“Why I left California” Commentary About “The Progressive Destruction of California” –Truth! & Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A commentary headlined “Why I Left California” about the progressive destruction of California lists detrimental bills and government policies approved by the California Legislature.
The “Why I Left California” commentary that began circulating in October of 2017 contains a mixture of truthful and fictional claims about the state’s policies on taxes, fees, environmental controls, criminal justice and more.
It’s not clear where the commentary originated, but it has circulate in forwarded emails and has appeared on discussion boards. Some versions refer to Republican California Senator Jeff Stone, but we couldn’t find any connection between Stone and the “Why I Left California” commentary.
Overall, most of the commentary’s claims are based on real state policies, proposals and laws. However, the commentary’s claims about tax increases, fee increases or other impacts of state policies are often exaggerated or incorrect. We’ll take a quick look at each claim.
SB-1 Increases Gas Taxes by 20 Cents, Vehicle Fees by $100-Truth! & Fiction!
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1 into law in April, which brings the first increase in the state’s excise tax on gasoline in more than a decade to support road and bridge repairs. But the measure raises the tax by 12 cents per gallon for gasoline and by 20 cents per gallon for diesel effective Nov. 1, 2017 — not by 20 cents, as the commentary claims.
And SB 1 includes additional registration fees for vehicles in California, but most motorists won’t see fees increase by $100 as the commentary claims. The Mercury News reports that owners of cars worth less than $5,000 will pay a $25 fee, owners of cars worth $5,000-$25,000 (40 percent of cars in the state) will pay a $50 fee, and owners of luxury cars will pay up to $175 in additional fees.
Cap N Tax Increases Gas Prices 63 Cents to 93 Cents Per Gallon-Truth! & Fiction!
This claim refers to Assembly Bill 398. The bill extended cap-and-trade policies that California lawmakers approved in 2006 to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
There’s widespread agreement that expenses from California’s cap-and-trade law are passed on to consumers; however, the Legislative Analysts Office estimated in 2016 that the cap-and-trade policy had changed the cost of gasoline by 11 cents per gallon and the cost of diesel by 13 cents per gallon.
It’s not clear what the commentary’s claims about raising gasoline prices from 63 cents to 93 cents came from, but it’s not on par with available cost estimates.
Proposed New Tax on Every Residence for Tap Water-Truth!
Senate Bill 623, which was introduced in February 2017, would establish a tax on drinking water (or tap water) for every residence and business in the state. The tax, expected to be levied at 95 cents per month, would generate $2 billion over 15 years to support remediation of groundwater contamination and to fix faulty water systems that compromise safe drinking water in the state.
$346 Billion Parks Bond for Parks in Disadvantaged Communities-Truth! & Fiction!
The California Legislature approved putting a $3.1 billion park bond on the ballot for November 2017. However, the commentary incorrectly states that the bond would total $346 billlion, and that it would only support disadvantaged communities. In reality, the bond would provide matching funds for communities across the state to undertake a backlog of maintenance projects; 20 percent of that amount would be dedicated to disadvantaged communities, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Law To Release Any “Lifer” From Prison, Including Murders, Rapists-Fiction!
In 2016, California voters approved a ballot measure known as Proposition 57 that aims to reduce the state’s prison population by 9,500 inmates over the next four years. The California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation responded by releasing proposed revisions for parole guidelines that enable non-violent offenders “that would not pose an unreasonable risk of violence to the community” and meet other requirements to apply to have their sentences reduced or to be transferred to supervision. Obviously, murders and rapists would not be classified as non-violent offenders, and wouldn’t be subject for early release.
New $10 Charge on All Residents Living in Mobile Homes-Mostly Fiction!
This one refers to Senate Bill 46. The bill doesn’t create a new $10 charge for all residents living in mobile homes — it would extend an existing charge of $4 per mobile home lot . The fee, which supports Department of Housing and Community Development inspections of mobile home parks, is already in place but was scheduled to sunset in 2019.
Reduce Purposeful Transmission of Aids from Felony to Misdemeanor-Truth!
The California Legislature approved a measure in September 2017 that would downgrade the charge not informing a sexual partner of an HIV or AIDS diagnosis from a felony to a misdemeanor. Knowledgeable transmission of other communicable diseases is also a misdemeanor in California.
Bill Requiring “True Sex” Omitted From Driver’s Licenses-Truth! & Fiction!
The California Legislature approved a bill that would create a “non binary” gender option for state driver’s licenses in September 2017. The claim that the bill requires the “true sex” of Californians to be omitted from driver’s licenses isn’t accurate.
Bill to Create Safe Injection Zones in California-Outdated!
A bill to create safe injection zones in California was introduced in the state legislature — but the safe injection zone bill was voted down in September 2017. The goal of the legislation was to reduce heroin overdose deaths by giving users access to a “safe” injection zone under medical supervision.