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Thursday, January 24 , 2019, 1:36 am | Fair 42º


Ron Fink: Some New Laws Make No Sense

Somehow when a person is elected to serve in Sacramento, they get the idea they must craft new laws to “help their constituents” and show how smart they are.

Since liberal Democrats are the ruling party, it’s mostly feel-good laws that prevail. New laws enacted for 2018 raise eyebrows; these will have a profound impact on everyone in Lompoc and the rest of our once golden state.

It may shock you, but juveniles commit crimes.

When I was raising kids, it was my responsibility to provide for our children, and discipline them when they broke the rules. It didn’t matter where the kid was, it was our personal responsibility to care of them until they were 18 years old.

But today, the legislature has determined that counties can no longer charge fees to a family for everything from detention to monitoring of juveniles, a policy (the old one where parents had to pay the costs) that critics said hit low-income families and communities of color the hardest.

Don’t hold parents accountable, just make the rest of us pay the bill.

And, juvenile offenders, even those who commit murder, cannot be sentenced to life without parole. Instead, they will be released back into society.

Bus riders can be fined $20 for not wearing a seat belt on a commercial bus; I wonder how many commercial busses have seat belts?

And, why doesn’t this rule apply to school busses and public transportation if lawmakers felt it was important enough for commercial carrier riders? Probably because the government doesn’t want to pay the costs of installing them.

Drivers of fossil-fueled vehicles must now pay an additional fee to help repair roads; I guess battery-powered vehicles don’t damage roads.

Since all Californians, no matter their income level, must travel to and from work, and most can’t afford battery-operated vehicles nor be limited to the range of these vehicles, this will take money out of their pockets.

I am betting the roads won’t get fixed either.

Expect to pay more for your burger and fries. The minimum wage was raised to $11 an hour, which most economists believe will both eliminate entry-level jobs and raise consumer prices.

Oh, and it won’t help these folks either since the cost of things they consume, like a burger and fries, will be going up.

In keeping with the current mindset to provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants, several new laws were passed.

Police agencies are prohibited from assisting immigration authorities, even when violent crimes have occurred; landlords can face civil penalties if they notify ICE that illegal aliens occupy their property; and employers can be fined for not giving workers a 72-hour notice that ICE agents will be inspecting employee records.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra thinks he is above federal immigration law. He recently “reminded” employers that under new state laws, they could get $10,000 fines if they help ICE, telling them:

“We will prosecute those who violate the law.”

School systems are always claiming they don’t have enough money to maintain the schools and/or properly educate the students. Well, lawmakers just made it harder.

California schools can no longer deny a free lunch to a child whose parents haven’t paid their meal fees; and, schools in low-income communities must provide free tampons and other sanitary products to students in grades six through 12.

It’s no wonder school systems are broke, and our kids are raised to feel that they don’t have to pay for anything.

Lompoc is populated largely by law-abiding, low-to-modest-income families, most of whom simply want to live their lives and not be bothered.

They send their kids to school in hopes the children will get the skills necessary to acquire employment when they graduate high school or go on to higher education. The outcome isn’t always what they hoped for.

But, there is also a segment of the population that feel they are above the law. Many are juveniles, and some are illegal immigrants.

The law-abiding people of Lompoc would like to see scofflaws punished for the crimes they commit, and if they don’t belong here in the first place and then break our laws, they should be sent back to where they came from.

Lompoc also has many service-industry jobs in restaurants and hotels/ Workers in these places can anticipate either reduced hours or layoffs as employers try to cope with new minimum-wage laws.

And for those looking for jobs, they may not be able to find them if an illegal immigrant has the job and is protected by the state of California.

Now liberals want to regulate the straws you use for your beverages, which means you won’t get them anymore.

Lawmakers need to realize there are real people out here who are trying to live their lives but struggle to keep up with all the nonsense that has infested the state capital. Will voters ever elect common-sense legislators again?

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry and has been active with Lompoc municipal government commissions and committee since 1992, including 12 years on the Lompoc Planning Commission. He is also a voting member of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Contact him at [email protected]. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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