Forget the Emmy winners—the real winners in Hollywood this week are celebrity moms and dads. That's because a new bill designed to protect celebutots from paparazzi was signed into law yesterday.
California Senate Bill 606 doesn’t take effect until January 1st, 2014, but when it does, it will mean trouble for paps who “harass” celebrity kids. The new law "makes it a misdemeanor to attempt to photograph or videotape a child in a harassing manner if the image is being taken because the child's parent is a celebrity or public official," the Los AngelesTimes reports.
Among other things, that means that celebrity parents will be able to sue paparazzi. And the penalties for transgressors will get much stiffer: Currently, "general harassment" can mean up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine for paparazzi; the new law increases those penalties to as much as a year of jail time and a possible fine of $10,000, according to the LA Times.
That’s got to be good news for all celebs parents—not just Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner, both of whom testified at a legislative hearing for the bill back in August. Actress and reality star Tia Mowry-Hardrict, mom to son Cree, 2, was happy to hear the news. “I think our jobs as parents is to make sure we protect our children the best way we possibly can," she said.
"The big issue is that paparazzi have crossed boundaries and have made situations unsafe too many times," continued the star of the Style Network's Tia & Tamera and Nick at Nite's Instant Mom. "It's not about a simple shot from across the street or block. As public figures our children are exposed and it is expected for us to be photographed. But the desperation of taking photos has caused danger for celebrities, public figures, and their children—so I am very happy steps have been taken to protect us all and commend the people behind this bill.”
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.