Jim Clark: California’s latest batch of crazy laws (opinion)
Nevadans who occasionally visit California would be well-advised to periodically check and see what threats the folks in that state’s legislature enact into law from time to time.
Democrats hold a supermajority in both their state senate and assembly, and of course Governor “Moonbeam” Brown occupies the state house, so crazy new laws can be passed almost instantly on an “urgency” basis.
This Democratic dictatorship sees itself as a bastion opposed to what they purport to be Donald Trump’s excesses. Trump is not even in office yet, and California lawmakers are looking at a measure that would require a statewide vote to build a wall on the southern border. Still another left-wing group called “Yes California” is pursuing a ballot measure in which California would secede from the union. Called “Calexit,” it is intended for the 2018 ballot.
Anyhow, there’s no telling what perils await right-thinking Silver State residents who are just passing through (you won’t need a passport until at least 2018). Here are just a few of the new laws that take effect in our neighbor state New Year’s Day:
Sex workers under the age of eighteen will no longer be arrested for plying their trade or loitering with intent to do so. Senate Bill 1322 requires that they be designated as “victims,” not criminals. Not so for those seeking to do business with them so if you dabble be sure to ask for air tight proof of age. Senate Bill 1129 provides that sex workers who are eighteen or over and those seeking their services will no longer be subjected to mandatory minimum sentences. No such luck for Stanford athletes (or anyone else) who “seduce” unconscious females; no more “slap on the wrist” by sympathetic judges. Assembly bill 2888 mandates prison in such cases. And Senate Bill 813 (the “Bill Cosby” law) eliminates the statute of limitations in all sexual assault cases.
Sports fans can no longer root for any California team named “Redskins.” Assembly Bill 30 now bans such “racist and insensitive” mascot terms. Democrats also repealed a policy called “maximum family grant,” which prohibited welfare recipients who become pregnant from drawing additional benefits for their expected bundle of joy. If, however, they do go off welfare and become employed, they will earn $10.50 per hour minimum wage, on their way to $15, which is being phased in. It’s only money, and California is bulging at the seams with cash.
Senate Bill 880 further tightened gun ownership rights. Now illegal are semi-automatic centerfire rifles that have a protruding pistol grip or a folding or telescoping stock. And don’t you dare loan it to anyone in California; Assembly Bill 1511 will make you an unwilling guest of the Golden State’s prison system.
Assembly Bill 1887 prohibits state agencies from requiring employees to travel to states which have laws permitting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender. State employees who go there on their own hook cannot be reimbursed by the state for travel to such states.
The most problematic measure, the California Climate Science Truth and Responsibility Act of 2016, would have authorized district attorneys and the California Attorney General to sue climate change deniers at taxpayer expense. Conservative Stephen Frank wrote: “Do you support Americans for Prosperity? … Do you work for a gas station, an oil company, have you written a letter to the editor in favor of oil drilling?” Fortunately the measure did not become law last session but despite the First Amendment to the US Constitution it still lurks in the halls of California’s crazy legislature.
So, if you go to Kings Beach for a burger, be sure to let your lawyer know and have a line of credit with your bail bondsman. Don’t take your gun, don’t proposition anyone who appears to be under 18, and if clearly older, make sure the person is awake.
Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates. He has served on the Washoe County and Nevada State GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.