Bill updating BUI language signed into law

Gov. Brown will soon weigh in on several other marine-themed proposals.

SACRAMENTO — Summer is more than halfway over, which means the end of the 2016 boating season is almost here. Also coming to a close soon is the 2016 state legislative session. Accordingly a handful of bills that survived deliberations and votes on the assembly and senate floors are now en route to the governor’s desk for approval or veto.

Gov. Jerry Brown has already signed one boating-themed bill into law: Assembly Bill 1829 (AB 1829).

The bipartisan bill updates a boating under the influence law to require anyone being arrested for drinking alcohol or using drugs while operating a vessel to be advised a criminal complaint could be filed against him or her. The accused would also have the right to refuse chemical testing and be informed law enforcement officials have “the authority to seek a search warrant compelling him or her to submit a blood sample.”

Brown officially signed AB 1829 into law on July 22.

Operating any water-borne vessel under the influence is already prohibited under state law. A legislative analysis of AB 1829 by the State Senate stated the signed bill mostly clarifies the existing law.

“While advising a criminal defendant that they do not have a right to have their attorney present and that they cannot consult an attorney seems contrary to public policy, this provision is consistent with existing law,” the most recent legislative analysis of AB 1829 explained.

“Existing California law states that an officer shall advise persons arrested for driving under the influence that ‘he or she does not have the right to have an attorney present before stating whether he or she will submit to a test or tests, before deciding which test or tests to take, or during administration of the test or tests chosen, and that, in the event of refusal to submit to a test or tests, the refusal may be used against him or her in a court of law,’” the legislative analysis continued.

AB 1829 was unanimously approved in the State Senate on June 30; Assembly members also approved the bill unanimously in April.

Assembly members Marc Levine (D-Marin County) and K.H. Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo) introduced AB 1829 in February.

California Coastal Commission

Assembly Bill 2616 (AB 2616) hopes to expand the Coastal Commission from 15 to 18 members. Only 12 of the 15 members have voting rights.

The Assembly approved AB 2616 by a 49-26 vote on June 2. The State Senate’s Natural Resources and Water Committee approved AB 2616 on June 28 and, as of press time, was still in the committee process.

Assembly member Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) authored AB 2616 in hopes of expanding the Coastal Commission with three new members who would represent diverse low-income communities “and give the commission the ability to consider environmental justice issues when making important decisions.”

The Senate’s Natural Resources and Water Committee analyzed the bill and pointed out the Coastal Commission might already be realizing the intent of AB 2616.

“The 12 [voting members of the] commission currently comprises four people of color, two LGBT members, and a majority of seven women, which suggests that representatives of underserved communities are currently serving,” the committee’s legislative analysis explained.

However Burke, according to the legislative analysis, sought to expand the commission to ensure the environmental justice community has a stronger voice.

“The bill gives a voice to the environmental justice community by adding three new environmental justice members and provides the commission the ability to consider environmental justice issues when making decisions regarding the California coast,” the most recent legislative analysis of AB 2616 stated of Burke’s position. “[Burke] believes that the bill is consistent with a recent law that added additional environmental justice representatives to the California Air Resources Control Board and a pending proposal to add representation to the South Coast Air Quality Management Board.”

Groups in favor of AB 2616 include the Coastal Commission, Audubon California, California League of Conservation Voters and Sierra Club California, among others. Those opposed to AB 2616 are California State Association of Counties, Committee for Green Foothills, County of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper.

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