Sunday, January 19, 2020     Volume: 20, Issue: 46

Santa Maria Sun / Commentary

The following article was posted on October 1st, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 31 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 31

Every piece of legislation costs taxpayers more money


Our state elected representatives are at it again. They produced a blizzard of new bills in the 2019 session. Just who of the everyday Joes on the streets are going to know anything about any of these? These bills are for the biggest paying supporters or the biggest attention getters. Most of these bills are “penny dreadful, junk bills” like those sponsored by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and her sidekick, Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara). They harm people and business. Jackson has more than 40 bills out there.

The basic problem is that California has a 120-member, full-time-paid Senate and Assembly, with expense accounts, so these fellows have nothing to do but pass bills. Each representative is allowed 40 bills, but this was increased to up to 50 bills for the Assembly in the 2019 term. If you thought what we had was bad, they just made it worse. For 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown signed 857 bills into law and rejected only 118. In 2019, there are 1,000 new bills proposed.

And each bill passed costs the taxpayer money in taxes! Every bill costs us one way or another. Every bill must be managed. When your representatives stand up before you at town hall meetings and say, “Look what I have done for you,” remember that they are giving us more taxes and it is not necessarily a gift. 

Every aspect of government has to be paid for—the more government, the more taxes for all of us. The new “gun laws,” for example, will require thousands of new state employees to process the millions of gun and ammunition applications.

We should ask ourselves, why are our reps not telling us how much they have reduced government, and how much they have reduced our taxes? How about giving us the number of canceled old bills each year? 

Don’t we care? Why don’t we give them incentives to do so? Is voting them out of office the only incentive?

There are so many bills becoming laws that the everyday taxpayer has no idea what they are. Without any malice of his own, he can be found guilty of one or more of them only to be told by some politically appointed activist judge that their ignorance is no excuse. 

At the rate we are going, we will all become criminals at some point in our lives in California by simply stepping outside of our house. It is no wonder that California has more people in prisons than any other state and most countries, and the most highly paid prison guards in the U.S.

A certain outcome for all of these bills is to paralyze the state of California from doing anything sans committing a crime. Total dysfunction is in store for us. 

To help limit this out-of-control bill-passing train wreck from continuing, let’s insist that our representatives sponsor a bill that limits the number of bills in every two-year session to one per representative. A provision of this bill will be to review and eliminate past bills, every year and to notice them in public. However, even this restriction, if passed, would still result in 120 bills every two years—still more that any citizen could read. If the governor can pass all those other bills for special interests, why not this one for the taxpayers?

Justin Ruhge is a conerned taxpayer in Lompoc. Send comments through the editor at Send a response for publication to

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