SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed bills carried by San Diego Democratic lawmakers that will make it a crime for coaches and computer technicians to fail to report suspected child abuse and child pornography.
Brown also signed into law a measure requiring some domestic violence suspects to wear a GPS device, a policy that grew out of the 2011 death of a Carlsbad mother.
Separately, Brown over the weekend approved legislation carried by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, that will extend a pilot program that allows a select group of non-physician medical personnel to perform a certain kind of abortion.
Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, saying he was “sickened” by a scandal that rocked football powerhouse Penn State, carried the bill that will add coaches to the list of “mandated reporters” who must inform authorities when they believe someone is molesting children.
“Our children’s safety must always come first,” Vargas said in an earlier interview. Vargas said the new law, passed as his Senate Bill 1264, will ensure that “no one will get away with protecting their team over the innocence of a child.”
Nittany Lion assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky earlier this year was found guilty of molesting 10 young boys over a span of about 15 years. Top officials, including the late coaching legend Joe Paterno, have been accused of ignoring reports of the incidents.
Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said she carried the measure requiring computer technicians to report because child abusers and pornographers can more easily hide photographs and videos, now that they don’t have to rely on commercial film processing.
“In this digital area the sexual exploitation of children is now hidden on personal computers and on the Internet,” Atkins said in a statement after Brown signed her Assembly Bill 1817.
Her measure was sponsored by the California Keeping Innocence Digitally Safe Coalition, a San Diego-based coalition of parents, community groups, law enforcement and technology firms.
Failure to comply with either mandatory reporting law could result in penalties of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Brown signed “Kathy’s Law” carried by Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, that will authorize a court to order electronic monitoring for a defendant in domestic violence cases if they are believed to pose a danger to the victim.
Hueso introduced Assembly Bill 2467 in response to the death of Kathleen Scharbarth, a 34-year-old Carlsbad mother who is believed to have been murdered by an ex-boyfriend who later hung himself in a Vista jail cell.
“This bill will save lives,” Hueso said, adding it will help keep “her memory alive” by “preventing similar tragedies in the future.”
Kehoe’s Senate Bill 623 will allow 41 trained nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants to perform the aspiration abortion procedures. Those professionals are participating in a University of California, San Francisco pilot program related to first-trimester abortions.
“This bill improves access to safe reproductive health care for California women,” Kehoe said in a statement after Brown signed the legislation.
Brown signed the bills without comment.
Source: UT San Diego