BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 643


                                                                    Page  1





          Date of Hearing:  May 6, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          643 (Nazarian) - As Amended April 8, 2015


           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Policy       |Transportation                 |Vote:|15 - 0       |
          |Committee:   |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |-------------+-------------------------------+-----+-------------|
          |             |Aging and Long Term Care       |     |7 - 0        |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |-------------+-------------------------------+-----+-------------|
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 


          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill authorizes the CHP to activate messages on changeable  
          message signs when a law enforcement agency determines that a  
          Silver Alert subject may be in a vehicle, and specific  
          information about that vehicle is available for public  








                                                                     AB 643


                                                                    Page  2





          dissemination.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Any additional costs to the CHP will be minor and absorbable.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Background. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national  
            public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable  
            television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital  
            audio radio service providers, and direct broadcast satellite  
            providers to provide the communications capability to the  
            President to address the American public during a national  
            emergency.  State and local authorities may also use the  
            system to deliver important emergency information.


            AB 415 (Runner)/Chapter 517, Statutes of 2002, created  
            California's Amber Alert program and authorized law  
            enforcement agencies to use the national EAS to disseminate  
            relevant child abduction information. SB 839 (Runner)/Chapter  
            311, Statutes of 2010, established the Blue Alert program,  
            which also uses the EAS to provide for public notification  
            when a law enforcement officer has been attacked. The Silver  
            Alert program, originally established by SB 1047  
            (Alquist)/Chapter 651, Statutes of 2012, provides for public  
            notification when a person who is age 65 years or older,  
            developmentally disabled, or cognitively impaired is missing.

            California has 790 changeable message signs on state highways  
            that are governed by both federal and California regulations.   
            These regulations generally limit the use of changeable  
            message signs to traffic operations, regulatory, warning and  
            guidance information. Additionally, use of the signs is  








                                                                     AB 643


                                                                    Page  3





            authorized in statute for Amber Alerts and Blue Alerts, but  
            not for Silver Alerts.

          2)Purpose. This bill authorizes use of changeable message signs  
            for Silver Alerts. According to the author, use of these  
            signs, "?will reach millions of motorists and will ensure that  
            California is taking all possible measures in aiding with the  
            safe return of a missing person."

          3)Related Legislation. AB 8 (Gatto), pending in this committee,  
            authorizes CHP to assist other law enforcement agencies in  
            investigating certain hit-and-run incidents by issuing a  
            "Yellow Alert" via a local digital sign.

            AB 400 (Alejo), pending in the Senate, authorizes the use of  
            changeable message signs for voter registration and Election  
            Day reminders.

          Analysis Prepared by:Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081