Go Get ‘Em, George! Too Many Laws

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Bravo to Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton for his article yesterday excoriating frivolous and dumb laws that waste lawmakers’ time and public money. Too many laws is an issue I’ve returned to time and again on this page, even praising former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer because she did not author many laws.

With Carly Fiorina running against Boxer in 2010, criticizing the incumbent for only authoring five measures that became law, I came to the senator’s defense in a post. Declaring that I was not a Boxer supporter, I wrote, “I don’t object, as Carly Fiorina does, that Boxer has authored only five measures that became law in her time in the U. S. Senate. We have too many laws already.”

I pointed out in that article that in a recent two-year session in Sacramento, 4,865 bills were introduced in the California legislature and 1500 became law.

Returning to the subject in January 2015, I pleaded with legislators coming back to Sacramento to cut back on the lawmaking. “Here’s a New Year’s resolution for legislators returning to Sacramento from the holiday break: make fewer laws and get rid of some of the old ones. Eager legislators have plenty of ideas how to “fix” problems. Therefore, many pieces of legislation are introduced. A great number will become law. California saw about 950 new laws on the books on January 1. Last year there were about 800 new laws and the year before hundreds more — you get the idea. Over a decade the state adds thousands and thousands of new laws.”

And once again in 2017 I made the argument that perhaps the problem is that we call solons “lawmakers” so they decide that’s what they have to do. Each session the law books get fatter and fatter and no one can know all the laws in those books.

Time to cut back on the lawmaking. The California Chamber of Commerce has some suggestions on bills to kill that would hurt the economy in their updated, annual job killers list. That’s a good place to start.

And Mr. Skelton had many good ideas in his column, too. Go get ‘em, George!

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