New Year, New Laws, Same Old Sacramento
It’s time to ring in the New Year and wring the necks of our state politicians who continue with increasing arrogance and aggression to intrude into – and affect the lives of – all Californians, from kids to seniors, business owners to students, parents to pets. Among the whopping 760 new laws that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. last Sunday morning, are the following:
• The new California Human Trafficking Law mandates the disclosure of efforts California companies take to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their entire supply chains. Seriously? However good-intentioned a law might be, I can’t help but wonder if one of the reasons over 2500 businesses representing more than 109,000 jobs have left California (according to the OC Register) in the past four years is because our state legislators never met a regulation they didn’t like.
• The California Gay Bullying Law (Seth’s Law) requires school districts to have a uniform process for dealing with gay bullying complaints and mandates that school personnel intervene if they witness gay bullying. Or what? Huh, tough guys? Is gay bullying any worse than straight bullying? Fat kid bullying? Nerd bullying? Short bullying? What about bullying by constituent-pandering politicians?
• The LGBT Equality and Equal Access in Higher Education Law requires state colleges and universities to create and enforce campus policies that protect LGBTs from harassment and to appoint employee contact persons to address on-campus LGBT matters. Yep, that oughta lower the cost of a college education.
• The California Gay History Law mandates that school textbooks and social studies include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender accomplishments and bans teaching materials that reflect negatively on gays or specific religions (Christianity excluded, of course.)
• Judicial Applicant and Appointment Demographics Inclusion Law mandates gender identity and sexual orientation of potential judges into the state’s Judicial Applicant Date Report (say what?) to ensure more diversity in our state courts. Yep, that’s definitely what’s wrong with the California court system.
• The Transgender Vital Statistics Law makes it easier for transgender Californians to get a court petition to change their gender on official documents and the Domestic Partnership Equality Law “corrects” inequalities between domestic partnerships and heterosexual marriages. Well, of course it does.
Another new law requires businesses with dress codes to provide workers leeway to dress according to their own gender identity. It’s a wonder there are any businesses here at all.
Lest you think our public servants in Sacramento are obsessed with all things gay, lesbian and transgendered, they’ve also enacted new laws for 2012 that mandate the use of car seats for kids until they are 8 years old (up from 6) or are 4’ 9” and/or weigh 60 pounds. (Confused yet?) I’d bet there have already been some nasty fights this week between parents and 6- or 7-year-olds who have to be strapped into a car seat once again. And to think my generation somehow survived childhood riding in family cars with slippery vinyl bench seats, hard steel dashboards and no seatbelts.
Also courtesy of our state government, as of last Sunday minors in California are no longer able to buy Robitussin cough syrup or use a tanning bed, but – wait for it – girls and boys as young as 12 can now receive preventive treatment for sexually transmitted diseases without parental consent. Oh yeah, and anyone can now purchase syringes over the counter without a prescription. So, in other words, kids – sex and drugs are just dandy but don’t you dare get a tan or a cough. What passes for wisdom today is both mind numbing and soul deadening.
There are, unfortunately, many hundreds more new laws for 2012 that further control daily life and commerce here in California. If you’re as frightened with the growth of government and its increasing power over every aspect of our lives, our livings and even our very thoughts – I hope to see you in a voting booth this November.
And until then, I’ll see you ’round town.