Liability Protection Bill AB634 Established as 2-Year Bill

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Posted by California Ships to Reefs on May 11, 2009 at 21:19:50:

California Ships to Reefs (CSTR) announced on Monday that the California Assembly committee has established a 2-year cycle for Assembly Bill AB 634, which will bring it before the State Assembly in the 2010 session. This legislation, sponsored by CSTR and authored by Assemblywoman Diane Harkey of Dana Point, seeks to extend the existing liability protections for the state and local governments to include when individuals participate in SCUBA diving on artificial reefs placed in waters considered public lands. This list currently does not specifically list SCUBA diving as one of the activities covered, and AB 634 is intended to specifically include SCUBA diving on artificial reefs placed in waters considered public lands.

The establishment of AB634 as a 2-year bill will provide time for CSTR and Assemblywoman Harkey’s staff to expand the support base for the legislation and to include statements of support from organizations such as the League of Cities and California State Association of Counties (CSAC). In addition, CSTR has requested that the San Diego City Attorney’s office revisit their 1999 opinion (written as part of the HMCS Yukon sink project) to support the passage of AB 634. The San Diego City Attorney has previously indicated that the AB 634 legislation would indeed provide clarity in the existing law and could prevent the filing of costly lawsuits.

California Ships to Reefs is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation seeking to reef surplus ships as artificial reefs, bringing diving and fishing tourism to local ports in California and enhancing the Ocean Environment. For further information, please visit the organization’s website at www.californiashipstoreefs.org, or contact CSTR Governmental Relations Committee Chairman Dean Rewerts at DeanR@californiashipstoreefs.org.

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