By Dawn Collier
State legislators returned to the Capitol this week after their July summer break and are now shuffling through hundreds of bills that have to be acted upon before the August 31 adjournment deadline. There will likely be well over 1,000 measures to be dealt with by the end of the month — proving, as our Puritan forebears knew, that idle hands are the devil’s workshop.
Within that pandemonium are a cluster of bills that have garnered the attention — and ire — of parents and those who cherish liberty throughout the state.
“The Senate and Assembly are preparing to rubber stamp a series of bills that are unprecedented attacks on free speech, personal liberty and parental rights,” said Lance Christensen, CPC’s Vice President of Education Policy and Government Affairs. “Californians can make a difference by making their voices heard on these bills now.”
Here are the top bills CPC is monitoring this month:
- Allowing children to override parents/doctors health decisions.* The high-profile SB 866 would allow children as young as 15 years old to receive any federally-approved vaccine without the consent or notification of their parents. San Francisco Senator Scott Wiener, hell-bent on subverting parental rights at every opportunity, raised the age of consent in his bill to 15 from 12-years-of-age following intense opposition from parents. But bumping the age up a few years doesn’t fix the fundamental flaw with this bill that allows children to receive medical treatment without their parent’s consent.
- Silencing physicians’ right to free speech.* AB 2098 would designate the dissemination or promotion of “misinformation” or “disinformation” related to COVID-19 by California doctors or surgeons as unprofessional conduct subject to disciplinary action by California medical boards. The bill seeks to silence doctors by defining misinformation as contradicted by “contemporary scientific consensus” — approved by California’s ideologically-driven health bureaucrats of course!
- Perpetual COVID testing in public schools. SB 1479 would continue indefinitely COVID-19 testing in schools. Such a requirement is more than costly, it’s onerous on families who are bound to unpredictable and unreliable tests for their kids to participate in public schools.
- Incentivizing unions to count kids that don’t show up. SB 830 invites kids to show up on their first week of school and never come back. With the disappearance of over a quarter million students from the public school system during the pandemic, many lost to private or home schools, teachers’ unions no longer want to compete for excellence in our classrooms, they simply want to be paid to show up to emptying classrooms. This bill would swap the average daily attendance formula used to determine how much is paid to schools for a union-backed formula based instead on “enrollment.”
- Further politicizing our middle and high school students. It used to be that civics teachers would encourage their students to get involved in the political sphere in a nonpartisan fashion by encouraging them to study hot topics, write letters to lawmakers, and even intern on a campaign. Some students would get extra credit for these kinds of extracurricular activities. Now a former union-boss-turned-legislator wants to make overt political activism an excused absence via SB 955.
- Encourage more school shootings? Ever since the passage of SB 419 in 2019, willful defiance issues in the classroom have dramatically increased. SB 1273 will only make the problem worse and continue to erode teachers’ ability to control the discipline in their classrooms and alert law enforcement of disruptive behavior, especially as it may apply to or be a preamble for other more serious events like school shootings. Local school districts should be given wide deference on discipline issues, but the state and federal government leverage funding to ill-conceived anti-discipline policies that all but erode local control.
- Legalized kidnapping? Under the guise of providing “gender affirming care” in SB 107 and SB 923, parents would lose control over the most basic aspects of their children’s lives — their identity. If parents refuse to go along with the radical recommendations of social activists to administer puberty blockers, sterilize or permanently mutilate their children’s bodies during the most sensitive times of adolescence, the state could assume responsibility for those children and create an expensive bureaucracy around it. And for those parents split on the best treatment where one doesn’t consent to extreme medical procedures, SB 923 legalizes what looks to be like interstate kidnapping of children. There are also serious questions about the incentives this bill creates for confused children to run away from their homes in other states and become wards of California in an effort to undergo radical health treatments without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
SILENCING POLITICAL OPPONENTS
- Too many recalls, or not enough signatures? After a slew of recalls across the state, state legislators are getting nervous about their staying power. Their answer: AB 2584, which would increase the number of signatures required to initiate a recall. If that seems like literally obstructing democracy, that’s because it is! Why would the majority party not want to hear the will of the people?
- Threatening the tax-exempt status of non-profits for ideologies conflicting with the government narrative.* In an effort to control the political activism of sincere free speech advocates, Senator Wiener is at it again. SB 834 would provide the Attorney General’s office with powers to go after its political foes and remove their tax exempt status — functionally eliminating their ability to operate — under the guise of said non-profit inciting insurrection as determined by state authorities. This bill is meant to chill political speech.
AND NOW THE GOOD NEWS
- Furthering the work of Transparent California at the school district level.* After CPC helped create the most comprehensive database of payroll and benefits of state employees in the nation, TransparentCalifornia.com, school districts balked at providing details about teachers’ salaries and benefits. Now, under SB 924, the Controller would be required to annually publish “information on annual compensation of employees of each school district, county office of education, charter school, and entity managing a charter school” on its website. The state will finally provide parents and taxpayers with the information on what their teachers are paid compared to other districts across the state and the nation.
Tens of thousands of concerned Californians have used CPC’s Take Action tool this year to contact their legislator directly about the legislation they care about. If you would like to contact your legislator about the bills marked with an asterisk above, our Take Action tool only takes a minute, but makes a world of difference. Access CPC’s Take Action tool now.
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What California really needs: A PART-TIME LEGISLATURE and less legislators like Weeeeeneeee Weeeeeeenerrrrrrrr
Oh, Lord, save us. The legislature is back in session. Reading the list of proposed dictatorial legislation the only wonder is that Kally’s population has only dropped 6%.