BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                          AB 140
                                                          Page  1

AB 140 (Hertzberg)
As Amended April 21, 1999
Majority vote 

  PUBLIC SAFETY       8-0         APPROPRIATIONS      21-0        
|Ayes:|Honda, Cunneen, Battin,   |Ayes:|Migden, Brewer, Ashburn,  |
|     |Cedillo,                  |     |Battin, Cedillo, Davis,   |
|     |Keeley, Oller, Romero,    |     |Pescetti, Hertzberg,      |
|     |Washington                |     |Kuehl, Maldonado, Papan,  |
|     |                          |     |Romero, Runner, Shelley,  |
|     |                          |     |Steinberg, Thomson,       |
|     |                          |     |Wesson, Wiggins, Wright,  |
|     |                          |     |Zettel, Aroner            |
|     |                          |     |                          |
  SUMMARY  :  Makes illegal the possession, use, manufacture, threat  
to use or attempt to use weapons of mass destruction or delivery  
systems for the same.  Specifically,  this bill  : 

1)Defines "weapon of mass destruction" (WMD) to include chemical  
  warfare agents, biological warfare agents, nuclear agents,  
  radiological agents, or the intentional release of industrial  
  agents as a weapon.  Defines each category of weapons  
  (excludes universities, research institutions, individuals, or  
  hospitals registered with the Centers for Disease Control and  
  Prevention utilizing the following substances for  
  prophylactic, protective or peaceful purposes):

   a)   Chemical agents include Tabun, Sarin, Soman, Choking  
     Agents, Phosgene and Diphosgene, Blood Agents, Hydrogen  
     Cyanide, Cyanogen Chloride, Arsine, and Blister Agents;

   b)   Biological agents include pathogens such as:  i)  
     bacteria or viruses; or, ii) infectious substances capable  
     of damaging the environment, food, water, or equipment  
     supplies, or causing disease, death or biological  
     malfunction in humans, plants or living organisms;

   c)   Nuclear or radiological agents include any improvised  
     nuclear device (IND), radiological dispersal device (RDD),  
     or any simple radiological dispersal device (SRDD); and,


                                                          AB 140
                                                          Page  2

   d)   Intentional release of industrial agents is use of a WMD  
     if committed with intent to harm and the use of such risks  
     death, illness or serious injury, or endangers environment.

2)Provides that any person, without lawful authority, who  
  possesses, develops, manufactures, produces, transfers,  
  acquires, or retains any WMD, or a delivery system enabling  
  its use, is guilty of a felony punishable in state prison for  
  8, 10, or 12 years.  Further provides that the penalties are  
  16, 20, or 24 years in state prison if the defendant has been  
  previously convicted of:

   a)   Terrorizing an owner of property;

   b)   Threatening harm to cause another to refrain from  
     religious practices; 

   c)   Exploding or attempting to explode a destructive device  
     or explosive in specified locations with the intent to  

   d)   Paramilitary organizations practicing with weapons, or  
     training another in explosives or destructive devices; 

   e)   Placing an explosive or destructive device on a vehicle;  

   f)   Possessing an explosive or destructive device on a  
     street or near a public building; or, 

   g)   Possessing, exploding or attempting to explode a  
     destructive device or explosive with intent to injure,  
     intimidate, or terrify.

3)Provides that a person who uses a WMD against another person  
  shall be punished by life in prison.

4)Provides that a person who uses a WMD against the water or  
  food supply shall be punished by life in prison.

5)Provides that a person who maliciously uses a WMD against  
  animals or harms the environment shall be fined $100,000 or  
  imprisoned for 4, 8, or 12 years, or both.


                                                          AB 140
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6)Provides that a person who knowingly threatens to use,  
  attempts to develop, or uses a WMD or radiological weapon, or  
  who uses recombinant technology to create new or more virulent  
  pathogens, shall be fined $250,000 or imprisoned 4, 8, or 12  
  years, or both.

7)Provides that a person or entity possessing any restricted  
  biological agents shall be fined $250,000 or imprisoned for 4,  
  8 or 12 years, or both.

8)Further provides definitions of "restricted biological  

9)Further provides that this bill does not apply to physicians,  
  veterinarians, pharmacists, or universities, research  
  institutions, pharmaceutical corporations, or individuals  
  lawfully possessing these agents.
FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
Committee analysis, unknown costs for increased state  
incarceration.  If, however, two persons per year are sentenced  
under this act and receive an eight-year term, annual costs  
within 10 years would be about $330,000.  To the extent  
offenders receive life sentences, out-year costs would be  
considerably greater.

  COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "All terrorism statutes are  
currently filed at the federal level.  This bill seeks to bring  
similar counter terrorism statutes to the state level."

Please see the policy committee analysis for a more  
  comprehensive discussion of this bill.

  Analysis Prepared by  :  Harry M. Dorfman / PUB. S. / (916)  

                                                      FN: 0001056