Over the last two years, the State Legislature has introduced and considered over 5,000 bills, resolutions, and constitutional amendments. Over the last few months, I’ve taken a cursory look at some of these, nominating the best and worst bills under consideration.

Today, I announced the winners in each category.


To recap, the nominees are SB 1248AB 650AB 1755, and  Budget Trailer Bill 707.  

To determine the winner, I had to asked myself, “what is California’s most pressing problem?” To determine this, I went back to Maslow’s hierarchy of need. The most fundamental need are the physiological – food, water, air, and shelter. California’s housing affordability problem is beginning to reach crisis levels (if it hasn’t already).  For instance, in the Bay Area, households with two advanced degree-holders making six-figures are having difficulty renting, let alone purchasing a home. While California’s low-income households are hardest hit by this challenge, this isn’t just a low-income problem anymore; its a middle-class problem and even an upper-middle class problem. And the only long-term solution to this crisis is to build more housing. California for the past few decades has systemically and artificially restricted housing development. While SB 1248 would have helped with this issue by creating more transparency in CEQA lawsuits, hopefully ending some CEQA abuse, Budget Trailer Bill 707, while not perfect, would have streamlined the arcane local development permitting process. Would it have made a huge dent in the housing supply-demand mismatch? Probably not. But it would have been a huge symbolic victory in acknowledging that localities have been malfeasant in their housing duties. It is a shame Governor Brown and the State Legislature didn’t stand up to Big Environment and Big Labor to pass this by-right reform. It would have helped many throughout the state.


To recap, the nominees are AB 1727SB 693SCA 14, and SB 32/AB 197.

This one was a difficult choice. AB 1727 and SB 693 are blatant give-aways to Big Labor – who control the Democratic caucuses in Sacramento – attempting to fix problems that don’t exist, which would have created their own problems that required fixing.  SCA 14 was a blatant attempt by the party in power to prevent needed transparency over how the Legislature operates.  And SB 32/AB 197 double-down on policies already in place that haven’t shown signs of actually working yet and empower an unaccountable bureaucracy with wide-reaching authority.  In a way, each of these bills represent a portion of what is wrong with Sacramento. The Capitol Dome, under one-party rule, has become controlled by dominant special interests, critical of transparency, and blinded by ideology regardless of policy outcomes. It’s no wonder that Californians consistently hold both the entire Legislature and their state representatives in low regard. Thus, I am unable to choose just one from these nominees as they are all non-pragmatic policies symbolizing the worst of our state government.