Escondido, CA

Safe from the legislature for four months


Well it looks like we in California are safe for the next four months. Safe from what you say? We do not have to be concerned with our state Legislature concocting thousands of new bills to be presented to the Governor to be signed or vetoed. You may recall that this past January I wrote about the approximately 3,000 bills in the 2019-20 legislative year that were the culmination of a legislature with too much time on their hands.

One of this year’s submissions is a bill to not have certain people be required to register as a sex offender. The bill author proposed that if an adult sexually abuses a minor but that minor is less than 10 years the abusers junior that offender need not register as a sex offender. I mean why tag that person with a scarlet letter if the offender is 24 years of age and the victim is 15 years old. Then other than some court action that person is free of the predator stigma. This year we will end up with hundreds of new laws. All this does is extend government control over all of us.

Let me explain why Sacramento has too much time to fill. I have told a few state legislators (I do not call them lawmakers because that only encourages them) what they do is sit in their office collect the staff and tell them ‘we need to come up with a bill about something’. In California we have a full time legislature although they do have the next four months off which makes me breathe easier. There was a recent Facebook post suggesting California revert to a part-time legislature.

In 2011 I had the opportunity to visit Austin, Texas with a group of San Diegans from various professions on an economic development trip. I was one of two elected officials on this three day eye opening visit to speak with elected city, county and state elected officials. One common theme referencing the economy with all we met was “the Governor gets it” speaking about Governor Perry at the time. But, number one on my list was that the Texas legislature meets for 141 days every other year. 

When we asked what they did after their bi-annual session, the response was they went back home to their jobs; be it manufacturing, farming, retail or in one case back to enjoying his retirement for another year. California is only one of ten states with a full time legislature. It seems to me we can go back to how this state began its climb to be the Golden State. Although I do not know if this has changed since 2011, propositions in Texas are not allowed. Again, the common theme from our hosts was “We are elected to govern and if the public does not like what we do then vote us out.” Amen.

Back to local. Kudos to the T-A and the Chamber of Commerce for scheduling candidate forums for all contested local elections for Congress, County Supervisor, State Assembly and City Council. This is the best method for the voting public to see and hear candidates. The first forum, so far virtual, will be Sep 30. Make plans to Zoom in.

And speaking of voting, as I wrote previously, how difficult is it to vote? You can request a mail-in ballot or visit a polling place in person between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. That’s 13 hours to set aside 15 minutes to cast your vote. How much easier can it be? Ah, but the too-much-time-on-their hands pols in Sacramento think we need to make it much easier with ballots mailed to everyone. And since that is not enough the polls will be open for four days not just one day. Really? Probably need to do more.

Say it ain’t so Joe! The military newspaper “Stars and Stripes” being discontinued? During my three years of service I thoroughly enjoyed reading this paper as I’m sure most military personnel still do.

Keep our firefighters and police in your thoughts and prayers during this horrendous fire season.

This week’s plates. VALYGAL, probably not from around here ya think? SCRHAND, I have no idea.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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