Governor Signs Vidak Measures into Law

Child Abuse Poster and High-Speed Rail Property Sale Notification
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sacramento – Governor Brown signed into law on Monday Senate Bill 1178 (Child Abuse Poster) and Senate Bill 940 (High-Speed Rail Property Sale Notification) authored by Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford).

SB 1178 would require the state Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to create a poster showing children the phone number to call if they are the victim of abuse or neglect. The poster would be created in English, Spanish and the other top three languages of the state.

Additionally, schools would be encouraged to display the poster in a public area of the school where children are present.  The SPI would be required to make the posters available online for download by July 1, 2017.

“Keeping our children safe from predators is a top priority,” said Vidak. “I’m grateful for the unanimous bipartisan support SB 1178 received,” said Vidak.

After Texas enacted a similar bill in 2013, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services received 38,000 more calls of suspected abuse than the prior year.

“Child abuse affects children of every age, race and income level. Sadly, it can often come from a person the child trusts,” said Vidak. “Current mandated reporting laws only work if there are signs of abuse, but we need to help protect children who are victims of abuse that isn’t evident.”

SB 940 will give previous owners of property, once thought to be in one of the many proposed paths of High-Speed Rail, the opportunity to buy it back if the state is selling it.

The law requires the High-Speed Rail Authority to notify previous property owners when it plans to sell unneeded property and requires the Authority to wait 30 days after the notification before selling the property.

The High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) claims it needs nearly 1,300 individual properties to complete the 120-mile route from Madera to Bakersfield.  The route has seen many changes, and if the project is never completed, it’s possible that the state may own property it no longer needs.

“High-Speed Rail Authority is trying to take farms, land, businesses and homes, many of which have been in the same family for generations,” said Vidak.  “Folks deserve the opportunity to get back what belonged to them if the state plans to sell property it bought or seized to supposedly complete the High-Speed Rail project.”