Casino bans strengthened in Assembly bill

Proposed legislation which makes it easier for tribal casinos to ban problem people from their premises is making its way through the state legislature, while a separate bill proposes to give elder abuse victims a stronger voice in court.

Riverside County’s top prosecutor Rod Pacheco is lending his support to Assembly Bill 2155 which allows for greater enforcement of tribal gaming bans, according to an announcement his office sent out Wednesday.

Under the current law, a person who has been banned from a tribal casino in the past must create a disturbance in order to be convicted of trespassing on the next visit. But Assembly Bill 2155, which was authored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City, closes the gap.

For those people who have been banned, simply re-entering the casino facility will be grounds for removal from the property, according to the new legislation. The bill is set to be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Pacheco called the legislation’s progress and support “a great advantage to our community,” in the statement.

A separate bill written by Senators Jim Battin, R-Palm Desert, and Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, proposes to allow elders and dependant adults who are testifying in abuse cases to have up to two support personnel with them while they testify. Pacheco is also supporting this bill, Senate Bill 1343, to give elder abuse and dependant adult victims a stronger voice in court.

SB 1343 has passed the state Senate with unanimous bipartisan support, according to Pacheco, and is now awaiting committee hearings in the Assembly.

The two bills are among 14 separate pieces of legislation that Pacheco’s office is sponsoring this year.

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