BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1824


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          Date of Hearing:  April 6, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair


          AB  
          1824 (Chang) - As Introduced February 8, 2016


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   
          No


          SUMMARY:


          Expands the situations in which an individual can be charged  
          with causing injury to, or the death of, any guide, signal, or  
          service dog.   Specifically, this bill:








                                                                    AB 1824


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          1)Expands the application of specified crimes against guide,  
            signal, or service dogs to also apply when the dog is not  
            discharging its duties, and would make these crimes applicable  
            to the injury or death of dogs that are enrolled in a training  
            school or program for guide, signal, or service dogs, as  
            specified.

          2)Requires the defendant, convicted of either crime, to also  
            make restitution to the person for medical or medical-related  
            expenses, or for loss of wages or income, incurred by the  
            person as a direct result of the crime.  These costs are  
            required to be paid prior to any fines.

          FISCAL EFFECT:


          1)Moderate loss of revenue to the Penalty Assessment Fund to the  
            extent the additional victim restitution to the disabled  
            person for medical expenses and wages or income losses, and  
            expanded situations, reduce the ability of the defendant to  
            pay fines and penalties.


          2)Minor additional costs to the California Victim Compensation  
            and Government Claims Board (board) by including dogs injured  
            or killed while not in discharging its duties, and dogs  
            enrolled in a training school or program.  There may be one or  
            two incidents per year. 


          3)Minor nonreimbursable local costs for incarceration, may be  
            offset to a degree by fee revenue if revenue is available  
            after restitution is paid.


          COMMENTS:










                                                                    AB 1824


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          1)Background.  Current law defines: 1) a "guide dog" as any  
            guide dog that was trained by a licensed person, as specified:  
            2) a "signal dog" as any dog trained to alert an individual  
            who is deaf or hearing impaired to intruders or sounds; and 3)  
            a "service dog" as any dog individually trained to the  
            requirements of the individual with a disability including,  
            but not limited to, minimal protection work, rescue work,  
            pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.    Current  
            law also provides that it is a crime for any person to permit  
            any dog which is owned, harbored, or controlled by him or her  
            to cause injury to or the death of any guide, signal, or  
            service dog, while the guide, signal, or service dog is in  
            discharge of its duties, or for a person to intentionally  
            cause such harm on these dogs.
            A defendant who is convicted is required to make restitution  
            to the person with a disability who has custody or ownership  
            of the guide, signal or service dog for veterinary bills or  
            replacement of the dog if the dog is killed,
           
          2)Purpose.  According to the author, "California took a positive  
            step forward when they adopted legislation to make it a crime  
            to attack a service dog while in performance of its duties.  
            Unfortunately, there are still situations that leave guide  
            dogs and their owners vulnerable.  AB 1824 will make it a  
            crime to attack a service dog regardless of if it is in  
            discharge of its duties." 

            Members of the disabled community are likely to miss work or  
            even get injured while trying to get through their day to day  
            life without their service animal. AB 1824 provides for  
            restitution for these losses.

          1)Argument in Support:  According to the California Council of  
            the Blind, "Under existing law, it is an infraction or a  
            misdemeanor for any person to permit any dog which is owned,  
            harbored, or controlled by him or her to cause injury to or  
            the death of any guide, signal, or service dog while the dog  
            is not engaged in these duties.  Under these circumstances, it  
            is very difficult for guide, signal, or service dog users to  








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            recover the costs incurred due to these attacks.  This bill  
            would expand these provisions by eliminating the requirements  
            that the guide, signal, or service dog be in discharge of its  
            duties, thus allowing recovery in those situations? This bill  
            would expand these restitution provisions to cover medical or  
            medical-related expenses and loss of wages or income." 

          2)Prior Legislation:  AB 2264 (Levine), Statutes of 2014,  
            Chapter 502, allows a person with a disability who has  
            ownership or custody of a guide, signal, or service dog that  
            has been injured or killed due to the intentional actions of  
            another individual, as specified, to seek reimbursement from  
            the board for veterinary bills, replacement costs, or other  
            costs deemed reasonable by the court, if the defendant is  
            unable to pay restitution.




          Analysis Prepared by:Pedro Reyes / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081