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Legislation would require boating safety course

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The state Assembly is endorsing legislation that would require Californians to take a boating safety course, an online test and obtain a vessel operator card before driving a motorized boat.

Lawmakers approved SB941 by Democratic Sens. Bill Monning of Carmel and Mark DeSaulnier of Concord on a 45-23 vote Wednesday, sending it back to the Senate for a final vote.

The authors say California is one of only six states that do not require a boating safety course.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, a Long Beach Democrat, says ensuring operators have a basic understanding of boating laws will improve waterway safety.

But Assemblyman Curt Hagman, a Republican from Chino Hills, called the bill an unnecessary expansion of state government that would not apply to people from out of state.

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