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
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          ____
          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. 
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          ____
                            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                                
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          ____

          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.