State

August 8, 2014

AM Alert: Drone on? California lawmakers discuss

Not since the personal computer, or maybe the Shakeweight, has a single piece of technology generated as much discussion as drones.

Not since the personal computer, or maybe the Shakeweight, has a single piece of technology generated as much discussion as drones.

While the pilot-less aircraft have become the faceless face of American wars abroad, the unarmed domestic versions have also been plenty controversial. A privately operated drone nearly tripped up firefighters in El Dorado County last weekend. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Sacramento have been looking at enticing drone testing to land in California and at regulating the aircraft so public agencies can use them.

But when the skies fill with hovering eyes, what becomes of personal privacy? A joint hearing of three Assembly committees will take a look today. Witnesses at the “Drones in our Future: Opportunity and Privacy Considerations” meeting will include representatives from the Aerospace States Association, the California Broadcasters Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, UCLA Law School and the sheriff’s departments of Ventura and Los Angeles County, respectively.

Things get under way at 10 a.m. at the UCLA Faculty Center in Los Angeles.

VIDEO: Lawmakers who have trouble getting things done on some issues have no such problems when it comes to selective tax breaks, Dan Walters says.

TESLA TIME: Speaking of technology, and appealing to specific technology companies, California lawmakers from both parties have been looking at luring a new Tesla battery factory to California. The courtship continues today as Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin, who has partnered on a Tesla bill with Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, tours the company’s corporate headquarters in Palo Alto.

CELEBRATIONS: A preemptive happy birthday to Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, who turns 46 on Saturday.

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