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AB-2768 Public entities: written communications: digital signatures.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/27/2020 09:00 PM
AB2768:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 04, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2768


Introduced by Assembly Member Kalra

February 20, 2020


An act to amend Section 65000 16.5 of the Government Code, relating to land use. digital signatures.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2768, as amended, Kalra. Land use: planning and zoning. Public entities: written communications: digital signatures.
Existing law authorizes the use of a digital signature in any written communication with a public entity, as defined, in which a signature is required or used. Under existing law, if a public entity elects to use a digital signature, that digital signature has the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature if it embodies all of specified attributes, including being unique to the person using it and conforming to regulations adopted by the Secretary of State.
Existing law requires the Secretary of State to have adopted the initial regulations for these provisions no later than January 1, 1997, including seeking the advice of public and private entities in developing these regulations and holding at least one public hearing to receive comments before adopting the regulations.
This bill would delete the above-described language requiring the adoption of the initial regulations, as prescribed. The bill would instead require digital signatures to conform to regulations adopted by the Secretary of State pursuant to specified procedures. The bill would further require the Secretary of State to adopt emergency regulations to provide appropriate and timely guidance to public entities and the public generally regarding the signature requirements and to make the regulatory changes needed to update these provisions no later than March 1, 2022, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. The bill would make the emergency regulations adopted pursuant to these provisions effective only until nonemergency, final regulations are adopted and become effective through the regular rulemaking process.

The Planning and Zoning Law, among other things, requires the legislative body of each county and city to adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of the county or city and of any land outside its boundaries that relates to its planning, and provides for the adoption and administration of zoning laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations by counties and cities.

This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to the provision naming the law.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 16.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

16.5.
 (a) In any written communication with a public entity, as defined in Section 811.2, in which a signature is required or used, any party to the communication may affix a signature by use of a digital signature that complies with the requirements of this section. If a public entity elects to use a digital signature, that digital signature shall have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature if and only if it embodies all of the following attributes:
(1) It is unique to the person using it.
(2) It is capable of verification.
(3) It is under the sole control of the person using it.
(4) It is linked to data in such a manner that if the data are changed, the digital signature is invalidated.
(5) It conforms to regulations adopted by the Secretary of State. Initial regulations shall be adopted no later than January 1, 1997. In developing these regulations, the secretary shall seek the advice of public and private entities, including, but not limited to, the Department of Information Technology, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of General Services. Before the secretary adopts the regulations, he or she shall hold at least one public hearing to receive comments. State pursuant to subdivisions (f) and (g).
(b) The use or acceptance of a digital signature shall be at the option of the parties. Nothing in this section shall require a public entity to use or permit the use of a digital signature.
(c) Digital signatures employed pursuant to Section 71066 of the Public Resources Code are exempted from this section.
(d) “Digital signature” means an electronic identifier, created by computer, intended by the party using it to have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature. For purposes of this section, a digital signature is a type of “electronic signature” as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 1633.2 of the Civil Code.
(e) Nothing in this section shall limit the right of a public entity or government agency to use and accept an “electronic signature” as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 1633.2 of the Civil Code.
(f) Regulations adopted by the Secretary of State to implement this section apply only to a public entity’s use of a “digital signature” and not to use of any other type of “electronic signature” authorized in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (Title 2.5 (commencing with Section 1633.1) of Part 2 of Division 3 of the Civil Code).
(g) (1) The Secretary of State shall adopt emergency regulations to make the regulatory changes needed to update this section no later than March 1, 2022, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2).
(2) The adoption of emergency regulations is necessary to provide appropriate and timely guidance to public entities and the public generally regarding the digital signature requirements of this section. The adoption of emergency regulations shall be deemed an emergency and considered by the Office of Administrative Law as necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare.
(3) Emergency regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall be effective only until nonemergency, final regulations are adopted and become effective through the regular rulemaking process.

SECTION 1.Section 65000 of the Government Code is amended to read:
65000.

This title shall be known, and may be cited, as the Planning and Zoning Law.