State lawmakers have approved two bills intended to rein in aggressive paparazzi who pursue celebrities.
The Assembly passed AB1256 and AB1356, both by former Santa Monica Mayor and current Assemblyman Richard Bloom, on Wednesday, sending them to the Senate.
The Santa Monica Democrat’s bills make it illegal to interfere with someone trying to enter or leave a building and expand the state’s definition of stalking to include unwanted surveillance. Bloom says for surveillance to qualify as stalking, it must serve no legitimate purpose.
News media organizations oppose the bills, and several Republican lawmakers voted against both on Wednesday.
GOP Assemblyman Donald Wagner of Irvine says AB1356 impinges on First Amendment rights and “goes way too far to prohibit lots of conduct that is legitimate news gathering.”