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CALIFORNIA LAWS ’94

Times Staff Writer

On Saturday, many of the 1,307 laws passed by the 1993 Legislature and signed by Gov. Pete Wilson take effect.

Some are aimed at making life easier and safer. Employees can take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for sick family members, and children will be required to wear bicycle helmets.

Several laws are intended to make life more difficult for illegal immigrants. Many laws establish tougher prison sentences for criminals. Here’s a sampling. For more information about a particular law, write to the bill’s author at the state Capitol, Sacramento, Calif. 95814.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES

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Senior citizens--Judges can tack on five years to prison sentences of people convicted of inflicting great bodily harm on victims who are 70 or older. (AB 1549 by Assemblyman Bob Epple, D-Cerritos).

Carjacking--Longer prison penalties can be imposed on people convicted of carjacking crimes, including life imprisonment if the victim is kidnaped or killed. (SB 60 by Sen. Robert Presley, D-Riverside).

Prison weapons--It becomes a felony for inmates of state prisons to make or try to make weapons. (AB 146 by Assemblyman Bernie Richter, R-Chico).

Pornographic videos--It becomes a misdemeanor to rent a movie video and add pornographic footage to shock unsuspecting viewers. (AB 538 by Assemblyman Bernie Richter, R-Chico).

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Boot camps--The minimum age is reduced from 16 to 14 for sentencing nonviolent juvenile criminals to military-style boot camps instead of state prison. (SB 242 by Sen. Robert Presley, D-Riverside).

Work time credits--Convicted murderers are barred from using work-time credits to reduce their prison sentences by any more than one-third. (SB 208 by Sen. John R. Lewis, R-Orange).

Bogus police officers--The penalty for conviction of impersonating a police officer will be increased from six months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine to three years in state prison and/or a $10,000 fine. (AB 1664 by Assemblywoman Grace F. Napolitano, D-Norwalk).

SEX CRIMES

Habitual sex offenders--Convicted habitual sex offenders can be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison and must serve a minimum of 20 years before parole can be considered. (SB 41 by Sen. Robert Presley, D-Riverside).

Habitual child molesters--A minimum prison sentence of 20 years is imposed for habitual child molesters convicted of committing specified sex offenses. (AB 526 by Assemblywoman Valerie Brown, D-Sonoma).

Sexual intercourse--It becomes a crime for an adult female to engage in sexual intercourse with a minor male who is not her husband. (SB 22 by Sen. Newton R. Russell, R-Glendale).

Spousal rape--Husbands who rape their wives become subject to the same prison penalties as other rapists. (AB 187 by Assemblywoman Hilda Solis, D-El Monte).

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Taped testimony--A victim’s videotaped testimony may be submitted as evidence in a court preliminary hearing in spousal rape and domestic violence cases. (SB 178 by Sen. Teresa Hughes, D-Inglewood).

Sexual abuse--A victim may file a criminal complaint charging sexual abuse suffered while a minor, no matter how long ago the alleged offense occurred. (AB 290 by Assemblywoman Paula L. Boland, R-Granada Hills).

Pornographic material--Tougher prison penalties are imposed for adults convicted of child sexual abuse who exhibit pornographic material to the victim before the offense. (AB 25 by Assemblyman John Burton, D-San Francisco).

Chronic offenders--The option of a judge to grant probation is restricted in court cases of sex offenders who continue to sexually abuse children. (AB 2009 by Assemblywoman Margaret E. Snyder, D-Modesto).

Parks personnel--Local parks departments are prohibited from hiring people who have been convicted of sex offenses for jobs that involve supervising minors. (AB 1663 by Assemblywoman Grace F. Napolitano, D-Norwalk).

COURTS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

Jurors’ names--Judges are required to inform jurors in criminal cases that if they wish, their names will not be disclosed to the public. (AB 1915 by Assemblywoman Paula L. Boland, R-Granada Hills).

Pepper gas--Sale and possession of pepper gas for self-protection will be legalized as of March 1. (AB 581 by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier, D-Burlingame).

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Sexual harassment--Law enforcement officers must take training courses on what constitutes sexual harassment and how to avoid it in their dealings with fellow officers and the public. (SB 459 by Sen. Daniel E. Boatwright, D-Concord).

Stalker lawsuits--Victims of stalkers can sue their pursuers for civil damages in addition to seeking criminal charges against them. (AB 1548 by Assemblywoman Dede Alpert, D-Coronado).

Spousal abuse--A person convicted of spousal abuse or stalking or of violating a related court restraining order is prohibited for 10 years from owning a firearm. (AB 242 by Assemblywoman Dede Alpert, D-Coronado).

Domestic violence--The state marriage license fee is increased from $19 to $23 to help finance domestic violence prevention programs. (SB 5 by Sen. Robert Presley, D-Riverside).

Law enforcement jobs--Local police departments are authorized to conduct more extensive background screenings of law enforcement job applicants. (SB 1206 by Sen. Rob Hurtt, R-Garden Grove).

Abortion clinics--Protesters are prohibited from throwing acid or other noxious or caustic chemicals into abortion clinics to disrupt business activities. (AB 68 by Assemblywoman Dede Alpert, D-Coronado).

Firearm thefts--Gun dealers in urban areas must keep firearms in locked vaults or safes to prevent theft when the stores are closed. (SB 180 by Sen. Teresa Hughes, D-Inglewood).

GANGS

Drive-by shootings--Gang drive-by shootings resulting in murder are added to the list of special crimes punishable by life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. (SB 310 by Sen. Ruben S. Ayala, D-Chino).

Gang clothing--Local school boards are authorized to adopt dress codes to prohibit students from wearing gang-related clothing. (AB 980 by Assemblywoman Doris Allen, R-Cypress).

Prison penalties--Street gang members convicted of various violent crimes face stiffer prison penalties. (SB 724 by Sen. Dan McCorquodale, D-Modesto).

Gun ownership--Gang members convicted of various crimes are permanently prohibited from owning firearms. (AB 1608 by Assemblyman Fred Aguiar, R-Chino).

New members--It becomes a felony for an adult to use physical force to threaten or coerce a minor to join a gang or participate in a criminal gang activity. (AB 514 by Assemblyman Mike Gotch, D-San Diego).

DRUGS

Wiretaps--California’s wiretap authorization law is extended for five years, to Jan. 1, 1999, to help catch more major drug traffickers. (SB 800 by Sen. Robert Presley, D-Riverside).

Secret compartments--It becomes a crime to alter a motor vehicle by creating a secret compartment for the purpose of concealing and smuggling drugs. (AB 1760 by Assemblyman Sal Cannella, D-Modesto).

Drug laboratories--Convicted drug lab operators can be required to pay for hazardous-waste cleanup charges that otherwise would be borne by the taxpayers. (SB 1175 by Sen. Rob Hurtt, R-Garden Grove).

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

Sanctuary ordinances--Local governments are prohibited from enforcing so-called sanctuary ordinances that forbid law enforcement officers from identifying crime suspects as illegal immigrants and notifying federal immigration officials. (SB 691 by Sen. Quentin L. Kopp, I-San Francisco).

Deportation hearings--The Department of Corrections is required to cooperate with the Immigration and Naturalization Service when it conducts deportation hearings for illegal immigrants who are state prison inmates. (SB 345 by Sen. Frank Hill, R-Whittier).

Driver’s licenses--Starting March 1, applicants for state driver’s licenses will be required to prove their U.S. citizenship or legal residency. It also becomes a misdemeanor to assist an illegal immigrant in obtaining a driver’s license. (SB 976 by Sen. Alfred E. Alquist, D-Santa Clara).

Employment agencies--Taxpayer-financed employment agencies are required to verify the U.S. citizenship of applicants before providing job placement or training services. (SB 733 by Sen. Newton R. Russell, R-Glendale).

Medi-Cal benefits--In a law aimed at illegal immigrants, it becomes a crime for a person to encourage another person to provide fraudulent information on Medi-Cal benefit eligibility forms. (SB 1131 by Sen. Tim Leslie, R-Carnelian Bay).

SCHOOLS

Guns on campus--Students caught bringing guns onto any campus from kindergarten through high school must be expelled instead of just being transferred to another school. (SB 1198 by Sen. Gary K. Hart, D-Santa Barbara).

BB guns--BB and pellet guns are outlawed on public and private elementary and secondary school campuses. (SB 292 by Senate President Pro Tem David A. Roberti, D-Van Nuys).

School choice--Parents may send their children to any public school they choose if space is available. (AB 19 by Assemblyman Charles W. Quackenbush, R-Cupertino, and AB 1114 by Assemblywoman Dede Alpert, D-Coronado).

Report cards--Student progress toward qualifying for a job in the private work force must be shown on high school report cards along with class grades. (AB 198 by Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, D-San Francisco).

School employees--Prison penalties are increased for people convicted of assaulting on-duty school employees. (SB 1130 by Senate President Pro Tem David A. Roberti, D-Van Nuys).

Community service--Schools can require students to perform community service as an alternative form of discipline. (AB 1714 by Assemblyman Tom Umberg, D-Garden Grove).

School libraries--A state income tax refund checkoff system is established for people who wish to make voluntary contributions to help upgrade school libraries. (SB 170 by Sen. William A. Craven, R-Oceanside).

Alcoholic beverages--Taxpayers’ money can no longer be used to pay for alcoholic beverages served at social events attended by schoolteachers and administrators. (AB 1696 by Assemblywoman Diane Martinez, D-Rosemead).

Sex education--School sex education classes must include information on sexual assault by an acquaintance, also known as date rape. (SB 224 by Sen. Teresa Hughes, D-Inglewood).

COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

New UC campus--An appropriation of $1.5 million is approved to pay for environmental impact reports for a proposed UC campus site in the San Joaquin Valley. (AB 47 by Assemblyman Rusty Areias, D-San Jose).

Open meetings--UC regents are required to hold open meetings when considering payment of wages and fringe benefits for top administrators. (SB 504 by Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Santa Monica).

HEALTH CARE

Breast cancer--The state cigarette tax goes up by 2 cents a package to raise $38 million annually to finance breast cancer research and early detection services. (AB 478 by Assemblywoman Barbara Friedman, D-North Hollywood).

Alternative treatment--A written summary provided to patients describing alternative breast cancer treatment methods must be regularly updated to reflect new techniques and research. (SB 112 by Senate President Pro Tem David A. Roberti, D-Van Nuys).

Midwives--The centuries-old practice of lay midwifery to help mothers who want to deliver their babies at home is legalized. (SB 350 by Sen. Lucy Killea, I-San Diego).

Hospital violence--Security plans to deal with armed intruders and protect patients and staff must be developed by all hospitals by July, 1995. (AB 508 by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier, D-Burlingame).

Doctor-patient sex--It becomes a crime for a physician to have sexual relations with a patient. (SB 743 by Sen. Daniel E. Boatwright, D-Concord).

Doctor-owned laboratories--Physicians are barred from referring patients to laboratories or clinics in which they have a financial interest. (AB 919 by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier, D-Burlingame).

Prescription drugs--Doctors must disclose the medical condition for which a drug is being prescribed if asked to by a patient. (AB 2099 by Assemblyman Bob Epple, D-Cerritos).

Tobacco ban--Smoking is prohibited in all state buildings, including those controlled by the Legislature, the court system, the University of California, the state colleges and the community colleges. (AB 291 by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier, D-Burlingame).

CHILDREN

Bicycle helmets--Riders under 18 are required to wear approved bicycle safety helmets. After Jan. 1, 1995, they face $25 fines. (AB 2268 by Assemblyman Louis Caldera, D-Los Angeles).

Life jackets--Children under 6 are required to wear approved life jackets when riding in small boats, or the boat operator will be subject to a fine of up to $250. (AB 1856 by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier, D-Burlingame).

Child support--Judges can order increased child support payments to be phased in over a period of time in divorce cases where the paying parent can prove the increase causes a severe financial hardship. (SB 541 by Sen. Gary K. Hart, D-Santa Barbara).

Visitation rights--Grandparents can petition the courts for child visitation rights and such rights can be awarded if deemed to be in the child’s best interests. (SB 306 by Sen. Bill Lockyer, D-Hayward).

CHILD CARE

In-home child care--Parents can check on the possible criminal backgrounds of in-home child-care providers by obtaining information to be compiled in a statewide registry. (AB 2053 by Assemblyman Mike Gotch, D-San Diego).

Baby walkers--Use of baby walkers in state-licensed child day-care facilities is prohibited to prevent injuries. (AB 1858 by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier, D-Burlingame).

Day-care centers--Smoking is prohibited in private child day-care facilities when children are present. (AB 615 by Assemblyman Mike Gotch, D-San Diego).

TRANSPORTATION

Pickup trucks--It is illegal to ride in the back of open pickups unless passengers are secured by restraint devices. (AB 153 by Assemblyman Curtis Tucker Jr., D-Inglewood).

Chop shops--Operation of so-called chop shops for the sale of stolen automobile parts becomes a crime. (SB 73 by Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Santa Monica).

DMV offices--Department of Motor Vehicles offices can reduce weekday business hours in order to be open on Saturday. (AB 70 by Assemblyman Richard Katz, D-Sylmar).

Motorcycle training--The Highway Patrol will develop and supervise instruction of a novice motorcycle rider training course. (AB 229 by Assemblywoman Doris Allen, R-Cypress).

Highway projects--The Department of Transportation is authorized to contract with private firms to perform design and engineering services for state highway projects. (SB 1209 by Sen. Marian Bergeson, R-Newport Beach).

CONSUMER AFFAIRS

Contract cancellations--Purchasers of dating service and weight-loss contracts can cancel within three business days after signing the documents and receive their money back. (AB 1323 by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier, D-Burlingame).

Appliance repairs--Customers must be assured that appliance repair people making home service calls will arrive within a specified four-hour period before the day of service. (SB 47 by Sen. Bill Lockyer, D-Hayward).

Roof repairs--Residential roof repair warranties are required to be in writing and transferable to new owners. (SB 409 by Sen. Ruben S. Ayala, D-Chino).

Automobile contracts--Starting July 1, car dealers must inform consumers that they do not have the right to cancel automobile purchase or lease contracts because they later change their minds. (AB 431 by Assemblywoman Gwen Moore, D-Los Angeles).

Credit cards--Starting July 1, credit card companies are prohibited from compiling and selling information concerning cardholders without the cardholders’ written permission. (AB 609 by Assemblyman Sal Cannella, D-Modesto).

Condom safety--Consumers must be provided with detailed information concerning condom safety tests and failure rates. (AB 1623 by Assemblywoman Debra Bowen, D-Marina del Rey).

Check-cashing services--A state permit and background check will be required before a check-cashing service can open for business. (AB 465 by Assemblyman Steve Peace, D-Chula Vista).

Human remains--State requirements governing the cremation of human bodies by funeral directors and cemeteries are overhauled, and include a new provision calling for unannounced inspections of facilities. (AB 598 by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier, D-Burlingame).

Mail boxes--Commercial mail-box operators must maintain identity records of clients and make such information available to law enforcement authorities on request. (AB 2345 by Assemblyman Gil Ferguson, R-Newport Beach).

LAWYERS

Deceptive advertising--Lawyers are prohibited in their advertisements from promising quick cash settlements or guaranteeing trial outcomes to attract clients. (AB 208 by Assemblyman Paul V. Horcher, R-Diamond Bar).

Will beneficiaries--Lawyers are prohibited from naming themselves as beneficiaries in clients’ wills. (AB 21 by Assemblyman Tom Umberg, D-Garden Grove).

Legal services--The California State Bar is required to establish a legal corps to provide increased legal services for the poor. (SB 536 by Sen. Nicholas C. Petris, D-Oakland).

AGRICULTURE

Pesticides--Farmers are allowed to use pesticides that have been registered with the federal Environmental Protection Agency even if state safety studies on the chemicals have not been completed. (AB 771 by Assemblyman Rusty Areias, D-San Jose).

More pesticides--It is unlawful for a farmer to knowingly treat a crop with a pesticide or fertilizer that is either stolen or acquired by other illegal means. (AB 774 by Assemblyman Rusty Areias, D-San Jose)

Horse thieves--Department of Agriculture investigators will assist local law enforcement agencies in catching horse thieves who slaughter the animals and sell the meat to European consumers. (AB 400 by Assemblyman Jack O’Connell, D-Carpinteria).

WATER

Reclaimed water--Local governments can require the use of reclaimed water for residential landscape watering and air conditioning. (SB 365 by Sen. David G. Kelley, R-Hemet).

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Underage drinkers--Drivers under 21 who are arrested with even a trace of alcohol in their blood can have their licenses seized on the spot and suspended for one year. (SB 689 by Sen. Quentin L. Kopp, I-San Francisco).

Contaminated wine--Domestic and foreign winemakers will be charged a fee to finance a program to determine if lead levels in their wine is within established state safety standards. (SB 1022 by Sen. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena).

Beer kegs--Liquor stores are required to keep a record of the name, address and driver’s license number of purchasers of beer kegs to help police identify buyers who supply teen-age parties. (AB 8 by Assemblyman Tom Connolly, D-Lemon Grove).

AIR POLLUTION

Air resources board--One new member representing the San Joaquin Valley and another representing the public are added to the nine-member state Air Resources Board. (AB 1062 by Assemblyman Jim Costa, D-Hanford).

Smog reduction--Employers with fewer than 100 employees are exempted from having to develop car pools or other trip-reduction programs as required by some regional air pollution control districts. (SB 883 by Sen. Tim Leslie, R-Carnelian Bay).

HOUSING

Redevelopment law--The first major revision of the state’s redevelopment law in more than 40 years is designed to increase the availability of affordable housing and create new jobs. (AB 1290 by Assemblyman Phillip Isenberg, D-Sacramento).

Security deposits--Potential penalties are increased for landlords who illegally withhold security deposits paid by tenants. (SB 444 by Sen. Herschel Rosenthal, D-Los Angeles).

Mobile homes--Mobile home park owners must give tenants at least 90 days notice before rent for spaces can be increased. (AB 870 by Assemblyman Tom Umberg, D-Garden Grove).

INSURANCE

Long-term diseases--Health insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage to victims of AIDS or other potentially deadly long-term diseases if they had coverage before contracting the illnesses. (AB 1100 by Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, D-San Francisco).

Senior citizens--Stricter disclosure of the true benefits of life insurance policies sold to senior citizens must be given by agents to applicants before they sign up. (SB 1065 by Sen. Henry J. Mello, D-Santa Cru).

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Family leave--Employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave yearly to treat their own illnesses or care for sick children, spouses or other family members. (AB 1460 by Assemblywoman Gwen Moore, D-Los Angeles).

Business executives--A statewide registry of women and minorities who are qualified and eligible to sit on corporate boards of directors will be maintained by the secretary of state. (SB 545 by Sen. Lucy Killea, I-San Diego).

Public contracts--Prime contractors bidding on public works projects must make known all their subcontractors who are women, members of minorities or disabled veteran when the bids are opened. (AB 340 by Assemblyman Richard Katz, D-Sylmar).

Small-business regulations--State small-business rules and regulations are required to be written in English that can be understood by a person with no more than eighth-grade education. (SB 726 by Sen. Frank Hill, R-Whittier).

Base closures--A state defense conversion council is established to secure as much federal aid for the state as possible in the wake of military base closures. (SB 458 by Sen. Gary K. Hart, D-Santa Barbara).

Mail solicitations--Businesses are prohibited from using logos on their mail solicitations that resemble logos used by state and local agencies. (AB 532 by Assemblyman Bill Morrow, R-Oceanside).

Disabled people--UC will study problems faced by businesses owned by disabled people and make a report with recommendations for corrective action to the Legislature. (AB 2026 by Assemblywoman Vivien Bronshvag, D-Kentfield).

State regulations--State agencies must assess the potential impact on jobs and the ability of California businesses to compete when new administrative regulations are being considered. (SB 513 by former Sen. Becky Morgan, R-Los Altos, and AB 968 by Assemblyman Bill Jones, R-Fresno).

ENVIRONMENT

Environmental quality--Regulatory red tape is to be eliminated and the building permit process speeded up under the California Environmental Quality Act; long-term environmental protection goals are retained. (SB 919 by Sen. Ralph C. Dills, D-Gardena, AB 1888 by Assemblyman Byron Sher, D-Palo Alto, and SB 1185 by Sen. Marian Bergeson, R-Newport Beach).

Recycled products--State agencies are required to increase the percentages of recycled products in the purchases they make, including paper, glass, plastics, oil, solvents, paint and tires. (AB 11 by Assemblywoman Delaine Eastin, D-Fremont).

Coastal protection--State coastal commissioners are authorized to levy civil fines of up to $30,000 per day for any violation of the Coastal Protection Act. (SB 608 by Sen. Herschel Rosenthal, D-Los Angeles).

Great white sharks--Catching great white sharks for commercial or recreational purposes is prohibited without a permit issued by the state Department of Fish and Game. (AB 522 by Assemblyman Dan Hauser, D-Arcata).

ELECTIONS

Presidential primary--California’s voice in picking the nation’s chief executive is increased by moving the 1996 presidential primary election date from the second Tuesday in June to the fourth Tuesday in March. (AB 2196 by Assemblyman Jim Costa, D-Hanford).

Security systems--Campaign contributions may be used to install security systems in the homes and offices of elected state and local officials or candidates who have received threats regarding their personal safety. (SB 771 by Sen. Herschel Rosenthal, D-Los Angeles).

Campaign advertisements--It becomes a crime punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and three years imprisonment to publish a campaign advertisement that uses an unauthorized name, picture or words to falsely imply election endorsement. (AB 1117 by Assemblywoman Julie Bornstein, D-Palm Desert).

Special elections--The state, instead of the counties, will pick up the costs of special elections required to fill legislative and congressional vacancies. (AB 37 by Assemblyman Ross Johnson, R-Placentia).

Term limits--The state insurance commissioner is bound by a limit of two consecutive four-year terms, as required of other statewide elected officials. (AB 2375 by Assemblyman Jim Brulte, R-Rancho Cucamonga).

Ballot propositions--A concise summary of the meaning of “yes” and “no” votes on proposed ballot propositions will be included in ballot pamphlets sent to voters before elections. (SB 873 by Sen. Quentin L. Kopp, I-San Francisco).

GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Open meetings--The public’s right to attend and monitor decision-making meetings of local governments is expanded starting April 1. (SB 36 by Sen. Quentin Kopp, I-San Francisco; SB 1140 by Sen. Charles M. Calderon, D-Whittier, and AB 1426 by Assemblyman John Burton, D-San Francisco).

More open meetings--State agency boards and commissions are required to provide an opportunity for public testimony to be presented on all agenda items to be considered. (SB 367 by Sen. Quentin L. Kopp, I-San Francisco).

State budget process--A constitutional revision commission is established to, among other things, examine the way the state budget is adopted and recommend any needed changes. (SB 16 by Sen. Lucy Killea, I-San Diego).

Lottery games--New types of state lottery games must be approved by the Legislature. (SB 84 by Sen. Tim Leslie, R-Carnelian Bay).

Lobbying ban--State agency employees are prohibited from lobbying their previous employers on legislation or administrative actions for one year after leaving their jobs. (SB 230 by Sen. Milton Marks, D-San Francisco).

Foreign bonds--State and local government pension funds can purchase bonds unconditionally guaranteed by other nations such as Israel, Canada and Mexico. (AB 216 by Assemblyman Burt Margolin, D-Los Angeles).

Firefighters’ memorial--Taxpayers can check off part of their state personal income tax refunds to finance construction of a firefighters’ memorial in Capitol Park, Sacramento. (AB 1523 by Assemblyman Rusty Areias, D-San Jose).

Threats against politicians--It becomes unlawful to threaten elected state officials or their immediate families with serious bodily harm if the person making the threat has the apparent capability to carry it out. (SB 1042 by Sen. Robert G. Beverly, R-Redondo Beach).


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