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Compiled by Senator Mimi Walters, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, and Jon Fleischman
October 1, 2010
Introduction from FR Publisher Jon Fleischman
When we go through hundreds and hundreds of bills to find the ones that we consider to be the most egregious, harmful or inappropriate, is our hope and expectation that a Republican Governor would veto all of them, frankly. Remember, we're talking about the worst bills. If the Governor signs any of the bills listed below, it is bad news for the people of California... This is the fifth and final time we will be publishing this column during Governor Schwarzenegger's tenure... He's hoping that the last go around we see him use his veto pen twenty times! So, with that said, read on...
THE FLASHREPORT 2010 TOP TWENTY WORST BILLS WORTHY OF THE GOVERNOR'S VETO
PLEASE CHECK BACK TO SEE THE STATUS OF THESE BILLS. AS OF TODAY, 9/16, THE GOVERNOR HAS ACTED ON NONE OF THE BILLS. WHEN HE IS DONE, WE WILL GIVE HIM A LETTER GRADE!
As compiled by Senator Mimi Walters and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (with some assistance from FR Publisher Jon Fleischman)
The Governor's "letter grade" will be computed using the following scale... If he vetoes 90% or more, the Governor got an "A", 80% - 89% a "B", 70 - 79% a "A", 60 - 69% a "D" and below that, an "F"... For convenience, we have broken down the bad bills into nine different categories… Next to the bill number and author, in bright red, will appear the action taken by the Governor on each bill (none as of today).
Every legislative session, thousands of bills are introduced in Sacramento. Most of them expand the sphere of government while shrinking the sphere of liberty. With California facing a $19 billion deficit, any logical person would think that lawmakers would focus on the basics, instead of seeking to grow government. Sadly, that is not the case. Here, then, is the 2010 Top 20 Bills to Veto list which we respectfully submit to the Governor’s attention.
SB 900 (Alquist) and AB 1602 (John Perez) – (nearly identical to SB 900) – Prematurely enacts Obamacare provisions with overly broad and expansive governance and guidelines without oversight for the state health benefit exchange, which could lead to unnecessary cost increases and limited choice for employers. SIGNED - 9/30/10
AB 1825 (De La Torre) – Requires all individual health insurance plans to include maternity care – even those for men. A Republican analysis estimates that this will cause nearly 10,000 Californians to lose coverage due to increased cost. VETOED - 9/30/10
SB 880 (Yee) – Requires skiers/snowboarders under the age of 18 to wear an approved helmet and imposes a $25 fine for failure to do so. Who will write the tickets? For instance, do we really want or expect the Mammoth Lakes Police Department to assign officers to the slopes to enforce this law? SIGNED - 9/24/10 (Though bill was tied to other legislation that was vetoed, so SB 880 does not go into effect.)
AB 2479 (Bass) – Creates redundant and excessive penalties for certain driving and ‘stalking’ activities targeted at paparazzi. All of the penalties in this bill already exist under reckless driving and other regulations. Further, this bill will likely be challenged under First Amendment freedom of the press grounds. SIGNED - 9/30/10
Family and Marriage
SB 906 (Leno) – Creates a new class of marriage in statute called “civil marriage.” This is another attempt by anti-traditional marriage activists to force their agenda on California families. VETOED - 9/30/10
Taxes & Fees
AB 408 (Saldana) – Increases fees paid by some 200-250 Californian lobster fishermen by 113% to fund new conservation programs. Particularly notable is that the cost of these new programs ($3+ million annually) exceeds the revenue generated by these fees ($60,000-76,000 annually) by millions of dollars. VETOED - 9/30/10
AB 2032 (Davis) – From the Department of Redundancy Department—Requires underage actors, artists and other entertainers to pay a new fee, which the agency collecting the fee states is required to defray the costs of collecting the fee. VETOED - 9/30/10
AB 2398 (John Perez), aka the “Carpet Product Stewardship Act,” imposes a $0.05 per square yard tax on carpets sold in California through 2013 (after which, the cost will likely climb) to fund a carpet recycling program. Interestingly, California’s biggest carpet recycling company, Los Angeles Fiber Co., is in the district of the bill’s sponsor, Assembly Speaker Perez. SIGNED - 9/30/10
AB 1405 (De Leon) – Directs 10% of the fees generated by AB 32, estimated at nearly $1.3 billion, to an unaccountable bureaucracy with the intention being that the spending be directed at areas impacted by climate change. Given that there is no adverse health impact to CO2 emissions, this bill is simply yet another attempt to take money from one group and give it to another under the guise of government power. VETOED - 9/30/10
AB 1413 (Fuentes) and SB 1460 (Cedillo) (identical to AB 1413) aka “The Dream Act” – Diverts financial aid away from legal California residents to illegal immigrants, giving greater incentive to break U.S. immigration law in California. Illegal immigrants already pay in-state tuition rates at California’s public universities, meaning they pay less than U.S. citizens from other states. Ironically, if an illegal immigrant student does graduate from college, they cannot legally get a job.VETOED - 9/30/10
AB 1451 (Ammiano) – Allows counties to issue their own ID cards, creating an incredibly confusing environment for law enforcement, employers and the financial industry. The bill is aimed at lessening the difficulties illegal immigrants have with opening bank accounts and other activities requiring identification and is authored by Tom Ammiano, who represents the sanctuary city of San Francisco. VETOED - 9/24/10
AB 2460 (Ammiano) – Gives serious drug users immunity from criminal charges if they contact emergency services due to an overdose (another Tom Ammiano bill). VETOED - 9/24/10
Anti-Business and Jobs
SB 657 (Steinberg) – Creates unattainable requirement that major manufacturers and retailers (defined as those with $100+ million in annual revenue) disclose whether forced labor was used at any point in their supply chain and describe efforts to prevent such labor. SIGNED 9/30/10
AB 2187 (Arambula) – Creates a significant disincentive to locate jobs and operations in California by potentially criminalizing almost any legitimate wage dispute with a terminated employee that takes longer than 90 days to resolve. VETOED - 9/24/10
AB 482 (Mendoza) – Prohibits employers from considering an applicant’s credit history during the hiring process. (Interestingly, the U.S. military uses credit checks as one means to determine the trustworthiness of military personnel to hold secrets.) VETOED - 9/24/10
SB 933 (Oropeza) – Will eliminate thousands of Californian jobs by vastly increasing costs to small businesses for debit card transactions. The bill prohibits retailers from collecting fees for debit transactions, despite the fact that these cost businesses much higher transaction fees than credit cards. VETOED - 9/23/10
SB 1272 (Wolk) – Creates a seven-year sunset for all future tax incentives for employers in California, as well as various other onerous requirements, leading to more uncertainty in the tax code which discourages investment in California. VETOED - 9/24/10
SB 1474 (Steinberg) – Creates the card-check election system for California agricultural workers. It is notable the Cesar Chavez and the UFW fought tooth and nail for secret ballot elects, yet the UFW now supports this bill. VETOED - 9/30/10
Frivolous Spending and Lawsuits
AB 424 (Torres) – This bill spends nearly $4 million over the next three years to educate the public on the uses of the 911 system. VETOED - 9/27/10 SB 1413 (Leno) – Requires schools to provide students access to fresh, free tap water during mealtimes, exposing schools to lawsuits for failing to comply with the undefined standard of “fresh” tap water. SIGNED - 9/30/10
CALL TO ACTION
You have an opportunity to contact Governor Schwarzenegger and urge him to veto all twenty of these bills! You can reach the Governor here.
How did the Governor do last year? Check out the 2009 Top Twenty right here.
Finally, thank you to the great many people who contributed their suggestions on bills to veto. It is a travesty that we could have actually compiled a Top 100 Bills To Veto pretty easily.