Jerry Brown signs paparazzi, earthquake-warning bills

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 25, 2013 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 25, 2013 - 12:05 am

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation backed by actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner to restrict paparazzi access to children, Brown’s office announced Tuesday.

Senate Bill 606, by Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, clarifies that misdemeanor harassment of a child based on a parent’s profession includes attempting to record the child’s image or voice.

The bill was opposed on First Amendment grounds by the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Motion Picture Association of America and the California Broadcasters Association.

Berry had given emotional testimony at the Capitol in June about the need to restrict overzealous photographers, and some law enforcement officers said it would protect their children from harassment and threats made because of their parents’ work in law enforcement.

The bill was one of 12 that the Democratic governor announced signing Tuesday, including measures expanding California’s paid family leave program and providing for the development of an early earthquake-warning system.

Senate Bill 770, by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, will broaden the definition of “family” under the state’s Paid Family Leave program to let workers take paid time off to care for seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and parents-in-law.

Jackson said in a prepared statement that the bill “will put families on a stronger footing by preventing workers from having to make the terrible choice between putting food on their table and caring for a seriously ill grandparent.”

Senate Bill 135, by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, directs the Office of Emergency Services to identify non-general fund sources of funding for an early warning system for earthquakes. The project is expected to cost about $80 million over five years and would build on a prototype system being tested by scientists and researchers.

The program would use sensors throughout the state to send out alerts when they detect initial shock waves. Japan, China, Italy, Mexico and Turkey all have or are developing early warning networks, according to a legislative analysis.

Padilla said in a statement that with Brown’s signature, “the process of developing a statewide earthquake early warning system has begun.”

Presumably, Brown studied up before signing the bill. When asked earlier this month for his position on the measure, he replied, “I couldn’t give you a stance on that because I don’t know what the hell it is.”

Brown has until Oct. 13 to sign or veto hundreds of bills that the Legislature sent him before it adjourned for the year. He is expected to travel today to Los Angeles and Oakland to sign legislation raising the minimum wage in California from $8 to $10 an hour by 2016.

Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders

Read more articles by David Siders

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