Happy New Year, Californians! Thanks to a legislating orgy performed by your California legislature last year (that was paid for by you), 725 pieces of legislation went into effect January 1, 2011! Let’s celebrate! Californians are now compelled to ring in the New Year by getting up to speed on each of these new laws. I shall not attempt to address how some of these warranted even being considered. Here is a head start on your possible attempt to be aware of the new laws, because the excuse of “Sorry, Judge. I did not know that I was violating any law(s)”, does not buy you any less jail time or any less monetary penalties.
But here is my real point. Rather than figuring out how to solve the $28 billion deficit problem , California’s legislature decided it was more important to encumber its citizens with 725 additional laws, such as the following:
- AB119 prevents insurance companies from charging different rates for men and women for identical coverage, regardless of the risks incurred by someone of a different gender.
- SB 1317 allows the state to penalize parents with a $2,000 fine if their K-8 child misses more than 10 percent of the school year without a valid excuse. It also allows the state to punish parents with up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor.
- SB 782 prevents landlords from evicting tenants who claim to be victims of stalkers.
- AB 1871 allows people to lease out their cars when they are not being used, alleviating the need to purchase additional insurance.
Although some of these bills may be helpful, the time used to write, debate, and pass these bills robs time required to address a $28 billion budget shortfall. This budget deficit has long-term ramifications much greater than whatever ill is being solved by the vast majority of this other new legislation.