Governor Signs Four Benoit Bills into Law

SACRAMENTO — Assemblyman John J. Benoit (R-Palm Desert) today announced that Governor Schwarzenegger has signed four of his legislative measures into law.

The new laws are as follows:

Assembly Bill 182 / Search Warrants – Empowers District Attorney investigators and inspectors to serve search warrants in the same manner as other law enforcement officers. Previously, DA investigators were forced to wait until police or sheriffs were available to serve search warrants, resulting in delays allowing the destruction, loss, or alteration of critical evidence. Assemblyman Benoit worked closely with the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) in developing this legislation, which also received support from the Attorney General, the California Correctional Supervisors Organization, the State Sheriffs’ Association, and the California Peace Officers’ Association.

Assembly Bill 837 / Life Insurance – Grants California consumers more options when selecting a life insurance policy by authorizing life insurance policies that provide a waiver of premium in the event the policy holder is disabled or involuntarily unemployed. Prior interpretations of the Insurance Code by state regulators inexplicably blocked California insurers from offering these consumer-friendly policies.

Assembly Bill 900 / Public Officers – Identifies California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) investigators as “public officers” in the Penal Code to correct a problem that was brought to light by the murder of a CDFA investigator in June 2000. This new law will allow CDFA investigators to obtain access to criminal records of individuals they may be investigating for violation of the laws they enforce. Assemblyman Benoit authored AB 900 on behalf of the California Department of Food & Agriculture.

Assembly Bill 1577 / Unemployment Insurance – Updates California’s unemployment insurance code to correct inaccurate and obsolete references. As Vice-Chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee, Assemblyman Benoit was asked to author this legislation by the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

Assemblyman Benoit said, “I am very pleased to have Governor Schwarzenegger’s support on these four important issues and I look forward to his signature on several more pieces of legislation headed his way from my office.”

The four new laws become effective January 1, 2006. For further information regarding any of the Assemblyman’s legislation, interested parties may contact Assemblyman Benoit’s capitol office at 916-319-2064