BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AB 924|
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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 924
          Author:   Bigelow (R)
          Amended:  7/9/13 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 7/2/13
          AYES: Hancock, Anderson, Block, De León, Knight, Liu, Steinberg

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  77-0, 5/30/13 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Grand theft

           SOURCE  :     California Cattlemens Association


           DIGEST  :    This bill provides that a defendant convicted of  
          theft of an animal or a specified animal carcass may be subject  
          to a fine of up to $5,000, the proceeds of which will be  
          allocated to the Bureau of Livestock Identification (BLID) of  
          the Department of Agriculture, to be used for investigation of  
          livestock and animal carcass theft.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1. Defines "grand theft" as any theft where the money, labor, or  
             real or personal property taken or when the property is taken  
             from the person of another is of a value exceeding $950.  

          2. Provides that grand theft is committed when the money, labor,  
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             or real or personal property taken is of a value in excess of  
             $950, except as specified.  

          3. Provides that, notwithstanding the default value of $940 to  
             establish grand theft, grand theft is committed in any of the  
             following cases:

             A.    When domestic fowls, avocados, or other farm crops  
                are taken of a value exceeding $250.

             B.    When fish or other aquacultural products are taken  
                from a commercial or research operation that is  
                producing that product of a value exceeding $250.

             C.    Where money, labor or property is taken by a servant  
                or employee from his or her principal and aggregates  
                $950 or more in any consecutive 12-month period.

             D.    When the property is taken from the person of  
                another.

             E.    When the property taken is an automobile, firearm,  
                horse, mare, gelding, bovine animal, caprine animal,  
                mule, jack, jenny, sheep, lamb, hog, sow, boar, gilt,  
                barrow, or pig.

          4. Provides that the taking or fraudulent appropriation of the  
             carcass of any bovine, caprine, equine, ovine, or suine  
             animal, or of any mule, jack or jenny, is grand theft.  Where  
             such an animal has been killed without the owner's consent,  
             taking of any part of the carcass is grand theft. 

          5. Provides that where the defendant in any action, including a  
             criminal prosecution, has been found to have taken the cattle  
             of another person, the recovery to the victim shall be "four  
             times the value of the animals.  The defendant will reimburse  
             the victim for the time and money expended in pursuing the  
             cattle.  

          This bill:

          1. Provides that where a person is convicted of grand theft of  
             livestock, as specified, or the carcass of a specified  
             animal, the defendant is liable for a fine of up to $5,000.

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          2. States the fine will be allocated to BLID and, upon  
             appropriation by the Legislature, used for investigating  
             theft of livestock or specified animal carcasses.

          3. Makes conforming changes to the Health and Safety Code and  
             Government Code, as specified.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  No   Local:  
           No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  7/10/13)

          California Cattlemen's Association (source)
          Agriculture Council of California
          Alameda County Board of Supervisors
          California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association
          California Chamber of Commerce
          California Farm Bureau Federation
          California Grain and Seed Association
          California Poultry Federation
          Los Angeles County District Attorney
          Pacific Egg and Poultry Federation
          Western United Dairymen

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  7/10/13)

          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
          California District Attorneys Association 
          California Horsemen's Alliance

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The California Farm Bureau Federation  
          states:

             Livestock thefts are a very real problem for our members.   
             Thefts can range from the loss of one or two calves to an  
             entire truck load of cattle, which can have significant  
             impact on a rancher's bottom line.  This bill would allow  
             prosecutors to add additional penalties for convicted  
             livestock thieves.  It also provides funds obtained through  
             increased fines to be provided to the Bureau of Livestock  
             Identification (BLID) at the California Department of Food  
             and Agriculture to be used for investigations of livestock  
             theft.

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             Providing BLID with additional resources to investigate and  
             enforce against livestock theft will be a valuable effort  
             towards reducing the incidents of stolen livestock.   
             Investigating livestock losses is a specialized skill and  
             providing additional resources to BLID will help their  
             inspectors build cases against suspected thieves.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The California Attorneys for  
          Criminal Justice states:

             Existing law establishes that theft of certain livestock  
             is punishable by imprisonment in county jail not to  
             exceed one year??  This bill would create an additional  
             fine of $5,000 and continues the option of charging a  
             felony or misdemeanor for the theft of livestock.  For  
             the second or subsequent convictions, the bill would  
             require 30 days in county jail as a condition of granting  
             probation.  

             Furthermore, the bill lowers the threshold for  
             eligibility of an enhancement from a loss of $65,000 to a  
             $15,000 loss for an additional year of incarceration.   
             For an additional two years of incarceration, the limit  
             has been lowered even further, from $200,000 to $50,000.   
             This bill unnecessarily sends people back to county jail  
             where our state's goal is to reduce the number of persons  
             unnecessarily sent to jail.  
           
           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  77-0, 5/30/13
          AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Blumenfield, Bocanegra, Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Brown,  
            Buchanan, Ian Calderon, Campos, Chau, Chávez, Chesbro, Conway,  
            Cooley, Dahle, Daly, Dickinson, Donnelly, Eggman, Fong, Fox,  
            Frazier, Beth Gaines, Garcia, Gatto, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon,  
            Gorell, Gray, Grove, Hagman, Hall, Harkey, Roger Hernández,  
            Jones, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Linder, Logue, Lowenthal,  
            Maienschein, Mansoor, Medina, Melendez, Mitchell, Morrell,  
            Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Nestande, Olsen, Pan, Patterson,  
            Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Salas,  
            Skinner, Stone, Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber, Wieckowski,  
            Wilk, Williams, Yamada
          NO VOTE RECORDED: Holden, John A. Pérez, Vacancy


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          JG:d  7/10/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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