Acosta’s public safety, local control bills get governor’s signature

Assemblyman Dante Acosta held a "Community Chat" at It's A Grind coffee shop in Castaic on Saturday, August 5, 2017 Christian Monterrosa/ The Signal

Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) saw two of his bills signed into law last week, one a matter of public safety for the whole state and one specific to the Santa Clarita Valley.

“This was a successful first year in the legislature,” Acosta said in a statement to The Signal. “We made strides to streamline government, protect our families and friends from criminals and advanced our district’s needs.”

Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 539 on Thursday, which gives law enforcement the right to seek a court-ordered warrant for invasion of privacy cases.

The law aims to help victims of “revenge porn,” where sexual images or videos are made public online when the victim expected privacy.

This was illegal prior to the bill’s passage, but law enforcement did not have the right to seek a warrant to gather evidence until the bill passed, according to Acosta’s office.

“In our digital age there are too many times that sensitive images and video make their way into the public,” Acosta said. “These instances are often illegal and can ruin lives. This bill gives law enforcement new tools to combat criminals who prey upon others.”

When the bill initially went to the Assembly floor, it received 73 votes in favor, no votes in opposition and seven abstains. In its second reading, it received 76 votes in favor, no votes in opposition and three abstains.

The bill passed the Senate floor with 36 yes votes, two no votes and two abstains.

Public Safety Committee members in the Assembly approved the bill with six yeses and one abstain and Public Safety Committee members in the Senate approved it with six yeses and one no.

Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) and Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) all voted in favor of the bill.

A portion of Sierra Highway that was formerly under the state’s control will now be Santa Clarita’s property after the governor signed AB 1172. This transition of control allows the city to perform their own maintenance.

“This will ensure the city is able to maintain this section of highway which means a smoother ride for folks in our valley,” Acosta said.

The city requested ownership of the highway between Newhall Avenue and Friendly Valley Parkway.

The bill received no opposition in its journey through the legislature and only three abstains on the Assembly floor and one abstain in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

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