Today's Law As Amended

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SB-742 Vaccination sites: unlawful activities: obstructing, intimidating, or harassing.(2021-2022)

As Amends the Law Today

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that:
(1) On March 4, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California due to the threat posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
(2) The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the tragic death of over 640,000 Americans, including over 65,000 Californians.
(3) COVID-19 is increasingly infecting Californians’ children and preventing them from learning and attending school.
(4) The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that one of the principal ways that SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is spread is through inhalation of very fine respiratory droplets and aerosol particles.
(5) Preeminent virologists, epidemiologists, and medical journals have all recognized that SARS-COV-2 can spread through aerosol transmission over multiple feet.
(6) The CDC recently told the public that the Delta COVID-19 variant, B.1.617.2, AY.1, AY.2, AY.3, is one of the most infectious and easily transmitted respiratory viruses ever.
(7) Preeminent virologists, epidemiologists, and medical journals have also recognized that other infectious diseases, including measles, chickenpox, and tuberculosis, all spread through airborne transmission.
(8) Future unknown infectious diseases also likely will spread through airborne transmission.
(9) To blunt and stop infectious diseases, the State of California has an overwhelming and compelling interest in ensuring its residents can obtain and access vaccinations.
(10) The United States Supreme Court previously upheld a buffer zone protecting patients right to access healthcare services.
(11) Given the distance across which airborne infectious diseases spread, a 30-foot buffer zone is necessary to protect the health of Californians trying to access vaccination sites.
(12) Protestors at vaccination sites continue to impede and delay Californians’ ability to access vaccination sites.
(b) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to protect Californians from infectious diseases by safeguarding their right to access vaccination sites and ensuring that Californians can lawfully protest.

SEC. 2.

 Section 594.39 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

 (a) It is unlawful to knowingly approach within 30 feet of any person while a person is within 100 feet of the entrance or exit of a vaccination site and is seeking to enter or exit a vaccination site, or any occupied motor vehicle seeking entry or exit to a vaccination site, for the purpose of obstructing, injuring, harassing, intimidating, or interfering with that person or vehicle occupant.
(b) A violation of subdivision (a) is punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(c) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Harassing” means knowingly approaching, without consent, within 30 feet of another person or occupied vehicle for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling with, that other person in a public way or on a sidewalk area.
(2) “Interfering with” means restricting a person’s freedom of movement.
(3) “Intimidating” means making a true threat directed to a person or group of persons with the intent of placing that person or group of persons in fear of bodily harm or death.
(4) “Obstructing” means rendering ingress to or egress from a vaccination site, or rendering passage to or from a vaccination site, unreasonably difficult or hazardous.
(5) “True threat” means a statement in which the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular person or group of persons regardless of whether the person actually intends to act on the threat.
(6) “Vaccination site” means the physical location where vaccination services are provided, including, but not limited to, a hospital, physician’s office, clinic, or any retail space or pop-up location made available for vaccination services.
(d) It is not a violation of this section to engage in lawful picketing arising out of a labor dispute, as provided in Section 527.3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(e) The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
SEC. 3.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SEC. 4.
 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to ensure public peace and safety during the process of distributing vaccinations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and public health crisis, it is necessary for this measure to go into immediate effect.