Campbell (R-Irvine) is an Assemblyman representing the 70th
in Orange County. Mr. Campbell is the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly
Budget Committee. He is the only CPA in the California State
and recently received a national award as Freshman Republican
Legislator of the Year. He represents the cities of Newport
Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna
Woods and Lake Forest. He can be reached through his Assembly
and through the website
for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]
A flurry of bad laws...
[John Campbell] 8/23/04
What are some of
those hundreds of bills? This is a question I am asked frequently.
Between August 9th and the end of this
year's session on August 31st, I will likely cast a vote on nearly
1000 bills. You have read about a dozen or so of them in past
issues of this laptop missive. You have no doubt read or heard
of a few more "big" bills in the newspaper or on radio.
But what of the other 900 or so bills? What are all those things?
Well, here is a sampling
of miscellaneous bills taken from a couple of days this week.
I voted "aye" on some and "no" on
others. This is a just a random cross-section of the sort of
laws that get discussed and passed. None of these are "big
bills." But they are all part of the fabric that makes up
your state government:
This bill requires that the Governor's Department of Finance
give an annual report to the legislature
on the details of so-called "tax expenditures." A "tax
expenditure" is what liberals call a tax credit or tax deduction
that "allows" you to keep some of your own money. This
bill is a precursor to later bills which they will propose to
eliminate those credits and deductions. I voted No. The bill
passed the Assembly 47-31 and is now on the Governor's desk.
1836 (Harman-R): This bill revises and recasts alternative
dispute resolution (arbitration) procedures that are allowed
in disputes with homeowner's associations. These were recommended
by the California Law Revision Commission (they conduct an ongoing
review of California statutory law) and they made sense to me
so I voted Aye. The bill is on the Governor's desk having passed
the Assembly 80-0.
A bill that sets a new policy basically prohibiting a school
from doing random drug testing on students
without either "reasonable suspicion" or consent of
the student and his or her parents. I do not like the idea that
schools can do this sort of test on my kids without my knowledge
or permission and I do not like the government invading into
anything personal without due cause or reasonable suspicion.
Therefore, I voted Aye. The bill passed the Assembly 51-25 and
is now back in the Senate for concurrence.
1731 (Romero-D): Under the current agreement with the prison
guards union, a prison cannot investigate a prison guard for
an alleged wrongdoing without disclosing everything to the guard
while the investigation is being carried out. No other employee
group in the state has this protection. This bill would change
that and allow the investigation to proceed without informing
the guard until such time as the authorities determine that charges
should be filed. Investigations can be hampered in any workplace
environment if the accused has the opportunity to change or hide
behavior or intimidate the accuser. Given all the prison guard
scandals of late, I voted for the bill. But, it was one of the
few bills to fail passage on the floor this year. It failed by
a vote of 31-34 with 41 votes needed for passage. The prison
guards union opposed the bill
2849 (Lowenthal-D): This bill adds a member to the California
State University Board of Trustees. The added member would be
appointed by the Governor but would have to be a member of the
non-faculty union. I voted No. The bill passed 49-28 and is on
the Governor's desk.
2591 (Leno-D): This bill allows limousines to be impounded
and the drivers fined by local authorities if they operate without
a taxicab permit. This is just a union (United Taxicab Workers)
wanting to increase the power of their government granted monopoly
and to restrict nonunion competition which is often cheaper and
better. I voted No. The bill passed 74-3 and is on the Governor's
This is just a sampling. We also had half a dozen bills naming
various stretches of state highways for fallen police officers.
I voted Aye on those. We also had various bills extending charitable
check-offs on your tax return. I voted no on those because I
don't believe the state should choose which charities it thinks
you should support to the exclusion of all others.
By the way,
the ratio of Democrat to Republican bills shown here is about
right since most Republican-authored bills are
killed in committee. CRO