BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2324
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 28, 2010

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                AB 2324 (John A. Perez) - As Amended:  April 5, 2010 

          Policy Committee:                              Public  
          SafetyVote:  6-0

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

           SUMMARY  

          This bill creates a series of misdemeanor offenses and recasts  
          penalties for existing offenses committed within public transit  
          facilities. Specifically, this bill:

          1)Creates a misdemeanor, mirroring current penalties for similar  
            offenses in an airport or passenger vessel terminal area,  
            punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of  
            up to $1,000, to knowingly possess specified weapons or  
            facsimiles.  

          2)Adds public transit facilities to the infraction/misdemeanor  
            trespass statute that prohibits trespass in an airport or  
            passenger vessel terminal area posted with notices restricting  
            access, as specified. 

          3)Adds public transit facilities to the statute that penalizes  
            evading screening/inspection facilities or processes within  
            the "sterile area" of an airport or passenger vessel terminal,  
            and recasts the penalties as follows:


             a)   Current law makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to  
               one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 to  
               intentionally avoid screening and inspection of person and  
               property when that avoidance results in evacuation of a  
               passenger vessel terminal and delays or cancellations of  
               scheduled flights. The sterile area must be posted with a  
               statement providing notice that prosecution may result from  
               trespass. 









                                                                  AB 2324
                                                                  Page  2


             b)   This bill makes a first offense of avoiding a security  
               screening an infraction, with no requirement of flight  
               delays or evacuation, and no posting requirement,  
               punishable by a fine of up to $500. A second offense is a  
               misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail  
               and/or a fine of up to $1,000. This bill does not change  
               the penalty for avoidance that results in evacuation and  
               flight delays.  


          4)Increases the existing $250 infraction and 48-hour community  
            service penalty for a third or subsequent violation of a  
            series of existing offenses committed in or on public transit  
            systems to a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in  
            county jail and/or a fine of up to $400. These offenses  
            include:  fare evasion, playing sound equipment, smoking,  
            eating or drinking, spitting, skateboarding, skating, and bike  
            riding. 


          5)Increases the existing $250 infraction and 48-hour community  
            service penalty for boisterous, disturbing behavior, carrying  
            an explosive or hazardous material, urinating or defecating,  
            or tampering with transit equipment in a public transit  
            system, to a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in  
            county jail and/or a fine of up to $400.

           
           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Unknown, potentially significant nonreimbursable local law  
          enforcement and incarceration costs, offset to a degree by  
          increased fine revenue, to the extent local authorities charge  
          under the new misdemeanor sections. It is likely that in many,  
          if not most cases, however, the prosecution will pursue fines  
          rather than county jail time. 

           COMMENTS  

           1)Rationale  . Current law provides specific security provisions  
            to airports. The author's intent is to apply parallel  
            protections to public transit facilities such as bus stations  
            and light rail. 









                                                                  AB 2324
                                                                  Page  3

            According to the bill sponsor, the L.A. Sheriffs Department,  
            "This bill would create sterile areas and weapons prohibitions  
            for a public transit vehicle station. This bill would also  
            prohibit a person from intentionally avoiding submission to  
            screening and inspection when entering a sterile area in a  
            public transit vehicle station. This will create a safer  
            environment for those who patronize or work in the public  
            transit system. 

            "This bill will also increase penalties for repeat fare  
            evasion offenders. The first and second violation for fare  
            evaders will remain the same, but for the third violation, the  
            penalty would have an increased fine. Additionally, other  
            violations under the transit section, such as a willful  
            disturbance and carrying an explosive or acid, will be  
            upgraded from infractions to misdemeanors, notwithstanding any  
            other provision of law. "

           2)Suggested Amendments  . 

             a)   In order for prosecution to ensue, require the sterile  
               area of a public transit area be posted with a statement  
               providing notice that prosecution may result from  
               possessing specified items within the area.

             b)   Apply the existing posting requirement for prosecuting  
               screening avoidance that results in evacuation or delayed  
               flights to all screening avoidance.

             c)   Create a new subdivision for the offense of eating or  
               drinking in a public transit system to maintain these  
               repeat offenses as infractions rather than as misdemeanors.  



           

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