BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                             Senator Mark Leno, Chair                A
                             2009-2010 Regular Session               B

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          AB 2324 (J.Perez)                                          4
          As Amended June 10, 2010
          Hearing date:  June 22, 2010
          Penal Code
          SM:dl
                              PUBLIC TRANSIT FACILITIES:

                       FARE EVASION, TRESPASS AND STERILE ZONES  


                                       HISTORY

          Source:  Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

          Prior Legislation: SB 584 (Soto) - Ch. 378, Stats. of 2005
                       AB 280 (Oropeza) - Ch. 289, Stats. of 2005
                       AB 1263 (Benoit) - Ch. 361, Stats. of 2003
                       SB 510 (Scott) - Ch. 608, Stats. of 2002

          Support: California State Sheriffs' Association; California  
                   Transit Association; Los Angeles District Attorney's  
                   Office; Sacramento Regional Transit District; Santa  
                   Clara Valley Transportation Authority

          Opposition:None known

          Assembly Floor Vote:  Ayes  77 - Noes  0


                                      KEY ISSUES
           
          SHOULD PUBLIC TRANSIT FACILITIES INCLUDE "STERILE AREAS" WHERE  
          WEAPONS ARE PROHIBITED?




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                                                         AB 2324 (J. Perez)
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          SHOULD IT BE A MISDEMEANOR TO INTENTIONALLY AVOID SECURITY  
          SCREENING AT A PUBLIC TRANSIT STERILE ZONE?

                                                                (CONTINUED)



          SHOULD THE TRESPASS PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO AIRPORTS AND HARBORS  
          APPLY ALSO TO PUBLIC TRANSIT FACILITIES?

          SHOULD PENALTIES BE INCREASED FOR FARE EVASION AND OTHER SPECIFIED  
          ACTS IN A PUBLIC TRANSIT FACILITY OR VEHICLE?


                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to (1) establish "sterile areas"  
          within public transit facilities and prohibit possession of  
          specified items within those areas; (2) expand the crime of  
          trespass to include unauthorized entry into a public transit  
          facility, as defined; (3) create a new crime of intentionally  
          avoiding security screening at a public transit facility; (4)  
          and increase penalties for specified acts of misconduct  
          committed on or in a facility or vehicle of a public  
          transportation system, as specified.

          Public Transit "Sterile Area" - Prohibited Items
          
           Existing law  states that persons who intentionally avoid  
          submission to the screening and inspection of one's person and  
          accessible property in accordance with the procedures being  
          applied to control access when entering or reentering a sterile  
          area of an  airport  or, passenger vessel terminal and are  
          responsible for the evacuation of an airport terminal or,  
          passenger vessel terminal, and is responsible in any part delays  
          or cancellations of scheduled flights or departures is  
          punishable by imprisonment of not more than one year in a county  
          jail if the sterile area is posted with a statement providing  
          reasonable notice that prosecution may result from a trespass.   




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                                                         AB 2324 (J. Perez)
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          (Penal Code section 602(v).)

           Existing law  defines "public transportation system" as any  
          system of an operator which provides transportation services to  
          the general public by any vehicle which operates on land or  
          water, regardless of whether operated separated from or in  
          conjunction with other vehicles.  (Public Utilities Code section  
          99211.)

           Existing law  creates a felony punishable by imprisonment in the  
          state prison for two, four, or six years for any person who  
          willfully (Penal Code section 12303.1):

                 Carries any explosive or destructive device on any  
               vessel, aircraft, car, or other vehicle that transports  
               passengers for hire.
                 Places or carries any explosive or destructive device,  
               while on board any such vessel, aircraft, car, or other  
               vehicle, in any hand baggage, roll, or other container.
                 Places any explosive or destructive device in any  
               baggage which is later checked with any common carrier. 

           Existing law  provides that when an assault is committed against  
          any person on the property of, or on a motor vehicle of, a  
          public transportation provider, as defined, the offense shall be  
          punished by a fine not to exceed $2,000, or up to one year in  
          county jail, or both.  (Penal Code section 241.3.)

           Existing law  provides that assault with a deadly weapon or  
          instrument or by any means of force likely to produce great  
          bodily injury upon the person of an operator, driver, or  
          passenger on a bus, taxicab, streetcar, cable car, trackless  
          trolley, or other motor vehicle, including a vehicle operated on  
          stationary rails or on a track or rail suspended in the air,  
          used for the transportation of persons for hire, or upon the  
          person of a station agent or ticket agent for the entity  
          providing such transportation, when the driver, operator, or  
          agent is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and  
          where the person who commits the assault knows or reasonably  
          should know that the victim is engaged in the performance of his  




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                                                         AB 2324 (J. Perez)
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          or her duties, or is a passenger, shall be punished by  
          imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or five years.  
           (Penal Code section 245.2.)

           Existing law  provides that murder in the first degree is  
          punishable by a term of life without the possibility of parole  
          in any case in which any of the following special circumstances  
          has been charged and specially found to be true:  the victim was  
          the operator or driver of a bus, taxicab, streetcar, cable car,  
          trackless trolley, or other motor vehicle operated on land,  
          including a vehicle operated on stationary rails or on a track  
          or rail suspended in the air, used for the transportation of  
          persons for hire, or the victim was a station agent or ticket  
          agent for the entity providing such transportation, who, while  
          engaged in the course of the performance of his or her duties  
          was intentionally killed, and such defendant knew or reasonably  
          should have known that such victim was the operator or driver of  
          a bus, taxicab, streetcar, cable car, trackless trolley, or  
          other motor vehicle operated on land, including a vehicle  
          operated on stationary rails or on a track or rail suspended in  
          the air, used for the transportation of persons for hire, or was  
          a station agent or ticket agent for the entity providing such  
          transportation, engaged in the performance of his or her duties.  
           (Penal Code section 190.25.)

           This bill  defines "public transit facility" as any land,  
          buildings, and equipment, or any interest therein, including any  
          station on a public transportation route, to which access is  
          controlled in a manner consistent with the public transit  
          authority's security plan, whether or not the operation thereof  
          produces revenue, which have as their primary purpose the  
          operation of a public transit system or the providing of  
          services to the passengers of a public transit system.  A public  
          transit system includes the vehicles used in the system,  
          including, but not limited to, motor vehicles, streetcars,  
          trackless trolleys, buses, light rail systems, rapid transit  
          systems, subways, trains, or jitneys, that transport members of  
          the public for hire.

           This bill  defines "sterile area" as any portion of a public  




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                                                         AB 2324 (J. Perez)
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          transit facility that is generally controlled in a manner  
          consistent with the public transit authority's security plan.

           This bill  provides it is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six  
          months in county jail, or by a fine of up to $1,000, or both,  
          for any person to knowingly possess within any sterile area of a  
          public 

          transit facility, if the sterile area is posted with a statement  
          providing reasonable notice that prosecution may result from  
          possession of these items, any of the following:

                 Any firearm;
                 Any imitation firearm as defined under existing law;
                 Any instrument that expels a metallic projectile, such  
               as a BB or pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2  
               pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun or paint  
               gun;
                 Any metal military practice hand grenade;
                 Any metal replica hand grenade;
                 Any plastic replica hand grenade;
                 Any unauthorized tear gas weapon;
                 Any taser or stun gun, as defined under existing law;  
               and,
                 Any undetectable knife, as described under existing law.

           This bill  exempts the following people from the prohibitions  
          stated above:

                 A duly appointed peace officer, as defined under  
               existing law;
                 A retired peace officer with authorization to carry  
               concealed weapons as described under existing law;
                 A full-time paid peace officer of another state or the  
               federal government who is carrying out official duties  
               while in California;
                 A qualified law enforcement officer of another state or  
               the federal government, as permitted under the Law  
               Enforcement Officers Safety Act, as specified;
                 A person summoned by a peace officer to assist in making  




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               arrests or preserving the peace while he or she is actually  
               engaged in assisting the officer; and,
                 A person who is responsible for the security of the  
               public transit system and who has been authorized by the  
               public transit authority's security coordinator, in  
               writing, to possess a weapon.

           This bill  permits a person to carry a handgun in a transit  
          facility if he or she is a person who is exempt from the  
          prohibition against carrying a handgun under existing law, as  
          specified, and is carrying the handgun in accordance with that  
          exemption.

           This bill  permits a person to possess a tear gas weapon within a  
          transit facility if he or she is permitted to carry such item  
          under existing law, as specified. 

           This bill  provides that these provisions are cumulative, and  
          shall not be construed as restricting the application of any  
          other law.  However, an act or omission that is punishable in  
          different ways by this and any other provision of law shall not  
          be punished under more than one provision.

           This bill  specifically allows for prosecution under any other  
          provision of law that may provide greater punishment.
          Trespass
          
           Existing law  provides that it is a trespass when an unauthorized  
          person knowingly enters upon  any airport or passenger vessel  
          terminal operations area  , if the area has been posted with  
          notices restricting access to authorized personnel only and the  
          posting occur not greater than every 150 feet along the exterior  
          boundary, to the extent, in the case of a passenger vessel  
          terminal, that the exterior boundary extends shoreside.  To the  
          extent that the exterior boundary of a passenger vessel terminal  
          operations area extends waterside, this prohibition shall apply  
          if notices have been posted in a manner consistent with the  
          requirements for the shoreside exterior boundary, or in any  
          other manner approved by the captain of the port.  The person  
          shall be punished as follows:




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                 By a fine not exceeding $100.
                 By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6  
               months, a fine of $1,000, or both, if the person refuses to  
               leave the airport or passenger vessel terminal after being  
               requested to leave by a peace officer or authorized  
               personnel.
                 By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six  
               months, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both, for a  
               second or subsequent offense. (Penal Code section 602(u).)

           This bill  expands the definition of a trespass to include when  
          any unauthorized person knowingly enters a  public transit  
          facility  if the area has been posted with notices restricting  
          access to authorized personnel only and the postings occur not  
          greater than every 150 feet along the exterior boundary, to the  
          extent, in the case of a passenger vessel terminal, that the  
          exterior boundary extends shoreside.  To the extent that the  
          exterior boundary of a passenger vessel terminal operations area  
          extends waterside, this prohibition shall apply if notices have  
          been posted in a manner consistent with the requirements for the  
          shoreside exterior boundary, or in any other manner approved by  
          the captain of the port.  The penalties for this offense would  
          remain the same as existing law:

                 By a fine not exceeding $100.
                 By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6  
               months or $1,000, or both, if the person refuses to leave  
               the airport or passenger vessel terminal after being  
               requested to leave by a peace officer or authorized  
               personnel.
                 By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six  
               months, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both, for a  
               second or subsequent offense.

           This bill  defines "facility or vehicle of a public  
          transportation system" as any of the following:

                 A facility or vehicle of a public transportation system  
               as defined under existing law;




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                 A facility of, or vehicle operated by any entity  
               subsidized by, the Department of Transportation; or,
                 A leased or rented facility or vehicle which incurs  
               costs of cleanup, repair, or replacement as a result of any  
               of those acts.

          Security Screening Evasion and Fare Evasion 
          
           Existing law  provides the following acts are infractions  
          punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 and by community service  
          for a total time not to exceed 48 hours over a period not to  
          exceed 30 days, during a time other than during his or her hours  
          of school attendance or employment, when committed on or in a  
          facility or vehicle of a public transportation system, a  
          facility of, or vehicle operated by any entity subsidized by,  
          the Department of Transportation, a leased or rented facility or  
          vehicle for which incur costs of cleanup, repair, or replacement  
          as a result of any of those acts (Penal Code section 640):

                 Evasion of the payment of a fare of the system.  Fare  
               evasion includes entering an enclosed area of a public  
               transit facility beyond posted signs prohibiting entrance  
               without obtaining valid fare, in addition to entering a  
               transit vehicle without valid fare. 
                 Misuse of a transfer, pass, ticket, or token with the  
               intent to evade the payment of a fare.
                 Playing sound equipment on or in a system facility or  
               vehicle.
                 Smoking, eating, or drinking in or on a system facility  
               or vehicle in those areas where those activities are  
               prohibited by that system.
                 Expectorating upon a system facility or vehicle.
                 Willfully disturbing others on or in a system facility  
               or vehicle by engaging in boisterous or unruly behavior.
                 Carrying an explosive or acid, flammable liquid, or  
               toxic or hazardous material in a public transit facility or  
               vehicle.
                 Urinating or defecating in a system facility or vehicle,  
               except in a lavatory.  However, this paragraph shall not  
               apply to a person who cannot comply with this paragraph as  




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               a result of a disability, age, or a medical condition.
                 Willfully blocking the free movement of another person  
               in a system facility or vehicle.
                 Skateboarding, roller skating, bicycle riding,  
               rollerblading, or operating an electronic personal  
               assistive mobility device or similar device as defined  
               under existing law, or a motorized scooter or similar  
               device as defined under existing law in a system facility,  
               vehicle, or parking structure.  This paragraph does not  
               apply to an activity that is necessary for utilization of  
               the transit facility by a bicyclist, including, but not  
               limited to, an activity that is necessary for parking a  
               bicycle or transporting a bicycle aboard a transit vehicle,  
               if that activity is conducted with the permission of the  
               transit agency in a manner that does not interfere with the  
               safety of the bicyclist or other patrons of the transit  
               facility.
                 Unauthorized use of a discount ticket or failure to  
               present, upon request from a transit system representative,  
               acceptable proof of eligibility to use a discount ticket  
               and posted system identification policies when entering or  
               exiting a transit station or vehicle.  Acceptable proof of  
               eligibility must be clearly defined in the posting.


           This bill  provides that persons who intentionally avoid  
          submission to the screening and inspection of one's person and  
          accessible property in accordance with the procedures being  
          applied to control access when entering or reentering a public  
          transit facility and are responsible in any part for delays or  
          cancellations of departures are punishable by imprisonment of  
          not more than one year in a county jail if the sterile area is  
          posted with a statement providing reasonable notice that  
          prosecution may result.  A violation of this subdivision is  
          punishable by a fine of not more than $500 for the first  
          offense.  A second and subsequent violation is a misdemeanor,  
          punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not  
          more than one year, or by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or by  
          both that fine and imprisonment.





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           This bill  recasts Penal Code section 640 to provide the  
          following penalties for the following acts committed on or in a  
          facility or vehicle of a public transportation system, as  
          defined:

          Straight Infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 and  
          by community service for a total time not to exceed 48 hours  
          over a period not to exceed 30 days, during a time other than  
          during his or her hours of school attendance or employment: 

                 Playing sound equipment on or in a system facility or  
               vehicle.
                 Smoking, eating, or drinking in or on a system facility  
               or vehicle in those areas where those activities are  
               prohibited by that system.
                 Disturbing another person by loud or unreasonable noise.
                 Expectorating upon a system facility or vehicle.
                 Skateboarding, roller skating, bicycle riding,  
               rollerblading or [operating a] motorized scooter or similar  
               device, as specified, in a system facility, vehicle, or  
               parking structure.  This paragraph does not apply to an  
               activity that is necessary for utilization of the transit  
               facility by a bicyclist, including, but not limited to, an  
               activity that is necessary for parking a bicycle or  
               transporting a bicycle aboard a transit vehicle, if that  
               activity is conducted with the permission of the transit  
               agency in a manner that does not interfere with the safety  
               of the bicyclist or other patrons of the transit facility.

          Infraction upon a first or second violation, punishable by a  
          fine not to exceed $250 and by community service for a total  
          time not to exceed 48 hours over a period not to exceed 30 days,  
          during a time other than during his or her hours of school  
          attendance or employment.  A third or subsequent violation is a  
          misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $400 or by  
          imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than 90  
          days, or by both that fine and imprisonment. 

                 Evasion of the payment of a fare of the system,  
               including entering an enclosed area of a public transit  




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               facility beyond posted signs prohibiting entrance without  
               obtaining valid fare, in addition to entering a vehicle  
               without valid fare..
                 Misuse of a transfer, pass, ticket, or token with the  
               intent to evade the payment of a fare.
                 Unauthorized use of a discount ticket or failure to  
               present, upon request from a transit system representative,  
               acceptable proof of eligibility to use a discount ticket  
               and posted system identification policies when entering or  
               exiting a transit station or vehicle.  
                 Acceptable proof of eligibility must be clearly defined  
               in the posting.  In the event that an eligible discount  
               ticket user is not in possession of acceptable proof at the  
               time of request, any citation issued shall be held for a  
               period of 72 hours to allow the user to produce acceptable  
               proof.  If the proof is provided, the citation shall be  
               voided.  If the proof is not produced within that time  
               period, the citation shall be processed.

          Straight Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than  
          $400, by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not  
                                      more than 90 days, or by both that fine and imprisonment:
          
                 Willfully disturbing others on or in a system facility  
               or vehicle by engaging in boisterous or unruly behavior;
                 Carrying an explosive, acid, or inflammable liquid in a  
               public transit facility or vehicle;
                 Urinating or defecating in a system facility or vehicle,  
               except in a lavatory.  However, this paragraph shall not  
               apply to a person who cannot comply with this paragraph as  
               a result of a disability, age, or a medical condition; 
                 Willfully blocking the free movement of another person  
               in a system facility, as specified; and,
                 Willfully tampering with, removing, displacing,  
               injuring, or destroying any part of any light rail train or  
               bus equipment.

                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION
          
          The severe prison overcrowding problem California has  




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          experienced for the last several years has not been solved.  In  
          December of 2006 plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits against the  
          Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sought a  
          court-ordered limit on the prison population pursuant to the  
          federal Prison Litigation Reform Act.  On January 12, 2010, a  
          federal three-judge panel issued an order requiring the state to  
          reduce its inmate population to 137.5 percent of design capacity  
          -- a reduction of roughly 40,000 inmates -- within two years.   
          In a prior, related 184-page Opinion and Order dated August 4,  
          2009, that court stated in part:

               "California's correctional system is in a tailspin,"  
               the state's independent oversight agency has reported.  
               . . .  (Jan. 2007 Little Hoover Commission Report,  
               "Solving California's Corrections Crisis: Time Is  
               Running Out").  Tough-on-crime politics have increased  
               the population of California's prisons dramatically  
               while making necessary reforms impossible. . . .  As a  
               result, the state's prisons have become places "of  
               extreme peril to the safety of persons" they house, .  
               . .  (Governor Schwarzenegger's Oct. 4, 2006 Prison  
               Overcrowding State of Emergency Declaration), while  
               contributing little to the safety of California's  
               residents, . . . .   California "spends more on  
               corrections than most countries in the world," but the  
               state "reaps fewer public safety benefits." . . .  .   
               Although California's existing prison system serves  
               neither the public nor the inmates well, the state has  
               for years been unable or unwilling to implement the  
               reforms necessary to reverse its continuing  
               deterioration.  (Some citations omitted.)

               . . .

               The massive 750% increase in the California prison  
               population since the mid-1970s is the result of  
               political decisions made over three decades, including  
               the shift to inflexible determinate sentencing and the  
               passage of harsh mandatory minimum and three-strikes  
               laws, as well as the state's counterproductive parole  




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               system.  Unfortunately, as California's prison  
               population has grown, California's political  
               decision-makers have failed to provide the resources  
               and facilities required to meet the additional need  
               for space and for other necessities of prison  
               existence.  Likewise, although state-appointed experts  
               have repeatedly provided numerous methods by which the  
               state could safely reduce its prison population, their  
               recommendations have been ignored, underfunded, or  
               postponed indefinitely.  The convergence of  
               tough-on-crime policies and an unwillingness to expend  
               the necessary funds to support the population growth  
               has brought California's prisons to the breaking  
               point.  The state of emergency declared by Governor  
               Schwarzenegger almost three years ago continues to  
               this day, California's prisons remain severely  
               overcrowded, and inmates in the California prison  
               system continue to languish without constitutionally  
               adequate medical and mental health care.<1>

          The court stayed implementation of its January 12, 2010 ruling  
          pending the state's appeal of the decision to the U.S. Supreme  
          Court.  On Monday, June 14, 2010, The U.S. Supreme Court agreed  
          to hear the state's appeal in this case.   

           This bill  does not appear to aggravate the prison overcrowding  
          crisis described above.


                                      COMMENTS

          1.  Need for This Bill  
          ---------------------------
          <1>   Three Judge Court Opinion and Order, Coleman v.  
          Schwarzenegger, Plata v. Schwarzenegger, in the United States  
          District Courts for the Eastern District of California and the  
          Northern District of California United States District Court  
          composed of three judges pursuant to Section 2284, Title 28  
          United States Code (August 4, 2009).





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                                                         AB 2324 (J. Perez)
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          According to the author:

               In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September  
               11, 2001, California made several changes to the Penal  
               Code to address gaps in state law that deal with  
               possessing certain weapons at airports and seaports.   
               Over time, these laws were expanded to include certain  
               public buildings and other facilities, but public  
               transit facilities were not included at that time.  

               The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and other  
               law enforcement agencies that provide public safety  
               services to public transit agencies have expressed  
               significant concerns over the safety of California's  
               public transit systems.  Current law does not provide  
               for adequate protection from illegal weapons and  
               dangerous or illegal behaviors on public transit  
               systems.
                
               First, there is no state law that prohibits an  
               individual who is carrying certain weapons from  
               accessing a public transit system.  More and more law  
               enforcement agencies are coming across people entering  
               public transit facilities that are armed with  
               dangerous weapons. To address this concern, AB 2324  
               creates a definition for a "sterile area" for public  
               transit systems like light rail, rail, and bus  
               terminals, which is similar to the sterile areas  
               currently used in airports and seaports.  This bill  
               further authorizes law enforcement agencies to create  
               sterile areas as part of their security plans and  
               prohibit specified weapons and trespassing in these  
               sterile areas.  
                
               Second, numerous employees of the Los Angeles County  
               Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) have  
               criticized the inadequate penalties for crimes  
               committed on buses and light rail.  An example of this  
               is that under current law, possession of an  




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               "explosive" or "flammable liquid" is only an  
               infraction.  Similarly, the MTA bus drivers have  
               complained that passengers often disturb passengers  
               and drivers or willfully destroy public transit  
               vehicle equipment, which is only an infraction.  This  
               bill seeks to address these concerns by making these  
               offenses misdemeanors consistent with other provisions  
               of law.
                
               A third area of concern is the need to adjust the  
               current fare evasion schedule (Penal Code Section  
               640).  In San Francisco, the Bay Area Rapid Transit  
               (BART) and the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni)  
               report losses of over $17 million a year in fare  
               evasion.  The MTA reports over $5 million lost in fare  
               evasion despite citing over 45,000 people a year for  
               fare evasion.  The Sacramento Police Department  
               reports that they have cited over 25,000 people last  
               year for fare evasion.  Although this bill does not  
               propose an increase in fine for the first two  
               citations, it does modify the penalty for a third and  
               subsequent conviction. Currently in Los Angeles, the  
               fare evasion schedule is $25 dollars for the first  
               offense, $50 for a second and $100 for a third  
               offense.  This bill would amend Section 640 to reflect  
               this new fare evasion change as well as clearly  
               defining the crime of fare evasion.






          2.  Effects of the Bill  

          This bill addresses separate issues involving public transit  
          systems: establishing "sterile zones" where weapons are  
          prohibited and only persons who have been subjected to  
          appropriate screening are allowed to enter, amending the  
          trespass laws to include specified areas in public 




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          transit facilities, and increasing penalties for fare evasion  
          and other specified harmful activities on a public transit  
          vehicle or in a public transit facility.

          This bill would define a "sterile area" as "any portion of a  
          public transit facility that is generally controlled in a manner  
          consistent with the public transit authority's security plan."   
          This would create for public transit systems such as buses and  
          trains, authority to require screening for weapons similar to  
          that which currently takes place in airports.  At present,  
          screening for weapons does not take place in these facilities.   
          If a transit authority were to adopt a security plan that calls  
          for screening passengers, this bill would provide, subject to  
          specified exceptions, that it is a misdemeanor, punishable by up  
          to six months in county jail, or by a fine of up to $1,000, or  
          both, for any person to knowingly possess any of the following  
          within the sterile area, if the sterile area is posted with a  
          statement providing reasonable notice that prosecution may  
          result from possession of these items:

                 Any firearm;
                 Any imitation firearm as defined under existing law;
                 Any instrument that expels a metallic projectile, such  
               as a BB or pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2  
               pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun or paint  
               gun;
                 Any metal military practice hand grenade;
                 Any metal replica hand grenade;
                 Any plastic replica hand grenade;
                 Any unauthorized tear gas weapon;
                 Any taser or stun gun, as defined under existing law;  
               and,
                 Any undetectable knife, as described under existing law.

          SHOULD PUBLIC TRANSIT AUTHORITIES HAVE THE ABILITY TO CREATE  
          "STERILE ZONES" AND PROHIBIT POSSESSION OF DANGEROUS WEAPONS IN  
          THOSE AREAS?

          In a similar vein, this bill would expand the current trespass  
          prohibitions applicable to any airport or passenger vessel  




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                                                         AB 2324 (J. Perez)
                                                                      PageQ

          terminal operations area to also prohibit any unauthorized  
          person from knowingly entering a public transit facility if the  
          area has been posted with notices restricting access to  
          authorized personnel only and the postings occur not greater  
          than every 150 feet, as specified.  The penalties for this  
          trespass would be:

                 By a fine not exceeding $100.

                 By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6  
               months or $1,000, or both, if the person refuses to leave  
               the airport or passenger vessel terminal after being  
               requested to leave by a peace officer or authorized  
               personnel.
                 By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six  
               months, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both, for a  
               second or subsequent offense.



























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          SHOULD TRESPASS PROVISIONS CURRENTLY APPLIED TO AIRPORTS ALSO BE  
          APPLIED TO BUS AND TRAIN STATIONS?

          Finally, as detailed above, this bill recasts the current  
          provisions involving fare evasion and a variety of other acts in  
          transit facilities.  The following acts would become  
          misdemeanors, with a potential 90 day jail sentence, a fine of  
          up to $400, or both:

                 Willfully disturbing others on or in a system facility  
               or vehicle by engaging in boisterous or unruly behavior;
                 Carrying an explosive, acid, or inflammable liquid in a  
               public transit facility or vehicle;
                 Urinating or defecating in a system facility or vehicle,  
               except in a lavatory.  However, this paragraph shall not  
               apply to a person who cannot comply with this paragraph as  
               a result of a disability, age, or a medical condition; 
                 Willfully blocking the free movement of another person  
               in a system facility, as specified; and,
                 Willfully tampering with, removing, displacing,  
               injuring, or destroying any part of any light rail train or  
               bus equipment.

          Fare evasion and related acts would carry these misdemeanor  
          penalties on a third or subsequent offense.

          ARE THESE PENALTY INCREASES JUSTIFIED?

              3.   Argument in Support
             
          The Sacramento Regional Transit District states:

               The Key feature of this bill is the prohibition of the  
               possession of dangerous weapons in defined areas of a  
               public transit facility and the further prohibition  
               against a person from intentionally engaging in  
               activities that can jeopardize the safety of transit  
               operators, passengers and the public.





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                                                         AB 2324 (J. Perez)
                                                                      PageS

               Under current law, only airports and sea ports enjoy  
               statutory provisions to ensure safer environments for  
               employees and passengers.  The bill establishes  
               "sterile areas" in transit facilities from which  
               prohibitions on possession of weapons would be enacted  
               to protect these operations.  Prohibitions have also  
               been established for persons who intentionally bypass  
               screening and inspection when entering a sterile area.  
                This bill would also prohibit a person from  
               intentionally avoiding submission to screening and  
               inspection when entering a sterile are in a public  
               transit vehicle station thereby creating a safer  
               environment for those who patronize or work in the  
               public transit system.

               Another important aspect of AB 2324 is the proposed  
               increase in penalties for repeat fare evasion  
               offenders.  Although the first and second violation  
               for fare evaders will remain the same, for the third  
               violation, the penalty would have an increased fine.   
               Additionally, other violations under the transit  
               section (California Penal Code section 640), such as a  
               willful disturbance, etc., will be upgraded from  
               infractions to misdemeanors.


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