California

California Legislature Is Back to Work And Full of Bad Ideas

Residents should hold on tight to their wallets.

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California residents should hold on to their wallets. On Monday, the state legislature headed back to the Capitol for the new session. Legislators' short stint at the Capitol in December offered a preview of what's coming down the pike, and some of it reinforces Judge Gideon Tucker's famous quip: "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."

Expect another big push for a minimum-wage hike. In 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that pushed California's minimum wage to $9 an hour last July — and $10 an hour this year. Business groups stopped a cost-of-living-adjustment from being built into the increases, but that was then and this is now.

Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, is pushing another increase — to $11 an hour in 2016 and $13 an hour in 2017. This new measure would also automatically adjust the wage rate to the rate of inflation, so expect another battle. (San Diego's measure to raise the wage to $11.50 by 2017 — plus mandating five annual sick days for full-timers — has been placed on the June 2016 ballot by opponents, but would be partially moot if this new state hike passes.)

We'll see if anyone in the Capitol successfully raises this question: If raising wages this way creates wealth, rather than simply forcing businesses to cut back in other areas, then why not raise the wage rate to a much-heftier level?

San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez's latest idea is to force retailers to pay their workers double time on Thanksgiving and Christmas even though most stores already pay much-higher wages for holiday work. Retailers, she said in November, are "making staggering profits. They're making money off the people forced to come to work on holidays."

Well, yes. That is how our economic system works. People get paid to help companies make money providing goods and services that consumers want and need. Gonzalez said she'd really like California to emulate the three states that force businesses to remain closed on the holidays. But wouldn't that mean much-less money for the workers she is trying to help?

If this bill passes, expect future proposals to expand the covered holidays. It's common to get something passed and then expand its provisions. As the Sacramento Bee reported, Gonzalez has introduced a bill for the new session that offers "paid sick days to home health care workers who were exempted from landmark legislation last year giving all other Californians paid sick leave."

Another new bill, SB 4, "would declare the intent of the Legislature all Californians, regardless of immigration status, have access to affordable health coverage and care."

On a less-costly note, AB 30 would force four California public schools to ditch the "Redskins" mascot on their athletic teams unless a nearby tribe gives its approval. But even such a simple-seeming edict can be complicated. "A public school may continue to use uniforms or other materials bearing the term Redskins as a school or athletic team name, mascot, or nickname that were purchased before January 1, 2017 …." But most of the new gear has to have a different mascot — which might create an odd mish-mash of uniforms.

Another new bill would ban schools and parks from installing new artificial-turf ball fields made from recycled tires until the state studies potential ill health effects from them. It seems like yesterday governments were insisting that these were the new "environmentally friendly" playgrounds.

Republicans have introduced a bill that would remove oil-and-gas companies from the state's anti-global-warming cap-and-trade system — a measure that's unlikely to get traction despite the GOP's legislative gains in November.

In recent months, watchdogs have detailed a number of looming fiscal problems, ranging from soaring liabilities for the state's retiree health-care system to shortfalls for the state's pension plans. Gov. Jerry Brown has promised to deal with some of these matters in his budget, which will be released by January 10. But the initial flurry of proposals is lacking on the government-reform front. It's easier to create new programs than fix old ones.

Could that be why the latest Gallup Poll found the public's top concern of last year to be "poor government leadership."?

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  1. What to expect from the California legislature

    More derp.

    1. My prediction?

      Pain.

    2. Yep

  2. Another new bill would ban schools and parks from installing new artificial-turf ball fields made from recycled tires until the state studies potential ill health effects from them. It seems like yesterday governments were insisting that these were the new “environmentally friendly” playgrounds.

    A progressive once actually told me that the rules of logic that applied to the past no longer apply.

    1. Meet the new boss – same as the old boss

    2. When I read that in the article I figured some state bureaucrat or pol suddenly discovered that some company might actually be making a profit putting these fields in, and well, we can’t have that, you know.

  3. Over 900 new laws last year. Betcha they go for a grand in 2015.

    1. I like L. Neil Smith’s idea for a 100-year moratorium on new laws. The Congress occasionally does something that makes sense, or repeals old laws, but preventing all the new damage would be a very welcome trade-off.

    2. That’s because there’s lots of people.

      More people = more laws.

  4. Perhaps everybody has to watch out for their wallets. If California taxpayers can’t pay for all the FREE STUF the progs will insist on a “federal bailout”.

  5. At least the world class bullet train project between Fresno and Merced finally got started! Oh wait, is it okay to say “bullet”?

    1. lol, it would be funny it wasn’t so sad.

      I spent 10 years working in norcal, loved the country and the folks. Sad that the retards in Sacto will make Cali unliveable for anyone with a brain.

      Great brew pub on my list in Fortuna…Just die Jerry, though one could argue that that the derp with Harris or Newsome is more derptastic

      On second thought hang around till you die Jerry.

      Your stupid is old school stupid Jerry, the sharks like Newsome and Harris will bitch slap your ass into 2020, bro, and i’ll be loling

  6. this is why so many productive people are leaving California for Colorado, Oregon, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida.

    Hopefully they will leave their liberal(socialist/fascist) politics behind but, that is unlikely.

    They have the mentality of rats -shit all over their nest then move to another and shit all over it again.

  7. The California legislature is full of bad ideas. In other breaking news, the sun rises in the east and water is wet.

  8. …”Retailers, she said in November, are “making staggering profits. They’re making money off the people forced to come to work on holidays.”
    Well, yes. That is how our economic system works. People get paid to help companies make money providing goods and services that consumers want and need.”

    Now, how would you expect an ignorant lefty politico to know this? I mean, this sort of stuff is like rocket-surgery to those folks.

  9. I live in California and pay a substantial amount in taxes so naturally I was concerned when I saw the byline for this article. Had someone in the legislature proposed a big new spending program or a tax increase that was going to cost me money? Imagine my relief as I read the article that it was mostly the same right-wing whine about the perfidy of the minimum wage. Whew!

    Steven, what was the state deficit under our previous governor and that under Jerry Brown and an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature? I’ll admit to a certain nostalgic snark about having Conan the Barbarian as governor, but–really– it wasn’t worth having him enable these reactionary ideologues in the RP who tied up budget bills so they could give hand-outs to their agribusiness buddies. Fuck that. Do you think people in California elect Democrats because Republicans do such shit job of running things? I say the same thing goes nationally but I probably don’t know enough about Jeebus and his [slave-owning] disciples who wrote The Declaration of Independence. My bad.

    1. american socialist|1.9.15 @ 7:05PM|#
      …”Had someone in the legislature proposed a big new spending program or a tax increase that was going to cost me money? Imagine my relief as I read the article that it was mostly the same right-wing whine about the perfidy of the minimum wage. Whew!”
      Yes, they had, shitbag, and you just found it.

      “Steven, what was the state deficit under our previous governor and that under Jerry Brown and an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature?”
      Shitbag, how much un-funded liabilities are not included in the budget?
      Lefty assholes are cherry-picking champs, and ignoramuses besides.

      1. Steven, what was the state deficit under our previous governor and that under Jerry Brown and an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature?

        Yep, billions of dollars aren’t being counted when they consider deficits. But not only that, the deficit they “closed” was closed in large part simply by raising taxes- more money from the same dwindling source. Anybody can raise taxes.

        In defense of the Governator, he did try to “blow up the boxes” of a spend thrift state government but was rebuffed at the polls when voters rejected his ballot initiatives. After that, he seemed to give up.

        1. “In defense of the Governator, he did try to “blow up the boxes” of a spend thrift state government but was rebuffed at the polls when voters rejected his ballot initiatives. After that, he seemed to give up.”

          Yep.
          He campaigned on cutting the costs and won. And then introduced legislation that would have done so.
          And the unions went ALL OUT to block ANY such legislation.
          At that point, he seemed to say, ‘well, if that’s what you really want, here’s more of it!’

          1. Oh, and since the unions won, slimy lefty ignoramuses like commie-kid blame the Governator!
            ‘See, lefty stupidity got us into this mess, so we cut regulations by 5% or so!
            How come the “free market” didn’t save us?! Hunh?! How come?!’

    2. So, much you say makes sense now that I know you live in California. Fortunately in two years I can leave this state and let you have your progressive paradise … without my tax dollars.

      1. Please tell me how to get out. This hellhole is so effective at keeping me perpetually poor that relocating would literally mean risking everything, if I didn’t have some reliable family to fall back on should I fail to gain traction Elsewhere.

    3. No bailout for you!

    4. that under Jerry Brown and an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature?

      You still believe Brown’s “creative accounting” on the budget deficit? Seriously?

      Do you think people in California elect Democrats because Republicans do such shit job of running things?

      California electoral politics are easy to explain by demographics: lots of wealthy techies, lots of immigrants,a huge public sector, and lots of old people. These people are voting to enrich themselves at the expense of others, and they don’t really care whether the state goes bankrupt in 20 years.

    5. American socialist:
      “Steven, what was the state deficit under our previous governor and that under Jerry Brown and an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature?”

      My question is this: when will correct thinking socialists explain to the democrats running California that austerity policies are proposed my the economically illiterate? It’s hard to keep track, with socialist progressives simultaneously praising democrats for reducing deficits, while claiming out of the other side of their mouth how stupid fiscally conservative policies are. Especially in a state that typically always trends with 1-3% or so more unemployment than the rest of the country on average.

      So, when libertarian socialists praise democrats for reducing deficits, are they just sucking the cock of democrats? Or do they really not notice that they both love and hate deficits?

      What exactly is the difference between a libertarian socialist and a democrat, anyway?

      1. Exactly.

        The Democrats portray themselves as real Care Bears but when the chips are down, they cut Medi-Cal reimbursement rates and not the sky high pensions.

    6. They did propose new initiatives and avoided serious questions that will eventually cost you plenty. Who’s gonna pay for high speed rail, estimated cost 68 billion? Estimated cost of new Bay Bridge 1.6 billion, actual cost 6.7 billion. How much is more renewable energy going to add to your utility bills, already the highest in the country? Who’s gonna pay the outrageous cost of pensions and healthcare for our spoiled public employees? It’s time to move.

      1. Bill Brennan|1.11.15 @ 9:32PM|#
        …”Estimated cost of new Bay Bridge 1.6 billion, actual cost 6.7 billion.”
        —————-
        Like the claim of a balanced budget, that’s what the politicos will admit to. See:

        “Although today’s price tag stands at $6.3 billion, the figure accounts for only salaries and hard materials?things like concrete and steel and cranes. When all is said and done, the new Bay Bridge will wind up costing tax- and toll-payers more than $12 billion?a figure that leaves even the officials in charge “staggered.” http://sfpublicpress.org/news/…..UEk64.dpuf

    7. Whites-only labour unions on apartheid South Africa also wanted to raise the minimum wage… on blacks only. They understood and openly argued that a minimum wage for blacks would be good for whites who had no minimum wage because it would leave unskilled blacks unemployed as unskilled whites worked for less and gained valuable experience and on-the-job training. The minimum wage was used as a tool of racist white supremacy.
      Black people are disproportionately poor – raising the minimum wage would affect them the most, just like in South Africa.
      If this isn’t racist, I don’t know what is…

  10. Is it wrong, to laugh at someone attempting suicide? Cause I’m laughing my ass off.

  11. Lorena Gonzalez as econonomic retard of the the year…yeah I’m lacist..fuck off lorena.

  12. I’m not going to stereotype; I’m not going to generalize… I’m just going to say that this quote… “San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s latest idea is to force retailers to pay their workers double time on Thanksgiving and Christmas even though most stores already pay much-higher wages for holiday work. Retailers, she said in November, are “making staggering profits. They’re making money off the people forced to come to work on holidays.””

    Is an indicator of One Person who is Particularly Economically Ignorant.
    🙂

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