California Legislature Fails To Pass Plastic Bag Ban… And Other Fun Stuff.

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Oh, good.

Now pass an effing budget!!!!

(nah, they can’t, they’re on vacation now, and won’t be back until October or November or whenever they feel like it)

One retarded Democratic Senator laments on the failure to ban regulate plastic bags:

“If we don’t solve this problem today, if we don’t create a statewide standard, if we don’t provide the leadership that is being called for, others will,…”

(you know, you could try to solve the budget problem today and show leadership there… nah)

They also failed to ban BPA’s, which is contained in plastic water bottles, which means a ban on plastic water bottles.

(hmm, I could be for that, just for the heck of it).

BUT, on a brighter note, they moved the Kindergarten eligibility date from December 1st to Sept 1st:

“There are not very many families in today’s economy that can hold their kids outside of school,” said Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, who presented the bill in the Assembly. “We’re just trying to provide a kindergarten program that’s going to really work for these young people. This will make children much more successful.”

Passing a budget would help the economy and some of those families get jobs, but I digress.

They also manage to help the horse racing industry! Woo Hoo!

And, Celebrities / Entertainers, rejoice!!! Paparazzi will face steeper fines for being paparazzi and doing what paparazzi do!

Is there no end to the good our legislature does for the common folk! Or for street sweepers, who now will become parking enforcement!

The California state Senate last week gave preliminary approval to legislation giving local governments the green light to install automated ticketing machines on street sweepers to generate parking tickets…

WHAT??????????????????????????

“Streetsweepers operating throughout our nation and the world remove from streets and roads unnecessary pollutants, contaminants, chemicals, trash, and debris, which provides significant environmental and sanitation benefits, thereby protecting the environment and contributing to the health of people in communities worldwide,” Assembly Bill 2567 states. “It is also the intent of the legislature that this article shall provide a single statewide standard for the use of camera enforcement technology on streetsweepers to help ensure continuity in program implementation and enforcement by local public agencies that desire to implement camera enforcement systems.”

Under the program, a private company would install and maintain the cameras set up on streetsweepers to prey on the owners of vehicles who may be confused by unclear signage or otherwise unaware of the sweeping restrictions. The private company would mail tickets to owners two weeks after the photographs are taken. A similar program failed in Chicago, Illinois after officials realized that the camera photographs needed to capture images of the vehicle and the parking restriction signs together for the ticket to hold up in court. For the California program, the for-profit vendor will have the final say when a motorist contests a ticket.

Ef Me!!! This will get it’s own blog post!

And then, there’s this:

This week’s victories include a California Retailers Association bill now headed to the governor’s desk. That bill, AB 605, allows free samples of alcohol to be handed out in grocery stores, liquor stores and mini-marts. The bill originally dealt with a tweak to horse-racing rules but morphed late in the year into its current form….

Uhm???? How does a bill that is supposed to deal with horse racing morph into providing free alcohol handouts…. Wait, am I opposed to that?

Still, why do we need two bills dealing with horse racing anyway?

We do, however, need a budget. But the legislators couldn’t bring it upon themselves to bring budget proposals to the floor… two months after the budget deadline of July 1st. Why, prey tell, did it not get discussed before???? California President Pro-Temp Darrel Steinberg explains the delay:

“If you go too early with the public debate, there’s the risk that you’re going to harm what can be delicate negotiations,” Steinberg said. “In this instance now, we’re to a point where certainly there’s no harm and some value to airing what everybody knows to be the difference, but in a public and in a civil way.”

Oh, OK. That clears up everything.

I’ll let the always superb Dan Walters have the last words on the subject:

Both legislative houses voted Tuesday on competing versions of the long-stalemated state budget after hours of flowery debate. The net result was zero, as everyone knew in advance that neither could muster the required votes.
The purely political drill could and should have been staged three months ago, but for reasons that defy logic, the Legislature’s dominant Democrats chose to do it on the final day of the 2009-10 legislative session.
Democrats voted for their version, keyed to tax increases. Republicans voted for a budget that slashes spending. Their effusion of hot air evoked what William Shakespeare’s Macbeth said: “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Come to think of it, that’s true of the entire session. The Legislature’s public approval barely makes it into double digits, and the session did nothing to change that disdain while Californians suffer from the worst recession in modern history, with well over 2 million workers without jobs.

Hey, at least the 50,000 horse racing employees can let out a sigh of relief.

Lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have utterly failed to balance the state’s deficit-riddled state budget while skirmishing over trivia and pointing the fingers of blame at each other – which is what the buzzword-filled budget speeches Tuesday were all about.
If there’s a silver lining on this otherwise dismal record, it is – or should be – that it provides a final bit of evidence that California’s governance is utterly broken and needs a top-to-bottom overhaul.
The system that we adapted from the federal government 160 years ago and then altered dozens of times thereafter is out of sync with California’s demographic, economic and cultural reality. It simply does not work and, more importantly, cannot work.

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