The Capitol Connection Page 3
LEGISLATURE RESPONDS TO TERRORIST ATTACKS
The impact of September 11 continues to be felt throughout the country. For their part, legislators in California have responded by introducing more than 100 bills this year to address a variety of issues that the state faces in the aftermath.
The bills cover a wide range of topics, from general state-level preparedness such as SB 1350 (Burton and McPher-son), which would require the Office of Emergency Ser-vices to develop specified training relative to terrorism awareness and response, to more specific responses, such as AB 2513 (LaSuer), which would add "potato" guns to the definition of destructive devices in the Penal Code.
Also, there are a number of bills that seek to expand the circumstances and expedite the process in which law en-forcement may obtain wiretaps. AB 2343 (Robert Pacheco and Rod Pacheco) adds possession of weapons of mass destruction or destructive devices to the list ofsuspected offenses for which a wiretap may be sought.
This bill would allow prosecutors to seek oral approvalfrom judges for wiretaps in emergency situations. AB 74 (Washington) would, among other things, permit a presiding judge to designate a sequence of judges to be available to hear applications for wiretap orders.
Changes to civil law are also contemplated as a way of ensuring local communities are protected from terrorism. AB 2578 (Alquist) would make neighborhood associa-tions and community groups engaged in, or training for, emergency preparedness, emergency response, emer-gency relief or support activity exempt from liability for civil damages for any act or omission committed while engaging in those activities.
Other anti-terrorism bills would enhance the sentence for terrorism-related offenses. For example, AB 2107 (Strickland) would provide a sentence of up to 25 years for a conviction of money laundering in connection with certain terrorist acts.
I am also including the link to the CA State Assembly's Home page. http://www.assembly.ca.gov/defaulttext.asp
And the Senates: http://www.sen.ca.gov/