BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 170  


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          Date of Hearing:  August 19, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          SB 170  
          (Gaines) - As Amended June 29, 2015


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          |Policy       |Privacy and Consumer           |Vote:|11 - 0       |
          |Committee:   |Protection                     |     |             |
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          |             |Public Safety                  |     |7 - 0        |
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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   
          No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly and intentionally  
          operate an unmanned aircraft system (drone) on or above the  
          grounds of a state prison or jail. This prohibition would not  








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          apply to someone employed by, or given prior permission by, the  
          California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)  
          or the jail, respectively.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Minor nonreimbursable costs to counties for enforcement, offset  
          to some extent by fine revenues.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose. According to the author, "Keeping contraband out of  
            prison and jails is essential to running safe and orderly  
            facilities. Studies show that the presence of contraband  
            increases the risk of violence or disruptive behavior.   
            However, even with the close monitoring of individuals and  
            mail coming into prisons and jails, creating contraband-free  
            facilities has always been a challenge.



            "With public access to drones increasing, this issue is  
            escalating.  As drones become smaller and easier to operate,  
            virtually anyone will be able to use the devise to drop  
            contraband into a prison or jail. Already there have been  
            instances in South Carolina, Georgia, and Canada of attempts  
            to use drones to drop contraband into prisons. It is  
            imperative that California's penal code addresses this reality  
            by limiting the use of drones over prisons and jails.





            "Additionally, drones can be used to gather sensitive  








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            information from inside prison and jail walls. This  
            information can be used for a variety of dangerous exploits,  
            including inmate escapes and prison riots. Placing  
            restrictions on the use of drones over prisons and jails helps  
            prevent these situations."


          2)Related Legislation. AB 56 (Quirk), pending in Senate  
            Appropriations, regulates the use of unmanned aircraft systems  
            by public agencies. 

            AB 271 (Gaines), also on today's committee agenda, prohibits  
            the unauthorized use of an unmanned aircraft system on a  
            school grounds during school hours or to capture images of the  
            school grounds during school hours.





            SB 142 (Jackson), pending in the Assembly, makes it a trespass  
            to operate an unmanned aircraft system less than 350 feet  
            above ground over private property without the consent of the  
            owner.


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



















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