BILL ANALYSIS Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Tom Torlakson, Chairman 902 (Padilla) Hearing Date: 1/22/08 Amended: 1/7/08 Consultant: Bob Franzoia Policy Vote: G O 5-0 _________________________________________________________________ ____ BILL SUMMARY: SB 902 would require the State Fire Marshall (SFM), in conjunction with recognized statewide fire investigation entities to update and amend standards and procedures for accelerant detecting canines and their handlers, as specified. This bill requires these standards and procedures to be updated and amended on or before January 1, 2010, and to consider information from publications by recognized statewide fire investigation entities, as specified. _________________________________________________________________ ____ Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 Fund Update arson dog $25 to $100 one time General standards and procedures _________________________________________________________________ ____ STAFF COMMENTS: In the past, the SFM maintained its own arson dogs and developed regulations for the training of what are now referred to as accelerate detecting canines. It appears that when funding to house the dogs was eliminated, the regulatory program lapsed. Since that time, there have been reports of instances where, due to an absence of current regulations or standards, the training and handling of these dogs has been challenged in court, resulting in arson cases being lost. This bill is nearly identical to SB 828 (Padilla), which was vetoed by the Governor with the following message: This bill would require the State Fire Marshall, in conjunction with recognized statewide fire investigation entities, to update and amend on or before January 1, 2009, standards and procedures for accelerant dogs and their handlers. This bill is unnecessary. Cal Fire and the State Fire Marshall have existing authority to update their standards and certification requirements as they deem appropriate. Indeed, these standards were updated only five years ago. Nonetheless, I am directing the State Fire Marshall to review the current standards and, if necessary, work with all interested stakeholders to update and amend them to reflect the last applicable fire investigation techniques.