Is Ted Lieu the state’s Ultimate Nanny?

Sept. 4, 2012

By Steven Greenhut

If you want to understand just about everything that’s wrong with Sacramento, you need only peruse a press release recently sent out by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance. Lieu is proud of his laundry list of bills that meddle into myriad areas of private life. Lieu, who when he was running for attorney general groveled before the police unions, apparently is busy criminalizing every sort of behavior and expanding the power of the state. Most of the issues he deals with are small ones, but they mostly involve the personal choices made between willing buyers and willing sellers. He epitomizes Sacramento because in the state Capitol, most legislators recognize no limits on the power of the state. Sure, many people believe that the psychological program to turn gays into straights is quackery, but a petty totalitarian such as Lieu wants to use state power to ban it — and other things he simply doesn’t like.

I would refer to Lieu, who seems to be a rather nice guy, as the Ultimate Nanny, but his bills reflect the sense of the Legislature. All of the ones below have been approved and sent to the governor. Not all of them are bad. I agree with adding oversight to the state National Guard, which is mired in corruption scandals. But most of the bills oversee private activity.

Ironically, his final item commemorates the signing of the Constitution. Nice, but why is he spending his career shredding it?

Legislature approves 17 bills by Sen. Ted W. Lieu

Lieu measures to protect children, consumers, jobs and students now rest with Gov. Brown

SACRAMENTO – Protecting children from psychological abuse, cutting interest rates by predatory used-car dealers, creating jobs, ensuring animal safety, helping victims receive restitution and saving taxpayers money are among the goals of the proposed laws by Sen. Ted W. Lieu now heading to the governor’s desk.

“No one deserves a break more than California’s children, consumers and workers,” Lieu, D-Torrance, said about his legislative accomplishments for 2012 approved by today’s end-of-session deadline. “We have worked hard to provide residents statewide with tangible improvements to our quality of life.”

Gov. Brown has until Sept. 30 to act on 15 Lieu bills now on his desk; two additional measures took effect immediately because they did not require gubernatorial action.

The bills facing Brown’s endorsement or veto include:

·        Senate Bill 336 – Emergency Room Crowding

Hospital emergency-room patients would receive better medical care under a doctor-supported plan to reduce crowding through better planning.

·        SB 661 – Funeral Protests

This measure seeks greater protections for grieving families from disruptive protests by balancing the constitutionally protected right of free speech with limited restrictions on the time, place and manner in which protests at funerals can be held to protect the grieving families’ right to privacy.

·        SB 921 – National Guard Inspector General

In response to repeated financial abuses by the California National Guard, this bill by Lieu, a former Air Force prosecutor who remains in the military reserves, would protect against fraud and abuse and help restore confidence to the Guard by creating a California Military Whistleblower Protection Act for service members on state active duty.

·        SB 956 – Buy Here Pay Here

This consumer-protection bill would enact milestone protections for used-car outlets by cracking down on predatory ‘buy here, pay here’ dealers where interest rates can be as high as 30 percent. In its place would be a lowest-in-the-nation interest cap of 17 percent (plus a minimal variable federal funds rate that currently is .25 percent.) SB 956 has been endorsed by The Los Angeles Times and The Sacramento Bee.

·        SB 1055 – Rental Payment Flexibility

In response to complaints from residents that more and more landlords are requiring rental payments be made only online, this measure would ensure landlords also accept other forms of payment that are neither cash nor an electronic transfer of funds.

·        SB 1058 – Victims of Corporate Fraud

Since 2002, California’s fraud-compensation fund has raised nearly $15 million to help compensate those who have been taken advantage of or swindled by smooth-talking hustlers. But in the past 10 years, only seven victims have been paid – for a total of $112,000. SB 1055 would help speed up state payments to these victims of corporate fraud.

·        SB 1066 – Climate Change

The consequences of climate change could ultimately cost the state tens of billions of dollars if not addressed. Sponsored by the California Nature Conservancy, SB 1066 would empower the California Coastal Conservancy to address climate change and its impacts as part of its broader mission.

·        SB 1172 – Sexual Orientation Change Therapies

Sen. Lieu’s patient-protection plan would make California the first state in the nation to end the psychological abuse of children through unethical treatments that promise to change a minor’s sexual orientation.

·        SB 1210 – Victim’s Restitution

With the goal of helping the recovery of those hurt most by crime, this proposal would provide county law enforcement officials the authority to collect restitution from offenders to help the victims of their crimes receive financial restitution.

·        SB 1221 – Hounding of Bears and Bobcats

Endorsed by The Los Angeles Times, The San Jose Mercury News, The Ventura Sun-Star and others, this animal-protection effort would ban hunters from using packs of dogs to pursue bears and bobcats.

·        SB 1402 – Workforce Development

Labeled a ‘job creator’ by the California Chamber of Commerce, this would improve and extend the Economic and Workforce Development Program at California Community Colleges to help create a workforce that meets the ongoing and future needs of employers.

·        SB 1500 – Animal Cruelty

Neglected or injured animals would no longer be returned to abusive owners under this animal-protection measure sponsored by the Los Angeles District Attorney.

The two Lieu measures approved by lawmakers not requiring the governor’s signature to be chaptered into law are:

·        Senate Concurrent Resolution 79 – Jenny Oropeza Memorial Highway

This measure names a bridge over Pacific Coast Highway in Wilmington, at zero cost to the state, to the memory of his predecessor, the late-Sen. Jenny Oropeza of Long Beach.

·        SCR 98 – 225th Anniversary of the U.S. Constitution

This measure celebrates Sept. 17, 2012 as the 225th anniversary of the original signing of the U.S. Constitution.

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