Jerry Brown's Vetoes and the Limits of Progressivism

Sometimes the most important thing a governor can do is to say “no.”

One of the saving graces of modern progressivism is that eventually it gets too left-wing even for left wingers.

That’s the takeaway from Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s volley of vetoes — 34 pieces of legislation passed by the Democrat-controlled California state legislature but rejected on Sunday by the Golden State’s 74-year-old governor, a Democrat.

Make no mistake about it, Governor Brown is on the left. He’s for gay marriage and green energy. When he ran for president against Bill Clinton in the 1992 Democratic primary, his claim to fame was refusing to accept campaign contributions larger than $100.

Yet on Sunday, September 30, Governor Brown angered left-wing advocacy groups by announcing that he was rejecting a series of pieces of Democrat-sponsored legislation that amount to a catalog of left-wing ideas that are so bad they are unacceptable even for a left-wing governor.

A number of the rejected bills had to do with labor conditions. One would have created state-mandated meal breaks, sleep periods, and rest breaks for domestic employees such as nannies and home health aides. Governor Brown wrote in his veto message of “consequences both unknown and unintended,” asking, “What would be the economic and human impact on the disabled or elderly person and their family of requiring overtime, rest and meal periods for attendants who provide 24-hour care? What would be the additional costs and what is the financial capacity of those taking care of loved ones in the last years of life? Will it increase costs to the point of forcing people out of their homes and into licensed institutions? Will there be fewer jobs for domestic workers? Will the available jobs be for fewer hours?....How would the state actually enforce the new work rules in the privacy of people’s homes?”

The Los Angeles Times reports that the sponsor of the bill, a Democratic assemblyman from San Francisco, Tom Ammiano, “used profanity to register his disagreement with the governor’s veto message.” The California Domestic Workers Coalition called the decision “a huge disappointment.”

The United Farm Workers expressed similar dismay with Governor Brown’s veto of the Humane Treatment for Farm Workers Act, whichwould have made it a crime, punishable by jail time or fines of $10,000 or $25,000, for farmers not to provide farm workers with “suitably cool” water and “continuous ready access to an area of shade sufficient to allow the body to cool.” The governor also vetoed another bill, the Farm Worker Safety Act, which would have given employees additional rights to sue over water and shade conditions. The farm workers’ union said it was “appalled at the governor’s decision,” which it says, “continues the policy of giving animals more protections than those currently offered to farm workers.” This seems to overlook the idea that humans have the freedom to quit and leave a job with poor working conditions, while animals do not.

Governor Brown also vetoed the “Trust Act,” a California reply to Arizona’s immigration law. The California law would have prevented California law enforcement officials from helping the federal government detain illegal immigrants. In his veto message, Governor Brown wrote, “the bill would bar local cooperation even when the person arrested has been convicted of certain crimes involving child abuse, drug trafficking, selling weapons, using children to sell drugs, or gangs. I believe it’s unwise to interfere with a sheriff’s discretion to comply with a detainer issued for people with these kinds of troubling criminal records.”

Another bill Governor Brown vetoed would have required California health insurance companies to issue health insurance to anyone who wanted to buy it, regardless of preexisting health conditions (“guaranteed issue”) and would have allowed the insurers to use only age and geographic region (“community rating”) in setting the price of the policies. As the governor said in his veto message, “a state-level mandate on insurers alone could encourage healthy people to wait until they got sick or injured before purchasing coverage. This would lead to skyrocketing premiums, making coverage more unaffordable.”

Governor Brown’s hardly the second coming of that other California governor, Ronald Reagan. For one thing, Governor Brown signed a lot of new laws, too, that he probably would have done better to have added to the veto list. But the vetoes are a start toward turning around the conditions that created what the Manhattan Institute, in a new report, calls “The Great California Exodus” of migration out of the state. Sometimes the most important thing a governor can do is to say “no.”

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  • BelowTheRim||

    Jerry Brown sinks. We Get it.

    FIRST?

  • BelowTheRim||

    First?

    Yeah, you first.

  • Brandybuck||

    Why are there topless Milton Friedman ads on Hit-n-Run? I think it's remarkable that he's in such fine shape at his age, but I would rather see the SnorgTee Girls.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Meh.

  • ||

    Another bill Governor Brown vetoed would have required California health insurance companies to issue health insurance to anyone who wanted to buy it, regardless of preexisting health conditions (“guaranteed issue”) and would have allowed the insurers to use only age and geographic region (“community rating”) in setting the price of the policies. “a state-level mandate on insurers alone could encourage healthy people to wait until they got sick or injured before purchasing coverage. This would lead to skyrocketing premiums, making coverage more unaffordable.”

    Er, well, ObamaCare does this anyway. Apparently Brown realizes how stupid it is.

  • Drake||

    Actually the “guaranteed issue” makes mandated look sensible. They could just call it the "sign up after you are diagnosed" rule.

  • Raston Bot||

    dang! i was actually looking forward to these passing just to pile on.

  • OldMexican||

    Governor Brown wrote in his veto message of "consequences both unknown and unintended,"


    What? This guy is no lefty, he's a right-wing loon! Who else speaks like that?

    NO! For a true lefty, it's "Damned the unintended consequences - full speed Forward(TM)!"

  • dinkster||

    Scary to think that Kalifornia makes a whoopty like Brown appear moderate.

  • fish||

    I used to enjoy Browns foray into radio back in the 1990s. He would pretend to be a small government libertarian. Funny stuff!

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Something must be done. Hey, this is something!

  • dinkster||

    Brown is clearly a right wing radical in disguise. No wait, he funded a useless train.

  • Brandybuck||

    A useless train to Las Vegas so people could go to FreedomFest!

  • Paul.||

    Brown is no idiot. He knows he has to pay for that rail debacle somehow. The stupdity of one asinine program is now letting the stupid air out of others.

    The united states is rapidly becoming a healthcare-based economy. Brown is ramping up for a high speed train-based economy. I think he realized he can't have both.

  • OldMexican||

    The California Domestic Workers Coalition called the decision "a huge disappointment."


    The "California Domestic Workers Coalition"....???

    Must be another one of those mickey-mouse Unions seeking rent, youse guys thoink?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Sometimes the most important thing a governor can do is to say 'no.'"

    He issued 34 vetoes, so what he actually said was no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no.

    And

    no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no

    means

    no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no!

  • BarryD||

    In most states, he wouldn't have even had 34 bills to look at. Why does California think that more of this bullshit would improve things?

  • Ken Shultz||

    These parasites will never believe the host will actually die--right up until it stops breathing.

    Besides, the voters don't have time to think about economic issues...when there are so many anti-immigration, anti-gay marriage Republicans in other states to hate on.

    Most of the voters will never even notice.

  • Ron||

    You should see the number of yes votes he cast they exceed the length I can type.

  • Ron||

  • H. Protagonist||

    "But the vetoes are a start toward turning around the conditions..."

    Huh?

    So he vetoed the most ridiculous legislation, while signing a whole lot of things that will hasten California's demise. That's not "a start," it's just that, while the cliff is getting really close, the accelerator isn't quite all the way to the floor.

  • John Thacker||

    There was at least one, maybe two, sensible bills signed.

    One lets registered nurses (and midwives, and others) prescribe regular hormonal birth control. It ought to be OTC, but that's probably an FDA thing, so that's the best that CA could do. (This was a strictly party-line vote; if Dems did this sort of thing more often, instead of leaving it prescription but having other people pay for it, they'd deserve my vote more.)

    The second removed the extra CA Environmental Impact Statements from bike lanes. That was a Republican bill, but got Democratic support because of both Brown and, hey, bike lanes. There were a couple of other bills to loosen CEQA oversight of projects, but they failed despite some Dem and Brown support because they weren't limited to just bike lanes.

  • dinkster||

    But who will build the bike lanes?

  • ||

    One guy making a marginally successful attempt to slow the approach of complete disaster is not a start.

    Those legislators were voted into office by the citizens of california. I am confident that they will be re-elected. Brown can put the breaks on ( it is stunning that he did) but in the end, if the majority of californians are hell-bent to wreck the state, it will be wrecked.

    I was in L.A. back in the mid-seventies. It was heaven on earth for a Louisiana boy. Every time I hear Jerry Rafferty's Baker Street, Sweet's Love is like oxygen, Starland Vocal Band's Afternoon Delight....and a few others that permeated the warm air of those summers I just melt. They bring back some sweet memories, not the least of which is a pair of slender, sun-bronzed, blonde angels......*sigh*.

    The pain of seeing california destroyed is mitigated somewhat by the satisfaction of watching progressive policies fail.

  • ||

    Ironically, another one that gets me is Linda Ronstadt's Blue Bayou.

  • Anomalous||

    Blew by you?

  • Killazontherun||

    IOW, Brown is a man of the left, but there are limits to his own stupidity.

    I just wish that was true for all of them, and not just a noticeable few.

  • Drake||

    So he is the one lefty who can do math.

  • Killazontherun||

    Lol! Pretty much.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    So he is the one lefty who can do math.

    Never underestimate a Jesuit education.

  • Robert||

    How would the state actually enforce the new work rules in the privacy of people’s homes?


    By the suede denim secret police, didn't you even listen?

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    Listen? They came for my uncool niece. Gave her a pretty flower...

  • Sevo||

    "Make no mistake about it, Governor Brown is on the left. He’s for gay marriage and green energy."

    I see a pretty clear case of false equivalence here.

  • Sevo||

    "As the governor said in his veto message, “a state-level mandate on insurers alone could encourage healthy people to wait until they got sick or injured before purchasing coverage. This would lead to skyrocketing premiums, making coverage more unaffordable.”"

    Hey! Who loaned moonbeam a brain?

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Tom Ammiano, "used profanity to register his disagreement with the governor’s veto message."

    That's rich. If I recall correctly, Mr. Ammiano was himself the RECIPIENT of profanity AS a veto message from Mr. Brown's immediate predecessor, the Governator.

  • Alien Invader||

    "But the vetoes are a start toward turning around the conditions..."

    Of course when Paul Ryan did something similar, that was not a start. Because he's an R, not a D, and we all know that D's are so way better than R's.

    Anyway, as we plunge over the cliff these two guys can get together and talk about how they were really thinking hard about stepping on the brake pedal.

    So how does it come to be that in a year that the D's should get their electoral heads handed to them, the R's can't come up with candidates that can take advantage of it? I mean, you have to wonder. ["Because "D" comes before "R" in the alphabet, and that's all there is to it."]

    Unless you don't want your head to explode in which case you have to have a drink.

  • Alien Invader||

    Okay, that's it. I'm starting the Capitalist Party, and it's going to win everything. Because the letter "C" comes before the letter "D" in the alphabet.

    Right after that, I'm starting the Bad Ass Party, and it's going to win everything. Because the letter "B" comes before the letter "C" in the alphabet.

    Then I'm going to have another drink, and it's somebody else's turn to start a new party.

    See, "L" comes after the letter "D", but before the letter "R" in the alphabet, which is why "L" parties always loose because they get smash-slam sandwiched between the letters "D" and "R". This must be why "L" is a very thin looking letter.

    Then I'm going to have another drink.

  • bmp1701||

    You should have just gone straight to starting the Asshole Party.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    So, Reason is applauding the guy who's pushing a massive tax increase to support an oversized state bureaucracy and a train to nowhere because he didn't sign off on leftist policies that were completely, utterly and irreconcilably over the top.

    I'm glad it's the case, like so many assured me yesterday, that Reason doesn't give a greater benefit of the doubt to the left than the right.

  • John Thacker||

    He also vetoed at least one good idea, a bill to require cops get warrants before getting location information about wireless users from providers.

  • Ralph Wylie||

    Vetoing a bunch of bad laws while giving Driver's Licenses to Illegals and passing anti-gun laws doesn't exonerate Governor Moonbeam. Could someone put his ass on his High Speed 'Train to Nowhere'......please?
    I'm sure we can take up a collection from our unemployment checks for the ticket.

  • Ron||

    At the same time he signed a bill making it illegal for parents to take their kids to a counsoler to convert them from being gay. So today the government can promote being gay all day at school but you can no longer unteach them that when they get home.

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