Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown vetoes drone regulation

A drone operated by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office flies on Aug. 14, 2015, during a demonstration of a search and rescue operation in Dublin.
A drone operated by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office flies on Aug. 14, 2015, during a demonstration of a search and rescue operation in Dublin. The Associated Press

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday vetoed legislation that would have prohibited flying a drone less than 350 feet above private property without the property owner’s permission, saying he worried about exposing drone users to litigation.

“Drone technology certainly raises novel issues that merit careful examination,” Brown said in a veto message. “This bill, however, while well-intentioned, could expose the occasional hobbyist and the FAA-approved commercial user alike to burdensome litigation and new causes of action.”

He added, “Before we go down that path, let’s look at this more carefully.”

Senate Bill 142, by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, would have made flying a low-level drone over private property without permission or legal authority an act of trespass.

The bill’s proponents said it would protect privacy, while opponents said it would significantly restrict the ability to use drones.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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