Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 7:41 am | Fair 58º

 
 
 
 

Rich Ehisen: California Legislators Yuk It Up at Californians’ Expense

If it makes you feel any better, other states have their share of legislative misfires

It’s All in the Game: The end of a legislative session usually has its share of rituals, some regal and some goofy. A particularly good example of the latter was in display in the Assembly last week. As the Sacramento Bee reports, legislators from both parties marked the end of the regular session by participating in a game of “Legislative bingo,” a little number requiring them to insert oddball words or phrases into floor debates. Examples from the marathon Aug. 31 bill-fest include the use of phrases like “you’re not the boss of me” as well as references to “Humpty Dance,” “cougar pay,” “cheap money shot,” and “Doogie Howser.” Here’s guessing that Golden State residents suffering through yet another torturous budget battle — this year’s budget is already more than two months past due — might have inserted a few choice words and phrases of their own.

Rich Ehisen
Rich Ehisen

Pineapples or Prairies: Barack Obama is not even two full years into his presidency, but the battle is already on over his eventual post-term library. As might be expected, Hawaii officials want any such facility to be located in the Aloha State, where Obama was born and raised. Not so fast, say Illinois officials, who argue that Obama became presidential timber only after moving to Chicago and immersing himself in Prairie State politics. As the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports, the Hawaii Legislature has jumped out to an early lead by adopting a resolution urging Obama to choose Hawaii for the site. Officials there are also feverishly working on a design they hope will sway him their way. They also traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to lobby federal officials in the U.S. parks system. Illinois officials have promised to undertake their own lobbying effort “at the proper time.”

Just Say Ah: Or don’t, actually, if you are using it to pronounce “Nevada.” As any good Silver State resident will tell you, it is pronounced “Ne-VAD-a,” not “Ne-VAH-da” as some out-of-staters like to say. While that may seem trifling to some, it is a big deal to most Nevadans, who are prone to loudly correct folks using the “wrong” pronunciation. But not everyone there is so sensitive. As the Reno Gazette-Journal reports, Assemblyman Harry Mortenson, D-Las Vegas, has pre-filed a resolution for 2011 calling on his fellow citizens to be more tolerant of folks who use the offensive vernacular. Mortenson, who is termed out and won’t be around in 2011 to fight for his bill, says he has already heard from scores of people on both sides of the issue. “I expected a big controversy and I got it,” he said.

Going to the Dogs: If you think things are going to the dogs, well, you may just be right. As The Washington Post reports, Alaska recently became the 10th state to name an official state dog. The Last Frontier’s decision was the culmination of a three-year effort by students from an Anchorage grade school, which successfully convinced legislators to bestow the honor upon the Alaskan malamute, the largest and strongest of Arctic sled dogs. The Post also notes, however, that such matters are not always taken so seriously. In 1965, a similar bill in the Pennsylvania statehouse prompted lawmakers to “arf” their approval. Forever known as the “barking-dog vote,” the measure passed, making the Great Dane the Keystone State’s official canine. Oregon may soon join the pack. The Oregonian reports an effort is under way there to name the border collie the Beaver State’s official hound.

— Rich Ehisen is editor of State Net Capitol Journal, where he provides expert coverage of state-level public policy and legislative trends in all 50 states. He is also an award-winning journalist who has written exhaustively on such issues as immigration, California water policy, education and many others. This column is republished with permission from State Net Capitol Journal.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >