CALIFORNIA! The Golden State. It truly was a Golden State when so many of us were growing up here. The term Golden State now reminds us of a time long gone. What a shame!
What happened? Well, one party rule is never good if it goes on too long. The California legislature has been run by Democrats since 1970 except during the 1995-1996 session. In California we have many Democrats elected to the legislature who are convinced that they are in office to fix all problems in the world by passing more and more restrictive legislation. The attitude is: there is a problem? Fine. We will pass legislation that will fix everything. Here are just a few examples of the laws that the Democrat legislature has passed this year.
Assembly Bill 2601 with Shirley Weber as the sponsor: This law adds charter schools to the list of schools that must provide instruction on comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention.
Senate Bill 174 with Ricardo Lara as the sponsor: This law provides that a person, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, is eligible to hold an appointed civil office if the person is 18 years of age and a resident of the state and may receive any form of compensation associated with carrying out the duties of that office that the person is not otherwise prohibited from receiving pursuant to federal law.
Senate Bill 320: Connie Leyva is the sponsor: This law requires that certain public university student health centers offer abortion by medication techniques. The College Student Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund will be established to solicit at least $9,600,000 in private funds by January 1, 2019 to theoretically cover the costs of this mandate. (Funds will be solicited for abortions and not education). The question also arises: Will these students be informed that abortion by medication is not the same as taking an aspirin? Of course, taxpayers with a different perspective on the issues of abortion will be forced to condone behavior they disagree with.
Senate Bill 1100: Anthony Portantino is the sponsor. This law raises the age to purchase all legal firearms from 18 to 21. Californians are already barred from purchasing handguns until age 21. Another constitutional right is postponed based solely on age. You can defend your country in the military at age 18. You cannot defend yourself or your family until you are 21.
These are just a few examples of the type of legislation that our elected representatives believe to be important. So far this year 2959 bills have been introduced by the Assembly and Senate.
Let us not forget: Gavin Newson did sign a bill that gives free medical care to illegal aliens under the age of 25. This is way beyond emergency medical care.
There is another important component to the problems that exist in California. There are many loopholes in the payment of state employees. A classic is the hoarding of vacation days.
For example, a state employee can hoard vacation days. Staff does not take their vacation and accumulate large balances of holiday, vacation and annual leave. A worker does not take those days and for example retires in 2035. His accumulated vacation days will be based on the salary he earns in 2035. Do not feel sorry for the individual because you assume he or she had no time off. There are always days off when agencies are closed or sick leave is taken. In other words officials are able to cash out vacation time at a much higher rate of pay than when they earned it. This does not happen in other states.
Some examples are employees who had amassed 309 vacation days nearly four times the state limit. One such person noted that his balance of vacation days was worth $159,000 and was accumulated during 24 consecutive years in state service. Retirees in these situations are concerned about the potential tax bill they will owe.
California also has hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension and retiree-medical costs. Ultimately, these unfunded liabilities will be paid for by the taxpayer.
The California Policy Center estimates that “California’s total state and local government debt as of June 30, 2017 totaled just over $1.5 Trillion. That total includes all outstanding bonds, loans and other long-term liabilities as well as unfunded pension liabilities. Of course, when agencies provide outsized pay for some employees and accumulated vacation days, less money is available for the public services that are the reason for an agency’s existence. Maybe that is why the Department of Motor Vehicles is a bit dysfunctional.
There is another move made by our leaders. The legislature voted for the state budget which has in it $10 Million for a new “Cradle to Career” workgroup. There were no separate hearings. This work group will examine how the data system could identify individuals by “race, ethnicity, region, gender, military status, parents’ education and age” and track “the impact of early education on student success and achievement as a student progresses through education segments and the workforce.” This whole idea ultimately would track the personal educational record of every child in California. Even though there are great risks in this type of individual tracking, $10 Million is on its way to facilitators, planners and consultants to start working on the workgroup. Of course, there will be privacy experts. Right!
So, what do Republicans do about this dysfunctional state government? Well, moving out of state has been what many people have decided to do. However, everyone cannot move out of state. Some Republicans have decided to change their registration to NPP and basically to hide.
There is another option. Republicans can decide to fight. That is what the Sonoma County Republican Party is doing. We are gathering funds to start advertising a Republican way of governing which will be the only way to alter the way this state is going.
Membership in our Patriot Club is $20 per month. This includes attendance at our Speaker Series and at our Leadership Group. We welcome additional donations because besides having to maintain an office, we want to start a focused way of getting our message out to many Republicans who don’t know what the Republican message is and possibly don’t think there is a cohesive message.
Republicans need to start fighting back as opposed to hiding out. So many people on the other side are committed to changing the fundamental principles of this country and the way we live. They talk about freedom. That freedom appears to apply to some groups only. Other Americans are constantly told that they cannot do this or that or that they must adhere to the new beliefs.
Are you ready for a strait jacket life or do you want to be a free American?