Kristie’s Bill Introduced in California                                                         Back

On 2/20/04 Republican State Senator Sam Aanestad introduced SB 1866, known as Kristie’s Law after Kristie Priano, a Chico, California teenager who was the innocent victim of a Chico Police Department pursuit in January 2002. Kristie’s parents, Mark and Candy, have worked hard for this bill since those tragic events. They have spoken to groups, civilian and law enforcement, all over California, have made numerous media appearances, locally and nationally and maintain a website, The hard work has paid off with the introduction of Sen. Aanestad’s bill. Committee hearings are scheduled to begin April 13th. The bill sets a minimum standard for pursuit policy/practice and offers immunity from financial liability to departments who meet and follow the standard. Currently California law grants blanket immunity to agencies if they have a policy. There is no minimum standard—nor do they have to follow the policy to be immune. The bill is a giant leap forward for the State of California and should be embraced by its citizens and law enforcement professionals. Accountability should never be feared—it is critical to good government.

UPDATE! The hearing for Kristie's Law (SB 1866) took place in front of the California Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, April 13th. After the introduction of the bill by Sen. Aanestad and testimony by Mark and Candy Priano and myself the opponents of the bill were given the opportunity to express themselves. A host of Law Enforcement representatives stepped to the witness table. After a self-serving statement from the first opponent of the bill about he was moved to tears by the Priano's story he launched into a litany of often discredited clichés about why the police need wide discretion in pursuit policy.                     [Continued]
UPDATE! Kristie's Law passed the Public Safety Committee today 4-yes votes, 1 no and 1 abstention. (4/20/04)
NEWS FLASH! Kristie's Law met with unexpected resistance in the Judiciary Committee and was not passed out of committee with a vote of  3-yes, 1-no and 3 abstention. the bill was then granted reconsideration by the committee (6-0-1) and will be heard by the committee as
on Tuesday May 4th.

Text of SB 1866
Status, History and Analyses of the Bill (SB 1866)
Appellate Court case describing California pursuit liability immunity as a "Get out of liability free card"
Sen. Gloria Romero's SB 219 (Police pursuit liability) defeated in 2003
California Senate Public Safety Committee
California Senate Judiciary Committee
Jim Phillips letter to Sen. Aanestad supporting Kristie's Law
Senator Aanestad's website (no longer online)
Candy Priano letter to Sen. Aanestad
PursuitWatch Press Release
Mark Priano testimony
Candy Priano testimony
Jim Phillips testimony
Series of articles in the Chico Enterprise-Record about the Kristie's Law
September 3. 2003

September 11, 2003
January 7, 2004
January 13, 2004
February 3, 2004
March 21, 2004
April 13, 2004
April 14, 2004

April 21, 2004
April 24, 2004
Other media coverage:
Los Angeles Times  "Proposed Law Would Limit Police Chases"    April 12, 2004
Modesto Bee   "Senate committee ponders limiting high-speed chases"  April 13, 2004
Sacramento Bee    "Grieving parents ask limits on chase"     April 14, 2004
Fresno Bee  "Bill puts limits on police pursuits" April 14, 2004
LA Fox News Channel "California Law Aims to Limit Police Chases"   April 14, 2004
AP "
End police immunity in high-speed pursuits, bill says"   April 20, 2004
NOTE-Kristie's law only ends police immunity if they don't follow department policy.
Record Searchlight "Limits on police chases sought"    May 1, 2004

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