The Assembly approved new parental obligations today in response to a much-publicized Florida case in which Casey Anthony waited a month to report her 2-year-old daughter missing but ultimately was acquitted of her murder.
Assembly Bill 1432 would make parents or guardians guilty of a misdemeanor if they knowingly fail to report, within 24 hours, the disappearance of a child younger than 14.
Maximum penalties would vary, however.
Offenders could be jailed for a year and fined $2,000 for failing to report the death of a child from crime, or one who is missing under circumstances that would suggest danger.
Violations stemming from disappearances in which no danger of physical harm exists would be punishable by maximum jail sentences of six months and fines of up to $1,000.
The bill declares itself "Caylee's Law," a reference to Caylee Anthony, the Florida toddler whose body was found in a wooded area not far from her grandparents' home in 2008. She had been missing six months.
AB 1432, by Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, passed the Assembly with bipartisan support, 66-3. It now goes to the Senate. If signed into law with two-thirds support from the Legislature, the measure would take effect immediately.