First up, here is a link to all the info on the bill:
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces ... 0180SB1247
At this link you can find the bill text, votes, history, any analyses of the bill, and you can compare bill language with current law. You can also write comments to the author of the bill from this link. But all of that may not be necessary at this point due to the info below.
I called Senator Gaines’ Capitol office, and his staffer, Peter, told me that their phones are blowing up thanks to all of you.
Peter also let me know that the bill language that’s there now is in “spot” form, which means that there’s just some language in there to establish some sort of intent, but that the bill will be amended to clarify the intent as soon as they’re able, which is after March 18th.
Here’s info on what a spot bill is: http://www.legintent.com/what-does-it-m ... spot-bill/
Peter also told me that the bill, once amended, will be a public safety bill which will allow police officers to do breathalyzer tests on operators of sailboats WITHOUT motors. Apparently as the law stands now, they can only do breathalyzers on sailboats WITH motors. Peter stated that the bill will not affect wind sport equipment or your use of the waterways.
Peter will have the staffer who’s working on the bill send me the Fact Sheet for the bill as soon as it’s ready.
It’s pretty common for bills to be introduced in bare bones form, and it’s not shocking that the current bill language would raise red flags for the wind sport community, since right now it appears to call for greater regulation of your use of the waterways.
So, there you have it for now. If, for some reason, what Peter told me was not accurate, and I have no reason to believe it wasn’t, y’all can mobilize.
I’ve written a bit more info on the legislative process below, in case anyone is interested.
This is the second year of a two-year Legislative Session. The deadline to introduce bills was in mid-February.
From the info on the link above for SB 1247, the earliest the bill will be heard in the Natural Resources and Water Committee is March 18th. At that point, I assume the author will amend the bill to clarify the intent.
Once a bill passes the committee(s) it’s been scheduled to be heard in, it goes to the full house that it was introduced in, in this case, the State Senate. The deadline for passage through the Senate (the House of Origin in legislative terms) is June 1st. If the bill passes the Senate, it will move over to the Assembly, and will go through a similar process, and will likely be heard in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. If it passes through that committee, it will then likely go to the Assembly for a vote. The deadline for both houses of the legislature to pass bills is August 31st, and the Governor has 30 days to either veto the bill, or to sign it into law, or to ignore it, which also has the effect of approving the bill.