How many of these new laws are actually “necessary”? Will actually improve the human condition more than harm?
One of the more controversial pieces of legislation signed by Governor Brown is the California Dream Act:
Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) said his legislation recognizes the value of young people who graduate from high school in California regardless of where they were born.
“It’s important for California and the future of our economy to take advantage of the investment we have made in these young men and women,” Cedillo said.
The second part signed back in October, it basically increases allowances already on the books, giving eligibility to apply for financial aid and merit-based scholarships to illegal immigrants attending public colleges and universities.
Supporters of the Dream Act also want illegal immigrants to be eligible for drivers licenses as well.
The illegal immigration debate aside….this also comes at a time when California is broke:
According to a legislative analysis, the bill would cost the state up to $40 million per year. Colleges and universities don’t track the immigration status of students, but higher education officials have said that there are about 3,600 students who are undocumented or who have other residency issues in the California State University system, and as many as 642 in the University of California system and 34,000 enrolled in community colleges.
Brown was also criticized for signing a law requiring public schools to include the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in history lessons and instructional material, although new textbooks for lower grades are not planned for three years.
I have no issue with people’s sexual orientation. But why make a fuss over whether a historical person is gay or straight? Why must sexual identity be significance? What I deplore is that history books will conflate a historical figure’s contributions to society and make more out of him than is warranted, simply because he fulfills the need of special interest groups to feel validated through a misguided sense of equal representation.
Then there’s the ban on open-carry- one of those laws that I think are a waste of ink:
“Law-abiding citizens will start openly carrying unloaded long guns in public because their basic and fundamental civil right to self-defense, as enumerated in the 2nd Amendment, is clearly being infringed upon,” said Yih-Chau Chang, a spokesman for the firearms advocacy group Responsible Citizens of California.
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) said he introduced the measure in response to law enforcement officials who felt that public safety was jeopardized by gun owners wearing firearms on their hips at coffee shops and other public venues as they called attention to a right to bear arms.
Meanwhile, obtaining a concealed-carry permit remains difficult in the state of California.
as with many of his other green funding priorities (like Solyndra) this is another money pit. The San Jose Mercury News has more:
Though California’s high-speed train faces an intensifying backlash over its $99 billion price tag, political leaders from Washington to Sacramento justify the cost by touting another huge number: 1 million jobs the rail line is supposed to create.
But like so many of the promises made to voters who approved the bullet train, those job estimates appear too good to be true.
A review by this newspaper found the railroad would create only 20,000 to 60,000 jobs during an average year and employ only a few thousand people permanently if it’s built.
“They have a really hard sales pitch with the real numbers, so they’ve fudged the numbers,” said state Sen. Doug LaMalfa, a Chico-area Republican who is introducing legislation to send the rail line back to voters. “C’mon, a million people working on a 520-mile railroad? I practically laughed out loud when (I heard that).”
One million people — more than the combined workforce of San Jose and San Francisco — would have to cram shoulder-to-shoulder just to fit along the rail line between San Francisco and Anaheim.
The idea of a bullet train sounds great. But if this were anything but a boondoggle you’d have private firms lining up to build one. There’s just no way this is worth $100 billion dollars.
Will it eventually pay for itself? I dunno…maybe, if the car-loving California public actually uses it. But I am not optimistic that this is a wise gamble or smart investment of money California doesn’t have (Did I already mention California is broke?).
eliminates the requirement that food stamp recipients be fingerprinted to prevent fraud. Another law calls for state agencies to promote more enrollment in the federal food stamp program.
encourages state university systems to collect data on students’ sexual orientation and encourages the legislative analyst to use it to recommend improvements in the quality of life for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.
According to the Los Angeles Times, text messaging and handheld cell phone use are not the only distracted driving behaviors that will be on law enforcement officers’ radar this weekend.They will also be keeping an eye out for people who are eating, putting on makeup, or reading magazines while operating a motor vehicle.
“Multi-tasking may be a fine way to get things done when your not driving, but combine driving with another activity that requires your attention and the need for you to take one hand off the steering wheel, and you’ve created a deadly situation that can destroy lives,” said Anaheim Personal Injury Attorney Howard.
Other activities that can prove distracting when driving:
• Watching a movie or downloaded television program on a portable electronic device
• Brushing your teeth
• Feeding a child
• Playing with a pet
• Reading a book
• Changing one’s clothes
• Adjusting an MP3 player, CD player, or the radio
• Inputting information into a navigation system
This just seems very broad. Anything you do while in the car, from conversing with someone riding shotgun to reading a street sign/billboard, watching a pretty skirt gliding down the sidewalk, to blowing your nose could all be interpreted as a driver being distracted. What will a CHP officer base his judgment on? How will this play out in court if contested?
Another new traffic law is use of booster seats for children:
IN THE BACK SEAT OF A VEHICLE until they are at least 8 YEARS OLD or 4′ 9″ in height.
What I’m unclear on is what if a kid turns 9 but is still under 4’9″? Does he stay in the booster seat? So then, shouldn’t any person, regardless of age, if he is under 4’9″, to be consistent with safety standard? Why is age then a criteria?
Any comments regarding new laws in your state?