MOORLACH UPDATE — 2017 Top 20 Veto Worthy Bills — September 22, 2017

This is the third year that I have enjoyed the end of the Legislative Session, a grueling exercise where hundreds of bills are voted on in rapid succession and, with a few exceptions, very little Floor debate. And, for the third time, I have been invited by the FlashReport to list the 20 worst bills that on the Governor’s desk awaiting either a signature or a veto. For these 20, we’re definitely encouraging a veto (also see MOORLACH UPDATE — 2016 Veto Worthy Bills — September 12, 2016 september 12, 2016 john moorlach and MOORLACH UPDATE — Worst and Vaguest — September 22, 2015 september 22, 2015 john moorlach).

Last year we were permitted to provide the worst 25 bills. This year the list could have been double that. But, we were once again constrained to 20 bills the Governor should veto. We did not include some worthy bills as they have already been signed, as they either were voted on some time ago or were budget trailer bills Gov. Brown signed upon receipt.

I want to thank my Sacramento Capitol Office staff for doing an outstanding job of assisting me in my research on all the bills that came before me for a vote. I also want to thank them for their willingness to improve on our technologies to stay organized on the massive volume that occurs with the legislative process. With that, thank you Lance Christensen, my Chief of Staff, Eric Dietz, my Legislative Director, Robert Nash, my Legislative Analyst and electronic organizer par excellence. They kept my sanity intact the last few weeks.

I also want to thank Jacob Ashendorf, who served in my Capitol Office the past few months, but recently accepted a job offer in D.C. He is now my fifth staff member to join the Health and Human Services executive team. I don’t know whom to be mad at more, HHS Secretary Tom Price or President Donald Trump.

This year we also had the privilege of hosting a Capitol Fellow. James Moore, a Harvard grad who played basketball in high school, made me not feel tall. James was able to work a bill or two of mine to the Governor’s desk. So, that offensive experience on the court came in handy.

Now that we have a tradition, I’ll try to keep you posted on the status of these 20 bills in future UPDATEs.

bc2f75af-1bb0-4394-b7b3-b576ff825671.jpgFlashReport 2017 Top Bills Worthy Of The Governor’s Veto

Introduction from FlashReport Publisher Jon Fleischman

This is the 12th year that we have presented for your viewing displeasure the worst pieces of legislation sitting on the Governor’s desk. Of course there are a great many bills on the Governor’s desk – most of them worthy of a veto. Thus the task of trying to cull through those bills and single out just the twenty worst is not easy. For the second year in a row, our list comes to us courtesy of both State Senator John Moorlach and Assemblyman Matt Harper. I will add that this session in particular was over-the-top with noxious legislation, and limiting this list to twenty bills was no easy task. – Flash

The FlashReport Top 20 Bills Worthy Of The Governor’s Veto

As compiled and described by State Senator John Moorlach and Assemblyman Matthew Harper

Supermajority legislative leaders declared that the 2017 Session “may be the most productive and progressive legislative session in memory.” They may be right. And it’s only half done.

We don’t know if that is something to brag about, though. We believe that media perspectives describing 2017 as a rage reaction against the new Trump Administration are also accurate. From the first day of Session last December, the Democrats provided an anti-Trump resolution nearly every week and emphasized a strong move to the left on policies that will hurt California, prohibiting the state from leading the nation to prosperity.

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What was most stunning was how unabashed the public employee unions were in pushing through massive, if not coercive, requests to strengthen their declining membership numbers. AB 1250 was a brazen attempt to eliminate non-profits’ contracts and hand county services over to unions. Luckily, the non-profit world summoned enough strength to fight it off, at least until January. But in light of these union bills, it begged the question, “Who’s your daddy?”

Regretfully, our “Top 20” list is not comprehensive and does not include all the terrible bills the legislature has passed and the governor has signed this year. The gas-tax increase (SB 1) and cap-and-tax (AB 398) are already the law of the land.

There also were several bills we watched throughout the year to see if they were going to make it to final floor votes. Several didn’t.

Finally, the bills below are those that, despite our opposition, were affirmed by both the Senate and the Assembly and are going to the Governor’s desk. He has until October 15 to sign them – or prevent them from harming Californians by vetoing them. We present them to you in numerical order.


AB 20 (Kalra) Send Jobs, Not Investments to Dakota Bill: Paves the way for the California Public Employees Retirement System to “divesting” from valuable investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Doing so could reduce the value of CalPERS assets, endangering retiree pensions.

AB 168 (Eggman) Across the Board Salary Lowballing: Inhibits employers’ ability to hire qualified employees, prohibiting employers from using past salary information of a prospective employee as a factor in deciding whether to hire someone, or how much to pay them. This will lead to reduced production at a time when the state economy is starting to falter. Instead of helping employees, an unknown number of their jobs could be killed.

AB 199 (Chu) Construction Reduction Act: We should be avoiding government-mandated prevailing wages, not increasing their requirements. This legislation would significantly increase circumstances where prevailing wages would be mandated.

AB 569 (Gonzalez Fletcher) Discrimination of Church by State: Beyond limiting private religious organizations’ code-of-conduct policies for employees, it could bring the state into conflict with federal religious-rights legislation because it mandates that employers provide employee handbooks to include information on abortion coverage. That violates the religious conscience of many employers and employees.

AB 890 (Medina) Voter Suppression Act: This is anti-democratic and would silence voters pursuing pro-growth land-use decisions, usurping local control by mandating changes in local land use decision-making via state law.

AB 1008 (McCarty, Gipson, Holden, Reyes, Weber) Employment Meddling Act: This bill prohibits employers from inquiring about or using a prior criminal conviction of an prospective employee as a factor in whether to make them a conditional offer of employment. This is another bureaucratic hassle for businesses, increasing costs and, in the end, killing job opportunities because of increased legal liabilities and administrative burdens for employers.

AB 1209 (Gonzalez Fletcher) Women Employee Reduction Act: Gender discrimination already is against state and federal law. This would increase companies’ red tape in providing useless data about employee compensation to state busybodies, who would then post the information online. It could kill the jobs of the women it’s supposed to help.

AB 1269 (Mark Stone) Mobile Home Tax: This is a tax on mobile home parks and increases regulations on them. It could encourage owners to bulldoze the parks and turn them into condos.

AB 1274 (O’Donnell) Fee Hidden as a Tax: This is yet another car tax that is estimated to cost certain car owners over $100 million. The majority can’t get enough of car taxes.

AB 1455 (Bocanegra) Public Employee Bargaining Secrecy Act: How can we be reducing transparency? Yet this bill would prohibit local governments from sharing with the public documents concerning labor negotiations. We should be doing everything in our power to increase government transparency for our taxpayers.

AB 1461 (Thurmond) Are Food Handler Cards for Farmers Next?: Pointless red tape to give food unions an edge on the new “gig economy” by increasing the costs of doing business for companies that send food ingredients to your home for you to prepare.

AB 1513 (Kalra) Union Invasion of Privacy: Requiring that the Department of Social Services release private information of registered home care aides is a blatant invasion of privacy. It is also a shameless attempt by public employee unions to increase their membership.

SB 2 (Atkins) Killing Homes and Jobs for the Middle Class Act: Would raise taxes on real-estate transactions (by hundreds of millions of dollars annually), thereby discouraging home purchases.

SB 3 (Beall) California Legislature’s Housing Sub-Prime Act: Another massive, unneeded multi-billion dollar bond measure that doesn’t address or solve the underlying issues of housing supply or costs. It just creates more debt for the state for generations to come for homes they won’t be able to afford.

SB 5 (De Leon) Park Bond Boondoggle: Who doesn’t want more parks? But at $6.5 billion for principal and interest, that’s $235 million a year removed from the General Fund. Voters just enacted the Proposition 1 water bond in 2014. Let’s wisely spend all that money first. A review of this bill shows pork-barrel spending at it’s finest.

SB 54 (De Leon) Sanctuary State Nonsense: California has prioritized defiance to the federal government over its duty to govern responsibly and protect its citizens. If signed, this bill could cost the state and local governments hundreds of millions of dollars in public safety grants, establishing a state mandate that state and local governments may not assist federal immigration authorities as they attempt to find and detain illegal aliens. This is showmanship for the cameras, not leadership for the people.

SB 63 (Jackson) Small Business Meddling Act: It goes without saying that allowing new parents to bond with a child is very important and the state has a number of paid and unpaid benefit programs to provide for that leave. This bill requires that a an employer with 20 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave within one year of the child’s birth. And employers must maintain the employee’s group health coverage during that leave. There should be concern about the impact of this heavy-handed requirement on small businesses and the potential liability that could result.

SB 149 (McGuire, Wiener) Do As I Say, Not As I Disclose: This Constitutionally-dubious legislation would preclude a candidate for President from being placed on the California ballot if they have not publicly disclosed their tax returns – yet another dig on President Trump. It’s disingenuous to limit disclosure of tax documents to only presidential candidates. Why not all elected officials attempting to get on the ballot in California? This didn’t seem to be an issue in 2010 or 2014 when Governor Brown did not release his own tax returns.

SB 239 (Wiener) HIV Assault Act: Although strides have been made in HIV and AIDS treatment, those infected still can die. So intentionally infecting someone is as serious as assault and battery and even homicide, and should retain similar penalties. This legislation reduces this crime from a felony to a misdemeanor.

SB 285 (Atkins) Bargaining Meddling Act:Federal and state laws already guarantee the right to collective bargaining. The author claims this bill extends that right “to employees who are choosing whether or not to become or remain union members.” But it’s really redundant and would just increase costs for local governments, reducing services to the public.

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MOORLACH UPDATE — End of Session Contrasts — September 16, 2017

We were able to conclude Session at 2:30 this morning, two-and-one-half hours after the Joint Rules deadline. The process of running bills between both chambers was not flowing well, as petty politicking between the two chambers wasted a lot of time unnecessarily.

As a result, there was a little too much dead time and the midnight deadline came and went, without Senate leadership requesting a rule waiver before the Cinderella moment. It made for some commotion, since the rules are clear that the first year of the Session ends on the 15th, not the 16th. This slip up provided a little drama in the middle of the night. The Republican Caucus even adjusted the paper calendars to reflect that it was the 16th.

After an hour in conversations with the Legislative Counsel lawyers, the Senate leadership claimed that the “customs and practices” of the body took precedence over the actual rules. So we agreed to press on. But, there will be that lingering anxiety hanging over the uncertainty concerning the legitimacy of those bills that were passed after the deadline. All of these components limited our time, leaving many bills languishing and having to wait until January.

The Sacramento Bee provides its take of the final flurry of bills in the first piece below. It reflects the views of the majority party in a favorable light, and refers to me in contrast, with my vote for SB 384 (The Sacramento Bee mixed up two bills, as SB 421 was gutted and amended into SB 384 after being held up in the Assembly Appropriations Committee).

The subject of SB 384 is something that I wanted to pursue while up here in Sacramento. This morning I shared on the Senate Floor that someone who was caught urinating in public should not need to carry a scarlet letter for the rest of their life.

The second piece below, in Church Militant, touches on Senate Resolution 68, which I introduced this week. SR 68 commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (see I kept my opening statement brief (see I anticipated a healthy debate on the Floor, but none of my colleagues engaged and it received only one vote of opposition.

Reformation Day (see is next month. Before my youngest brother took a call to serve at a church in Tennessee, he would host a Reformation Sunday evening service at the Crystal Cathedral every year at the end of October. For this annual tradition, this year is a really big deal. And you know that I observe significant milestones.

If you’re in the mood to commemorate the Quincentenary (Quin·cen·ten·a·ry) of the Reformation, I have a recommendation. Concordia University Irvine is recognizing this anniversary through a series of events called Reformation 500.

On Wednesday, November 1, Concordia’s choirs, handbells and orchestras join with musicians from area churches and schools in a 500-member music ensemble to lead festive hymns, choruses, and sacred music around the themes of Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone and Christ Alone. This “Evening of Word & Song” will be held at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa at 7:00 p.m..

See, the California Senate can work on contrasting issues, from ecumenical recognition to exercising grace for those on the registry for sexual offenders. Next week I’ll try to provide my recap and continue the annual tradition of providing a list of the 20 bills that Governor Brown should veto.

BONUS: Visit Crystal Cove Monday afternoon for the unveiling of Orange County’s most recently installed California Historical Landmark (see MOORLACH UPDATE Who Runs Our Government? September 14, 2017).

In this legislative session, plenty got done that will affect your life



In many years, the Legislature’s approval of a $4 billion housing bond and a $75 tax on homeowners who refinance to help solve California’s housing crisis would be a signature achievement.

In other years, approval of a $5.2 billion a year tax on gasoline to repair and maintain California’s rutted freeways would be a big deal. The gas tax hadn’t been touched in decades.

Add to that the extension of a cap-and-trade program, which will generate north of $2 billion a year through 2030, and bills to require transparency from the pharmaceutical industry, and protect law-abiding undocumented immigrants from federal overreach and deportation, and you have the remarkable 2017 legislative session.

But legislators, led by Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, who is in the final year before he is termed out of the Legislature, did some thoughtful work on bills that will affect Californians’ lives. Congress ought to take note, not that it will.

In some instances, legislators cast votes that placed their political futures at risk, to their credit. Sen. Josh Newman, a Democrat who won a Fullerton-area seat that had been held by Republicans, faces a Republican-fueled recall, purportedly for his vote in favor of the gasoline tax.

Assemblyman Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley, incurred the wrath of Republican Party bosses and lost his position as Assembly GOP leader after voting for the measure to extend the cap-and-trade program. All voters should want all legislators to vote their consciences, regardless of political consequences.

Although most major bills passed on party line votes, Republicans joined Democratic majorities on noteworthy measures. Assemblyman Brian Maienschein of San Diego County and Contra Costa County Assemblywoman Catharine Baker voted for the housing bond, to be placed before voters in November 2018.

Republicans Baker and Maienschein broke from their caucus to vote for Senate Bill 63 which would extend job protection for new parents who work for employers with as few as 20 employees. Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, one of the most liberal legislators, carried SB 63.

The California Chamber of Commerce calls Jackson’s bill a job killer and is urging Gov. Jerry Brown to veto it. We hope he signs it. New parents ought to be able to spend 12 weeks, at least, bonding with their child without worrying they will be fired.

There was bipartisan support for several lesser noticed but significant measures. Take, for example, Senate Bill 421 by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco. Wiener, one of the most liberal members of the Legislature, carried legislation endorsed by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office to whittle down the registry of sex offenders, which numbers an unwieldy 100,000 names.

The bill would create a tiered system for sex offenders, and result in some lower risk offenders being removed from the registry. Sens. Joel Anderson of San Diego County, John Moorlach of Orange County and Andy Vidak of Visalia, three of the most conservative Republicans, crossed party lines to vote for it.

Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, brokered a deal that won near unanimous support to allow off-road aficionados to continue to pursue their hobby in California. If only Congress could work out such compromises.

In Washington and in many states controlled by Republicans, organized labor is under assault. Not here. In California, labor led the fight for the drug transparency measure, SB 17 by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa. In too many other instances, however, labor fought for bills that were in their organizations’ narrow self-interest. Democrats, many of whom owe their seats to labor, went along. There was a notable exception.

Rendon defied the California Nurses Association by spiking half-baked legislation by Sens. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, to create a single-payer, universal health care system. Rendon has called for study that will go on in the interim. That makes sense. Sweeping measures require thought.

Legislators have their work cut out between now and the Legislature’s return in January. Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, will be studying an overhaul of the bail system.

Brown, who will be a lame duck for the last time next year, hopes to join with neighboring states in a Western regional electricity grid. But whatever legislators produce in 2018, it probably won’t match what they accomplished in 2017.

California Senator Proposes Measure to Recognize Protestant Reformation

Sen. John Moorlach’s proposal would officially acknowledge Protestant Revolt against Catholic Church. FULL STORY

This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

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