Governor Vetoes Jackson’s Drone Bill

Legislation Would Have Limited Drone Use Over Residential Property

<b>TOOL OR TROUBLE?:</b> A Phantom quadcopter gets ready for liftoff.
Paul Wellman

Last Wednesday, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson’s SB 142, which would have created a 350-feet no-fly zone over residential properties and extended trespassing laws to drone operators.

The bill’s failure comes after the New York-based National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) encouraged Brown to reject SB 142 because it would have been difficult to comply with, difficult to enforce, and in conflict with existing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules.

In a press release commending the Governor’s decision, NPPA said the bill also would have seriously threatened journalists’ abilities “to gather and disseminate the news to the public and the public’s right to receive the news.” NPPA said they are ready to work with government officials to “develop a common-sense approach to the use of drones” in California.

In his veto statement, Gov. Brown called for more “careful examination” of the issue, stating that the bill, “while well-intentioned, could expose the occasional hobbyist and the FAA-approved commercial user alike to burdensome legislation and new causes of action.”

In response, Jackson posted the following statement to her Facebook page: “I am obviously disappointed that the Governor vetoed my drone privacy legislation, SB 142, but pleased the bill launched an important discussion on our privacy and private property rights and drones. Obviously, the public wants some action on this issue. I hope to continue this discussion and continue working on this issue next year.”


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