State Senate OKs ski safety legislation

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state Senate on Monday passed a bill that would require California ski resorts to prepare an annual safety plan and post those reports on their websites.

Lawmakers passed SB564 on a 24-8 partisan vote. The bill by Democratic Sen. Bill Monning of Carmel is a follow-up to a previous ski safety measure.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill by Sen. Ted Gaines, a Republican from Rocklin. The governor called that measure "unnecessary" and said the state did not need to get involved.

Monning's bill would require ski resorts to prepare a report that includes information about accident-prevention efforts and operational standards. Copies of the plan must be posted on the resort's website and be available upon request.

Unlike last year's legislation, Monning's bill does not have a requirement about signage or padding on ski lifts.

The bill is supported by the California Ski and Snowboard Safety Organization and medical groups, which call it a matter of consumer safety. They say families have a right to be informed about the risks and hazards of a ski resort.

It is being opposed by the National Ski Areas Association and ski resorts such as Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Opponents fear the bill will invite lawsuits.

The bill now moves to the Assembly.

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