BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 535
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 17, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                    AB 535 (Quirk) - As Amended:  April 10, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              Public  
          SafetyVote:  7-0

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

           SUMMARY  

          This bill specifies that criteria for activation of the  
          Emergency Alert System (EAS) (generally referred to as an AMBER  
          alert) regarding an abducted child includes a custodial parent  
          or guardian when the child is in imminent danger of serious  
          bodily injury or death.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Minor, if any, new state and local costs for additional alerts,  
          as this bill essentially clarifies current practice. The average  
          cost of an AMBER alert is about $45,000.  

           COMMENTS  

           1)Rationale  . The author contends the EAS statute, which states  
            that alerts are "not intended to be used for abductions  
            resulting from custody disputes that are not reasonably  
            believed to endanger the life or physical health of a child"  
            should be clarified to specifically include custodial parents  
            when the child is in imminent danger. 

           2)Current law  states that if an abduction has been reported to a  
            law enforcement agency and the agency determines that a person  
            17 years of age or younger, or an individual with a proven  
            mental or physical disability, has been abducted and is in  
            imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death and there is  
            information available that, if disseminated to the general  
            public, could assist in the recovery of the victim, the agency  
            shall request activation of the EAS within the local area.  









                                                                  AB 535
                                                                  Page  2

           3)Support  . The Alameda District Attorney's Office states,  
            "Currently, the law is ambiguous as to whether not AMBER alert  
            should be activated if a child's parent or guardian takes the  
            child away in a vehicle with the intent to cause serious  
            bodily injury or death to the child.

          "Because the language of the code specifically states an  
            'abduction' must have been reported to Law Enforcement, a  
            parent or guardian taking their child in a vehicle with the  
            intent to kill their child, may not constitute an 'abduction'  
            for the purpose of AMBER Alert System activation criteria." 

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