Progressives had a banger year in California, even by the Golden State’s standards.
From the Democratic supermajorities in the legislature to progressive city councils and a governor who likes to run campaign ads in Florida, California liberals did their best to, in the words of the late, great, P.J. O’Rourke, “enfeeble the individual and exhaust the economy.”
California Democrats love to say their state’s laws lead the way. But where, exactly, are they leading us? Here are some guideposts.
The California Climate Crisis Act
In August, the state legislature approved a plan to reduce carbon emissions by at least 85 percent by 2045. Critics predict the plan will cost about $4 trillion, add $50,000 to the cost of every new home, endanger “hundreds of thousands of jobs,” and could intensify the number of companies leaving the state. It’s unclear if the rules will apply to Democratic politicians’ wineries, which climate activists say hurt the climate by sucking up water, using pesticides, and employing gas-powered tractors. California also banned the sale of gas-powered cars starting in 2035.
The Safer Streets For All Act
California’s pimps can now operate in the open after legislators decriminalized streetside sex solicitation in the name of equity. Supporters of the bill, authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D.), sought this repeal of California’s longtime anti-loitering law, claiming police used it to target minorities and transgender people. Victims of sex trafficking opposed the new legislation, since the anti-loitering policy helped cops find exploited kids.
Senate Bills 923 and 107: Transgender Health Care
Senate Bill 923 will mandate employees of private health insurance companies to undergo “cultural competency” training to ensure they’re fluent in transgender speak, so that they can best assist customers who want to schedule genital surgeries, breast removals, or voice-changing therapies.
Some of those patients may be young kids, who could soon undergo gender reassignment surgery without parental consent. In August, the legislature passed Senate Bill 107, which empowers California courts to take temporary jurisdiction of kids who come to California from out of state in search of hormone therapy or other transition treatment.
SB 1327: Gun Bounties
Anew state law championed by Police Chief Joe Farrow will allow anyone who is legally authorized to work in the United States to become a peace officer in California, regardless of citizenship status, starting Jan. 1.
Previously, police officers had to be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the process of applying for citizenship.
“People who are in this country with a federal right to work — regardless of how they got here — they can do any job. They can be attorneys, firefighters, join the military, but they can’t be police officers in California,” Farrow said. “Why hold people back? This was the question that deserved some debate.”