limited to a handful  
            of "need-to-know" public entities.  The author is concerned  
            these officials and veterinarians periodically become  
            potential targets for retaliation from a disgruntled person.


                                                                  AB 1958
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           2)Background  .  Until 1989, DMV records were considered public  
            records and any person who had a legitimate reason to seek a  
            home address of a particular person in the DMV files could  
            obtain it simply by producing the relevant driver's license  
            number or a license plate number.  In 1986, legislation was  
            enacted creating a list of public officials whose home  
            addresses were to be kept relatively confidential by the DMV.   
            The original list of persons whose home addresses are to be  
            kept confidential by the DMV, included the Attorney General  
            and Department of Justice attorneys, the State Public Defender  
            and deputy defenders, members of the Legislature, judges or  
            court commissioners, district attorneys and their deputies,  
            public defenders, and peace officers and their families.   
            Since then, the list has expanded to encompass tens of  
            thousands of other public employees and their families.  

             In 1989, actress Rebecca Schaeffer was stalked and killed by a  
            man who obtained her address through a private investigator  
            who, in turn, obtained her address from the DMV.  In response  
            to this murder, the Legislature enacted AB 1779 (Roos) -  
            Chapter 1213, Statutes of 1989, which made confidential the  
            home addresses of all individuals with records at the DMV.   
            Since 1990, when AB 1779 went into effect, there has been no  
            useful reason for the DMV to maintain the separate and  
            explicit confidentiality list of public officials and  

            Despite the fact that all home addresses are kept confidential  
            by the DMV, the Legislature has considered and enacted several  
            bills since 1990 proposing to add select categories of persons  
            to the public official confidentiality process.  The DMV is  
            not aware of any instance since the enactment of AB 1779 in  
            which the department's home address information has been used  
            to commit any crime.

           3)Alternative Action  .  Since the enactment of AB 1779 in 1989  
            eliminates the need for the separate home address  
            confidentiality protections afforded to public officials and  
            employees under Vehicle Code sections 1808.2, 1808.4, and  
            1808.6, a more appropriate course of action would be to repeal  
            these three outdated sections. 

           4)Related Legislation  .  AB 2039 (Arambula) removes peace  
            officers who have been convicted of a crime and have left  
            their positions from the public official confidentiality  


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            list's three-year moratorium on public access to home address  
            information.  AB 2039 passed this committee April 9.

            AB 966 (Spitzer), which passed the Assembly last year as a  
            measure related to parole, was amended April 9 to delete all  
            confidentiality provisions and instead allow government  
            agencies access to the public official confidentiality list of  
            home addresses in an effort to better collect traffic, parking  
            or toll road violations.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Steve Archibald / APPR. / (916)