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Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco
by Burt Prelutsky
by Mark Steyn
by Ray Haynes [politician]
I have tried
on many occasions to explain to people exactly what happens
in California’s legislative process, that is, how committees
are organized, how they vote, who influences those committee
outcomes, and how the legislative rules actually work. Usually,
by the time I am finished explaining how the Legislature really
works, most people look at me with a dull, blank stare, and
say “that can’t be happening, you must be lying.
You are just a partisan hack.”
I may be
a partisan hack, but that doesn’t change reality, and
last week demonstrated just how badly the California Legislature
can use the rules to subvert the will of the majority.
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][go to Haynes index]
by Senator Sheila Kuehl, prohibits schools from using textbooks
that “discriminate” against homosexuals,
and requires that these textbooks “include age-appropriate
study of the role and contributions of … people who are
[homosexual]…” The bill was referred to both the
Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Education Committee,
both of which passed it out. It passed the Senate Floor on a
22-15 votes (all Senate Republicans voting no).
The bill came to the Assembly, and was similarly referred to
the Assembly Education Committee and the Judiciary Committee.
The Assembly Education committee passed the bill out on June
15, and sent it on to the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which
set a June 20 hearing. That June 20 hearing was inexplicably
cancelled by Senator Kuehl, and on June 26, the Assembly waived
its rules requiring a policy hearing in Judiciary, and sent the
bill straight to the floor.
is this? It has never happened before in my entire 14 years
in the Legislature.
A bill referred to a committee is
heard by that committee before the floor votes on it. If the
committee votes against the bill, it dies, no matter how popular
it is with the public. In fact, the committees are designed by
the Speaker to kill bills popular with the public, but not popular
with Democrat constituency groups, like the trial lawyers. My “red
license plate for drunk drivers” was hated by the criminal
defense lawyers and the ACLU, so it died.
did not. It was never heard by the Judiciary committee. Why?
require it, but it did not happen, because the
Democrat majority just waived the rules. They didn’t waive
the rules for anyone else. They don’t do that for Republicans.
Only Democrats. In the Legislature, we call it the rule of 41,
meaning the party with 41 votes makes the rules up as they go
along, mostly to benefit their legislative agenda, and to thwart
the Republican agenda.
I have heard more than one person say they would not vote for
this or that Republican candidate because the candidate disagrees
with them on one or two issues. However, the power to appoint
the committees and to waive the rules determines the outcome
of thousands of bills each year. If I am pro-life, or pro-gun,
or pro-property rights, or anti-tax, my vote for a Republican
Speaker of the Assembly guarantees that I have a fighting chance
to promote that agenda. A Democrat Speaker, however, will set
up the committees to kill those issues in committee, and, if
a bill they want is going to die in committee, as the Kuehl bill
was about to do, the majority just waives the rules. The bill
will be heard on the floor, not because a majority of Californians
agree with the bill, but because the Legislature has a Democrat
majority willing to violate its own rules without shame.
The rule of 41 is an important rule to remember next time Californians
vote. Even if you disagree with a candidate on one or two issues,
your failure to vote for that candidate could result in a lot
of good bills with which you agree being killed in committee.
Like it or not, that is the way it works.CRO
Haynes is a California Assemblyman repesenting Riverside
and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.