Top Twenty Worst Bills Worthy of the Governor’s Veto

Diane Harkey Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey Leave a Comment


This op-ed, co-authored with Senator Bob Dutton, originally appeared in the Flashreport

As of today, the Governor has yet to act on any of these bills. When he is done, we will grade Governor Brown on his performance. The Governor’s “letter grade” will be computed using the following scale… If he vetoes 90% or more, the Governor got an “A”, 80% – 89% a “B”, 70 – 79% a “A”, 60 – 69% a “D” and below that, an “F”…

For convenience, we have broken down the bad bills into seven different categories… Next to the bill number and author, in bright red, will appear the action taken by the Governor on each bill (none as of today).

Please check back periodically to check the status of the referenced bills. Hold on to those blood pressure pills as we present not all, but some of the worst of the worst as our 2012 “Top 20 Bills to Veto” which we respectfully submit for your review. See the Call to Action at the end of this list and help us to bring the Top 20 Bills to Veto to the Governor’s attention:

Higher Taxes and Debt

The two bills listed below make it easier for local government to pay for improvements you don’t want with money you don’t have:

  • AB 2144 (Perez): Makes it easier for local governments to create Infrastructure Finance Districts (IFD), essentially redevelopment agencies by a different name. The bill lowers the voter-approval threshold creating IFDs from two-thirds to 55% and increases their lifespan from 30 to 40 years. The bill would allow IFD funds to be spent on a vast number of projects including, but not limited to: sustainable communities, environmental mitigation, and the purchase of land and property for development purposes.
  • SB 1156 (Steinberg): Restarts redevelopment agencies without allowing the former benefit of retaining the property tax increment (associated with the property’s appreciation over time) at the local level. The bill also contains a tax increase by authorizing a joint powers authority to implement local taxes – transactions and use – while not spelling out if the taxes will require voter approval.

Assault on the Family

  • SB 1476 (Leno): Would codify into law that a child may have more than two legal parents and require courts to allocate custody and visitation among multiple parents. The bill could have negative unintended consequences for children in a real-world application.

Union Protections and Expansion

  • AB 889 (Ammiano): Hits homeowners with wage and hour requirements currently only applicable to businesses. Individuals hiring help for assistance in child care or for elderly parents would be subject to properly calculating overtime wages, meal and rest breaks and sleep periods. Increases liability on the homeowner for violations by a contractor.
  • SB 411 (Price): Creates the potential for unionization of home health care aides. The bill creates the Health Care Services Act of 2012, which would require the Department of Social Services to license all home care organizations by July 1, 2013. Home health care aids would be required to meet training requirements, while a stakeholders group with union representatives would be held to develop training standards. The bill also opens the door to lawsuits by allowing plaintiffs to sue home care agencies and organizations.
  • SB 1234 (De Leon): Forces business to offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan or to participate in a state sponsored retirement savings program for private sector employees. Besides the continued growth of government, the massive unfunded liabilities of existing pension systems should be considered before establishing a new program.
  • AB 2451 – This bill expands substantially the ability of the survivors of deceased former public safety employees to file workers comp claims with a presumption-under-the-law that a host of causes of death such as cancer are work related. In essence, the granting of a virtual life-insurance benefit at taxpayer expense in many instances. This measure written about in the FlashReport as a “give-away” to the public safety unions.

Incentives For Illegal Immigrants

  • AB 1081 (Ammiano): Prohibits law enforcement from complying with an “ICE hold” for illegal aliens who are held in jail unless the defendant has been charged with a “serious” or “violent” felony. Would spur a “catch and release” system as misdemeanors and most felonies would not be recognized as serious or violent.

Job Destruction

  • AB 1186 (Skinner): Establishes a program – with no funding source – to award grants to public schools for building retrofits that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ignores current investments in energy efficiency by utilities and schools, is likely to impose tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in state costs.
  • AB 1532 (Perez): Lays the ground work for where Cap and Trade revenues will be spent. Existing law requires that before the Air Resources Board can link the Cap and Trade program with other entities, it must make several specified findings. Under AB 1532, those findings would not be subject to judicial review. In addition, Cal Chamber lists this bill as a Job Killer.
  • AB 2346 (Butler): Would create a private right to sue agricultural employers with regard to new civil penalties for heat related illnesses. The bill would create a joint liability between land owners and the employer. In addition, AB 2346 is listed as a “Job Killer” by the California Chamber of Commerce and would cost state taxpayers $1 million annually.
  • SB 535 (De Leon): Requires that at least 10% of Cap and Trade revenues to be awarded to projects in disadvantaged communities as identified by the California EPA. Revenues received pursuant to AB 32 are supposed to be used to help with the costs of AB 32 compliance, while this bill irresponsibly allocates a portion of those funds elsewhere.

Manipulating The Elections Process

  • AB 1436 (Feuer): Will allow persons to register to vote and vote on the day of an election with no proof of identity, proof of address, or proof of residency.

The Nanny State

  • AB 1461 (Monning) and SB 961 (Hernández): These measures help implement Obamacare in California, while impacting health plans currently regulated by the state. The bills would place some individual market and underwriting changes of Obamacare into California law without tying those changes to an individual coverage requirement that was designed to help mitigate the cost impacts of adverse selection. The bills also run counter to federal laws in other ways, making it more difficult for health plans to achieve the “affordability goals” of Obamacare.
  • AB 1527 (Portantino): A bill seeking to ban the open carrying of rifles and shotguns in public, but filled with many exceptions that make the policy confusing at best. The bill adds to a long list of public policy decisions that have brought us the convoluted and unintelligible nature of current gun laws.
  • AB 2109 (Pan): Adds more bureaucracy into intimate medical decisions involving children and vaccinations. The bill specifies that before a child may be exempted from immunizations, parents must present a signed attestation from a doctor stating that they were informed on the benefits and risks of immunizations.
  • AB 2405 (Blumenfield): Exempts partial zero-emission vehicles (AT PZEV) from toll charges imposed on single occupant vehicles. In addition to being exempt from carpool lanes, which are paid for by all taxpayers, the government will also allow certain vehicles to avoid tolls that every other motorist must pay. This goes beyond picking winners and losers, as tax and fee payers are subsidizing those that the government has deemed worthy of access.
  • SB 1221 (Lieu): Bans hound hunting of bears and bobcats, eliminates revenue generated from the sale of bear tags and grows government by establishing a new program while imposing yet another limit on hunting.

Public Safety

  • SB 9 (Yee): Allows individuals who were 16 or 17 at the time they committed crimes such as first degree murder and were convicted and sentenced to life without parole, three chances to petition to change the sentence to 25 years to life with possibility of parole. This bill is insulting to victim’s families and goes against the will of the voters who have affirmed the life without parole sentence.


You have an opportunity to contact Governor Brown and urge him to veto all twenty of these bills! You can reach the Governor here or fax letters to: Governor Jerry Brown; fax: (916) 558-3160.


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