Senate Committee Passes Grayson Bills to Protect the Public from Fraud and Hazardous Materials

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(SACRAMENTO) On Tuesday, two bills authored by Assemblymember Timothy S. Grayson (D-Concord) to improve safety in our communities passed the Senate Public Safety Committee with unanimous support.

The first bill, AB 1920, makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally and fraudulently impersonate a member of a government-affiliated search and rescue team. “This bill will work to protect the public and the integrity of our professional search and rescue workers who have dedicated their time and energy to be officially trained, registered, and affiliated with government jurisdictions,” said Assemblymember Grayson.

Reports by California law enforcement have found that there has been a rise of unaffiliated groups impersonating “Search and Rescue” workers without the proper certification. Often, citizens do not realize that these groups are not vetted, trained, or affiliated with any charity or law enforcement group, and are misled into donating money to what they believe is a good cause.

The second bill, AB 3112, fights against the illegal and unsafe process of manufacturing hash oil with butane, a highly flammable solvent. Assemblymember Grayson said, “Californians are at risk when these illegal butane hash oil labs show up in our neighborhoods and attempts to produce this substance can result in explosions, destruction of property, or death. My bill will make large quantities of butane unusable for illegal hash oil production, which will help shut down this dangerous and illicit trade.”

AB 3112 makes it unlawful for a manufacturer, wholesaler, reseller, or retailer to sell non-odorized butane to a customer. By requiring an odorant to be added to butane and regulating its sale, AB 3112 creates a disincentive to scofflaws who want to use it for the criminal activity of making butane hash oil. Several recent fires and explosions originating from illegal labs in California have resulted in the deaths of at least 41 people, including three children, between 2011 and 2015. In addition, these odorless toxins can be hard for firefighters to detect and expose public safety personnel to dangerous levels of carcinogens.

AB 1920 will next be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee, while AB 3112 heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee for further consideration.

Tim Grayson represents the 14th Assembly District that includes the communities of Benicia, Concord, Clayton, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Vallejo, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek. For more information please visit the Assemblymember’s website, www.assembly.ca.gov/a14.