BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 170


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          SENATE THIRD READING


          SB  
          170 (Gaines)


          As Amended  September 1, 2015


          Majority vote


          SENATE VOTE:  40-0


           -------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                   |Noes                 |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |----------------+-----+-----------------------+---------------------|
          |Privacy         |11-0 |Gatto, Wilk, Baker,    |                     |
          |                |     |Calderon, Chang, Chau, |                     |
          |                |     |Cooper, Dababneh,      |                     |
          |                |     |Dahle, Gordon, Low     |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |----------------+-----+-----------------------+---------------------|
          |Public Safety   |7-0  |Quirk, Melendez,       |                     |
          |                |     |Jones-Sawyer, Lackey,  |                     |
          |                |     |Lopez, Low, Santiago   |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |----------------+-----+-----------------------+---------------------|
          |Appropriations  |17-0 |Gomez, Bigelow, Bloom, |                     |
          |                |     |Bonta, Calderon,       |                     |
          |                |     |Chang, Daly, Eggman,   |                     |
          |                |     |Gallagher, Eduardo     |                     |
          |                |     |Garcia, Holden, Jones, |                     |
          |                |     |Quirk, Rendon, Wagner, |                     |








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          |                |     |Weber, Wood            |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
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          SUMMARY:  Prohibits a person from knowingly and intentionally  
          operating an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) over a state prison  
          or county jail.  Specifically, this bill:  



          1)Makes it a misdemeanor for a person to knowingly and  
            intentionally operate a UAS on or above the grounds of a state  
            prison or jail, except as provided. 


          1)Exempts from the prohibition a prison employee operating  
            within the scope of his or her employment, or a person with  
            the prior permission of the Department of Corrections and  
            Rehabilitation. 


          2)Exempts from the prohibition a jail employee operating within  
            the scope of his or her employment, or a person with the prior  
            permission of the county sheriff. 


          3)Exempts from the prohibition entities authorized by the  
            Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use UAS, if the UAS  
            is operated in accordance with the terms and conditions of the  
            authorization. 


          4)Defines the terms "unmanned aircraft" and "unmanned aircraft  
            system" consistent with FAA regulation. 


          5)Provides that no reimbursement is required because the only  








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            costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school  
            district will be incurred because this bill creates a new  
            crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, changes  
            the penalty for a crime or infraction, or changes the  
            definition of a crime.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, minor nonreimbursable costs to counties for  
          enforcement, offset to some extent by fine revenues.


          COMMENTS:  This bill is intended to improve prison and jail  
          security by making it a misdemeanor to operate a UAS in the  
          airspace over the grounds of a state prison or county jail.   
          This bill is author-sponsored. 


          Commercial applications for UAS are growing exponentially.  UAS  
          gives the news media economical and environmentally-friendly  
          access to aerial views of traffic, storms, and other events when  
          compared to the current use of helicopters and other manned  
          aircraft.  UAS is used in the agricultural industry to observe  
          and measure crops while conserving resources and avoiding the  
          use of heavy equipment.  And UAS may be the future delivery  
          system for mail order and Internet companies.  


          However, the concern about drone overflight of correctional  
          facilities is not just a theoretical exercise, as there are  
          multiple examples of people attempting to use UAS to introduce  
          contraband into prisons in the United States, including a recent  
          attempt in August to smuggle drugs, tobacco and pornography into  
          a maximum-security prison in Maryland.  Ireland, Britain,  
          Australia, and Canada have reported similar UAS incidents at  
          prisons.  UAS can also crash because of low battery power or  
          operator error, putting inmates and prison employees at risk.










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          Recent amendments clarify that the bill does not apply to UAS  
          operators who have FAA authorization to use UAS, as long as the  
          UAS is operated in accordance with the terms and conditions of  
          the FAA authorization.


          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Jennie Bretschneider / P. & C.P. / (916)  
                          319-2200                                         
          FN: 0001854