15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps
Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps
Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps
Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps
Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps
Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps
Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps

A Low-Down Run-Down on the 2014 CA Laws

A Low-Down Run-Down on the 2014 CA Laws

New laws abound in California, and we can thank our hard-working (or hard-headed) legislators for putting in the extra effort for the residents of the state of California.

Except, not really.

With the defeat of comprehensive school choice bills in 2013l (SB 451 and SB 452), the Democratic supermajority effectively signaled their sympathies with public sector unions and bureaucracies instead of students, parents, and schools. Pension reforms are under attack already, and Governor Brown’s “balanced budget” is anything but. Yet state senator Ted Lieu (D-Redondo Beach) still claims that there is a surplus, and our schools will get more money. I attended a seminar from Torrance Unified administrative staff. I assure you that the leaders in our schools are not pleased with the revenue sources. District leaders will not know their funding levels until the end of 2014, and in spite of Governor Brown’s “pledge” to restore 2007-level funding by 2020, such speculations assume nothing but overly optimistic expectations, as though the average of five businesses a day, and thousands of residents with them, are not leaving California with their tax dollars.

Some thoughts on the new laws:

Broken Parking Meters

If you park by a broken meter, you won’t get a ticket. I have a better idea. Since the entire state is broke, and Californians are having a hard time paying their own bills, why not give all us a break from the taxes and fees?

Teen Texting While Driving

Teens cannot text and drive. Good. How many teens can afford a car? How many teens will be able to get a license? One mother shared with me that her teen has no interest in driving. Perhaps she can’t afford the interest on the auto loan (or the student loans, for that matter).

HOV Lanes

If you drive an electric car, you can drive alone in the carpool lanes on California highways, except Interstates 10 and 110. Aside from the fact that electric cars are not sizzling hot sellers to begin with, the commuters along those excluded interstates need the most relief. At least electric companies have to report the number of times that blackouts black out the South Bay.

Bicycle Safety

With the "Three Feet for Safety Act", cyclists can expect some protective space from motorists moving in the same direction. How about six degrees of separation from my money, Sacramento?!

Paparazzi Protection

The Paparazzi aggressively pursue celebrity children. Shame on them, and they should pay for infringing their privacy. And speaking of protecting our children and their privacy. .  .

Transgender Rights

By George, Boy George would have liked this law. Whether parents and students do, is another matter that will come and not go away. A national first (or worst), this law will permit transgendered students to use school facilities and join sports "consistent with his or her gender identity". Boys will be boys, but may pretend to be girls to be with the girls, perhaps?

Driver’s Licenses

Taking effect before Jan. 1, 2015, this law will allow undocumented immigrants to earn a driver’s license. In effect, they can obtain a legal document, even though they reside in California illegally. Someone should go to court to block this illegal law. Then again, the state Supreme Court just ruled in favor of an illegal immigrant to obtain a license to practice law, too. Illegal immigrants who drive legally will now be able to obtain illegal legal representation, too. So much for the United States Constitution’s Supremacy clause. . .

Minimum Wage Hike

California’s minimum wage will increase to $9 this year, and then to $10 in 2016. Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) supported the increase, provided that the pay raise was not tied to inflation. Small businesses rejected the hike before and hate it still. They will likely turn away willing applicants and diminish the number of viable entry level workers. What’s the point of raising the minimum wage when the prices of goods and services rise to offset the increase?  Economics was never Sacramento’s strong suit.

Hit-and-Run Drivers

The statute of limitations for hit-and-run incidents has increased to six years. I wonder how many of those illegal legal drivers will cause those accidents?

State Disability Insurance

Starting July 1, the state disability insurance program expands to allow workers six weeks paid leave to care for ill relatives. What happened to Covered California? Californians not feeling covered?

Mountain Lions

“Relocate first, shoot them later” is the new law of the land for mountain lions. I wonder if State Senator Lieu was behind this statute. He cares about the puppies and the bears (no more hunting bears with dogs, you know). Now the mountain lions can breathe easy, and hunt more easily, since the California Department of Fish and Wildlife wardens cannot kill the ferocious felines unless they pose an immediate threat to the community.

When mountain lions enter inhabited regions, they immediately pose a threat! Unless they’ve gone vegan, or transgendered, or wander into Sacramento to scare off micromanaging politicians.

Yes, 2014 is an election year, but some of us cannot wait for these politicians to leave office.

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