Fade from black. Open to a zooming aerial shot of California’s Capitol dome. Cut to inside the building. Panning shot of middle aged men and women lined up, dressed nicely, bursting with excitement, all waiting in line to be the first to introduce the next and most extreme bill to irreparably damage California’s future.
It’s the first scene of a bad sequel unfolding in real life, right before my eyes up in Sacramento as the new Legislative year has kicked off and, like horror movie villains, my colleagues in the majority party are out for blood from the first moment.
Last year’s blockbuster included a host of some of the worst policy our state has ever seen. The largest single tax increase in California history, more rules for our businesses including no longer allowing them to ask prospective employees if they’ve been convicted of crimes, and of course — despite strong warnings from our local law enforcement leaders — California is now a ‘sanctuary state’ for criminals without immigration papers.
And now, they’re back for more. The Legislature officially reconvened on January 3 and on that very day our next chapter began as lawmakers introduced dozens of bills pushing California further and further in to liberal decay.
For the record, I introduced zero bills the first week of the new session. No, I believe these things should be taken seriously and thought out well. I plan to address many local issues through legislation this year and even fix a few things my colleagues in the majority party have broken in years past, but I’d rather get it right than be first; ‘fast don’t last,’ my mother would say.
Already we have begun to see the liberal vision of California’s future on the pages of introduced legislation. By 2040 we will have no more conventional gasoline cars and, if we’re not flying around in Jetsonian hovercraft, every one of us will be driving the glorified golf carts that our electric vehicles resemble today thanks to Assembly Bill 1745 from Assemblyman Phil Ting. The bill would outlaw the sale of the regular old cars the rest of us drive and force us to buy electric vehicles we can’t afford and many of us don’t want.
The next scene in this poorly produced film is a reprise of the pervading theme in last year’s; the thinking among those on the left that it is the business of California’s Legislature to do battle with the federal government. It’s not that the our federal counterparts are beyond reproach by any means, but it’s a shame that the majority party has made it their mission to focus more on contradicting the Trump administration than focusing on solving the very real problems we have right here in our own state.
From tax reform to internet regulation, the majority party has introduced bills to block action by the feds on a host of issues for seemingly no other purpose than to serve as contrarians. And with seemingly little forethought as to the consequences their actions may have, nor the outcomes they may produce with these contrary policies on issues many of them have only been made aware of in the last few months and now feel somehow qualified to legislate on.
But my colleagues in the legislature aren’t stopping there. Last year they passed sweeping legislation to bring more affordable housing to our communities, a laudable goal were it done right. But unfortunately, as is all too often the case, it wasn’t. No, instead it was done by implementing new fees and taxes on those of us who have worked hard to purchase even the most modest of homes.
And now, rather than wait for the impacts of those new policies to shake out, or seek real solutions like regulatory reform that stifles new construction, they’re coming right back for more of our hard earned money in the never-ending quest to fund more social experiments and further subsidize the lives of a few at the cost of many.
The new legislative year may very well bring these and other radical changes to California law, but not all is lost. There is some hope for the good guys in this film. Republicans in Sacramento are working hard on a plan to right the ship. We’re looking to increase public safety by undoing the loopholes created by the liberal experiments in criminal justice reform. We’re working to keep taxes from rising and to make sure those already in place are spent wisely, in a way that we all see real benefits from them. And we’re focusing on every day Californians, introducing legislation to make life just a little easier for those of us who work hard to provide for our families.