CalWatchdog Morning Read – August 17

  • CalWatchdogLogoCalifornia gets low “freedom” score
  • Water restrictions practically gone for the rest of the year
  • Some felons may soon vote
  • Assemblyman gets oil lobbyist to write official documents
  • Some legislators launch one-day hunger strike 

Good morning! Happy hump day.

As the Legislature rolls through its last month of session, a Libertarian think tank issued a report saying that when it comes to liberty, California is one of the most restrictive states on its citizens.

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, in its “Freedom in the 50 States” report divided liberty into three categories: personal, fiscal and regulatory. And while the Golden State ranked high (16th) in personal liberty, it was near the bottom in fiscal (46th) and regulatory (48th).

Overall, New Hampshire ranked the highest. New York was the only state with a lower overall liberty score than California.

For context, Cato defines libertarianism, in part, as “the belief that each person has the right to live his life as he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others.” And while the data used to compile the score gives a good snapshot of life in the state, many of the metrics used are sure to be viewed differently from person to person.

For example, gun “rights” account for more than 3 percent of the total score — and while the study sees gun-control measures as a threat to liberty, many Californians view restrictions on firearm usage and access as a necessity. But the study’s guiding principal is based on how governmental policies and regulations affect an individual’s ability to make his or her own decisions.

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news:

  • “State officials will not force most California water districts to reduce water use this year, even as they caution that the five-year drought persists and note that drought-fueled wildfires continue to wreak havoc,” reports The Sacramento Bee.
  • “Felons serving time in county jails would be able to vote in California elections under a bill approved Tuesday by the state lawmakers and sent to the governor,” reports the Los Angeles Times
  • A Democratic assemblyman has an oil industry lobbyist ghostwriting audit requests, a practice his chief of staff says is common, reports the Los Angeles Times.
  • Some legislators are hoping a one-day hunger strike stunt will highlight the need to pass additional protections for farmworker overtime pay. The San Diego Union-Tribune has more. 


  • Next floor session Thursday. Agriculture Committee hearing today


Gov. Brown:

  • No public events announced. 

Tips: [email protected]

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Tags assigned to this article:
Cato InstituteJerry Brownlibertywateroil industry

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