The California Senate on Thursday voted down a state measure that would require smarter anti-theft security on smartphones. The bill, introduced by State Senator Mark Leno and sponsored by George Gascon, San Francisco's district attorney, would have required a so-called kill switch which would render a smartphone useless after it was stolen on all smartphones sold in California. The proposal needed 21 votes to pass in the 40-member chamber. After debate on Thursday morning at the Capitol, in Sacramento, it fell two votes short of passing, with a final count of 19 to 17 in favor.
The reasons to do this are not to save money. I was just addressing the "taxpayer dollars" portion of your sentiment (the part that you put right in the title).
There is no comparison between the number of armed or forceful thefts of "cars? Trucks? Computers/laptops/netbooks/chromebooks/tablets?" and that of smart phones. The rapid rise of these crimes has garnered enough attention that the CA legislature proposed the bill. Big, bad "government regulation" isn't the solution to most things, and may not be the ultimate solution to these types of crimes. But heaven forbid that some portion of one of the many useless parts of government is actually trying to take action with the best interests of its citizens' safety in mind and we lambast them.
Is this a great idea? No. But neither is "if I can find any flaw in any idea then nothing should ever be done, ever!" Many of our cars already have GPS systems that can broadcast our location, and some even have kill switches.
The whole OMG! NSA! PONIES! argument is weak too. If the NSA wanted to kill your phone they would have the carrier deactivate your SIM card. Going into any local phone store to get a new one would just let them know where to pick you up at that very moment. But they already know where you are by tracking you via your phone, and they'd much rather listen to your calls and read your texts/email than to kill your phone.