BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2131
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 9, 2008

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mark Leno, Chair

                AB 2131 (Niello) - As Introduced:  February 20, 2008 

          Policy Committee:                              Public  
          SafetyVote:  7-0

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

           SUMMARY  

          This bill allows a peace officer assigned to a canine unit, as  
          defined, who is on official assignment away from his or her home  
          jurisdiction, to be accompanied by a dog in specified places -  
          on any common carrier, airplane, train, bus or other public  
          conveyance, or in accommodations, facilities, medical  
          facilities, or lodging places - without paying an extra charge,  
          similar to the current canine concessions provided persons using  
          guide, signal, and service dogs.  

          As is the case in current law regarding guide, signal and  
          service dogs, the law enforcement agency would be liable for any  
          animal damage, and any person who prevents a peace office from  
          exercising the rights specified in this section would be guilty  
          of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500.   

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Negligible fiscal impact.

           COMMENTS  

           Rationale  . Current law does not grant peace officer canine units  
          the type of access to public transportation and accommodations  
          granted to service dogs for disabled persons. The author and  
          sponsors - law enforcement entities - contend this bill is  
          necessary to address situations in which peace officers with  
          specially trained dogs are called to assist outside of their  
          home jurisdiction. Generally, when this occurs, it is an  
          emergency situation that requires long hours for the officer and  
          the dog, such as a natural disaster or a search for a missing  








                                                                  AB 2131
                                                                  Page  2

          person. Currently, these dogs are not provided the same freedom  
          of access as service dogs for the disabled, and therefore cannot  
          stay in hotels or ride public transportation. This presents an  
          additional burden for law enforcement, who must then kennel the  
          dog.

           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Geoff Long / APPR. / (916) 319-2081