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July 02, 2005

California Legislation

A few weeks back, I manned a booth at Spirit West Coast for the California Family Council. The experience was great. CFC is affiliated with Focus on the Family and seeks to educate Californian Christians about what is going on in their legislature. Similar organizations are up and running in many other states and I believe that the goal is to cover all 50.

I recieve weekly updates from CFC and plan on posting them for all SCO readers. If you do not live in California, please understand that as California leads, the nation often follows. California's issues are America's issues.

Pending Legislation this week include gay marriage and universal health care bills. A bill authorizing drivers licenses for unauthorized immigrants was passed last week and the CA Supreme Court upheld a domestic partnership law. A parental notification initiative will also be on the ballot this November. Keep reading for more details.

Homosexual-marriage bill back

When Assemblyman Mark Leno’s (D-San Francisco) homosexual-marriage bill failed earlier this month, he promised he would introduce it in the Senate. True to his word, Leno mimicked the actions employed by the authors of the physician-assisted suicide bill; he took a bill that had already passed the Assembly (AB 849), gutted it (removed the language), and substituted the language from his failed effort (AB 19). Normally, rules of the Legislature require that “gut-and-amend” bills must be similar in nature to the bill that is being “gutted”; in this case, the former AB 849 was a bill dealing with fish and game.

With AB 849 currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee, CFC encourages you to contact your own state senator today.

Universal health care

SB 840 (Kuehl, D-Los Angeles) recently passed the Senate on a partisan vote (25-15). Democrats voted for it and Republicans voted against it. If it becomes law, SB 840 will totally restructure the entire health-care system in California by creating a single-payer system. Senator Kuehl says the bill will reduce total health-care spending in California, thus saving money for the state. However, the legislative bill analysis states that the Senate Appropriations staff actually indicated: “In order to finance the new system, the state would redirect funds from existing health programs and, in addition, the state would need an additional amount, perhaps in the range of $100 billion." Perhaps? In the range of $100 billion? It is obvious that the proposed new health-care system will not save taxpayers money.

More troubling than the cost is: 1) concern over the quality of care if the proposed system is implemented, and 2) the lack of choice for Californians. In fact, the latest amendment (June 28) actually prohibits the sale of any health-care insurance “except for the California State Insurance System plan.”

SB 840 will be voted on by the Assembly Health Committee on July 5. E-mail committee members by clicking on their names; however, phone calls and/or faxes are more effective than e-mails.

Drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants bill passes

Senator Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) has tried for seven years to pass a bill giving illegal aliens drivers’ licenses. He claims this will make the highways safer. This year’s bill, SB 60, has passed the Senate and passed its first Assembly committee hearing by a vote of 7-5 yesterday. Democrats voted yes, Republicans voted no.

The bill was opposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the California Highway Patrol and even the state’s Office of Homeland Security (OHS). The deputy director of California’s OHS cautioned members of the Assembly Transportation Committee that passing SB 60 could hamper efforts by the federal government to intercept terrorists trying to enter the United States.

SB 60 now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee before going to the full Assembly for a vote. Now is the time to begin contacting your own Assembly member about this bill. (See contact information above.)

Domestic partnership law upheld

SAN FRANCISCO – Yesterday, the California Supreme Court allowed California’s domestic-partnership benefit law to stand. The law had been challenged by pro-family groups who claim AB 205 violates the scope and intent of Proposition 22, the 2000 initiative that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman. For more on this issue, see CFC’s press release in response to this judicial action.

On the ballot

SACRAMENTO – Under current California law, a young girl, fearful that she is pregnant, may leave campus during school hours to have an abortion – and her parents may never know. The first measure to qualify for what has become the November special-election ballot, Parents' Right to Know, would change that scenario. If this initiative proposal passes in November, abortionists would be required to notify parents before performing an abortion on a minor.

Although parental consent would not be required, parental notification could open the door to discussions between parent and child on an important issue that merits parental involvement. A 2002 Field Poll found 62 percent of California registered voters supported parental consent for abortion. A more recent national poll found 78 percent of those polled supported parental notification laws.

In 1987 the California Legislature passed legislation requiring parental consent before a young girl had an abortion. After a lengthy court battle, the measure was found to be unconstitutional in 1997 – only after a change in the court’s composition changed the decision after reconsideration of the issue.

The analysis of this proposal by the nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst, estimates – based on results in other states with parental notification laws – California could experience a one-quarter reduction in abortions to minors. The same report notes that the state currently pays $2.3 for Medi-Cal abortions for minors.

For more information on this proposal, see Parent’s Right to Know.

Posted by Rick at July 2, 2005 10:41 AM

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» California Passes AB 849: from The Opine Editorials
Leno was sad that his bill was turned down, so do you know what he did? Yep, he completely gutted AB 849 of its protections for wildlife and inserted the exact wording of AB 19 in its stead. Having passed the Assembly, it headed for the Senate. There... [Read More]

Tracked on September 7, 2005 01:24 AM