The last possible moment for California's bumbling state senators and assemblymen to nudge their pet bills onto Governor Jerry Brown's desk is this Friday, August 31 at midnight.
Needless to say, the state Capitol is in a state of fluttering papers/utter mayhem right now.
It's hard enough to know what's going on in Sacramento when you're in Sacramento -- so way down here in La La Land, we're often groping around in the dark. There's really no way to tell which pointless, insane or just plain silly laws will be gutted and amended by state Legislators in these last few frantic seconds before session's end. But after poring through all the recently proposed and/or amended bills, we found a few...
... that reek to high heaven of special interests and reelection brownie points. It's hard to tell what some of these bills even mean, due to jargon and roundabout wordiness -- but the cagey language factor alone is enough to set off our BS censor.
So here you have them: The 10 stupidest California bills that Legislators are trying to slam through at final hour, in no particular order. (As if this state doesn't have enough stupid laws as it is.) Happy session, doofuses!
10. Remove student test scores from teacher evaluations.
Meet Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes -- a Democrat from the Valley who L.A. Weekly has called the "The Worst Legislator in California," for his unquestioning habit of accepting and floating any old bill ghostwritten by a special-interest group. In the case of AB 5, that special interest is clearly the California Teachers Association, hell-bent on protecting its paying members from any sort of real job evaluation. (Specifically, job evaluation based on student test scores.) L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has ripped into the bill, saying it would "reverse the progress LAUSD has made in establishing a better system of teacher evaluation" and "prevent any opportunity for school districts, including LAUSD, to be granted funding flexibility from federal No Child Left Behind requirements." And Bill Lucia of EdVoice explains to the Silicon Valley Mercury-News that the bill "got hijacked by people who do not want to use data in a meaningful way to look at the job effectiveness of adults." How very Fuentes. For further reading, see L.A. Weekly education expert Patrick Range McDonald's "Will Felipe Fuentes and Gov. Jerry Brown Water Down Teachers' Evaluations?"
9. Prohibit acupuncturists from using the prefix "Dr."
Butt-hurt real doctors who spent years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on their medical degrees score a win with Senator Leland Yee's SB 628, which "would make it unprofessional conduct for an acupuncturist to use the title of 'Doctor' or use the abbreviation 'Dr.' in connection with the practice of acupuncture unless he or she holds a license authorizing that use or a specified degree. Thank god we got that cleared up.