Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula.
He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to
Assembly Member Haynes
website at California Assembly]
Measures and Half Wits
Sacramento Democrat tantrums...
[Ray Haynes] 9/23/03
My daughter hates to clean her room. When my wife tells her
to clean it up, she begins a ritual that starts with temper tantrums,
moves to blaming (mostly her
sister for messing up her room), to a series of half measures, like picking up
one or two pieces of clothing, and claiming she is done. The ritual finally ends
when she resigns herself to the inevitable, and finishes the job.
is in serious need of adult supervision, and my daughter’s story is an example of how this year’s
legislative session was more of a childish temper tantrum than
a serious effort at solving the problems of the state.
three major issues that needed serious attention by the Legislature
year: (a) a fix of Megan’s Law,
the law which is supposed to protect people from child molester’s
living in their neighborhood and was scheduled to expire at the
end of the year; (b) serious worker’s compensation reform;
and (c) a major reform of the unfair business practices act,
the law which allows lawyers to troll for lawsuits, and specifically
allowed the Trevor Law Group in Beverly Hills to extort millions
of dollars from small businesses in Southern California under
the guise of “protecting consumers.” The Legislature
chose to follow my daughter’s ritual of temper tantrums
and half measures rather than fixing the problems.
Megan’s Law contains several defects. First,
today, the list is maintained by zip code, which means that parents
cannot get information about a child molester in their neighborhood,
only in their zip code. Second, the information is now available
only at the local police station, not on the Internet. Not very
useful to the thousands of working parents who can’t drop
into the police station during business hours to find out if
their child is in danger. Finally, the current system has allowed
thousands of molesters to avoid the list, once again diminishing
the effectiveness of the list to parents who actually want to
protect their children.
tried to fix these problems. Republicans had said they would
accept half measures in a Megan’s Law fix,
since the current law was not working. Democrats had been trying
to kill Megan’s Law, and are now blaming Republicans for
its failure. To accomplish that feat, Democrats made the law
a two-thirds vote bill, a totally unnecessary move, since the
current law doesn’t expire until January 1st. Republicans
refused to go along with just an extension of an ineffective
law. It simply was not enough.
scenario occurred with worker’s compensation
and unfair business practices reform. Those two laws have been
cited as the two major reasons why businesses are leaving this
state in droves. Real reform would require the Democrats to abandon
their trial-lawyer masters, and streamline the system to take
out the fraud. First, they denied there was any fraud (like my
daughter saying her room isn’t messy). Then they passed
half measures claiming they fixed the system (like my daughter
picking up some of the mess). Lastly they accused the Republicans
of playing politics when Republicans voted no on those bills
(it’s my sister’s fault).
In each of
these cases, the Democrats didn’t want to do
anything. In the case of Megan’s Law, because they claim
it encourages “vigilantism” (as if a parent trying
to protect their child from harm is a vigilante). In the case
of worker’s compensation and unfair business practices
they needed to protect the income of their trial lawyer contributors.
Nobody in the capitol today has the authority and the willingness
to provide the adult supervision the Democrats need. Like my
daughter, the Democrats need to resign themselves to the inevitable.
But somebody else has to step up and show them that their temper
tantrums and half measures won’t work. If the voters of
this state don’t hold their representatives accountable
and force them to do their job right, it won’t get done.