The new budget isn't a particularly lovely sight, although it does allow a number of taxes to expire. But it is an accomplishment that the Legislature and governor are done this early in the summer. And in fairness, the budget package includes some good things, such as the passage of a law decommissioning the state's redevelopment agencies. But there is a bad side -- the Legislature is buzzing with activity, almost all of it bad. As the Sacramento Bee's columnist Dan Walters reported today, "So what will happen now? They, more than 1,000 lobbyists and the media will now pay attention to the hundreds of bills making their way through the Capitol, ranging from the important (health insurance rate regulation) to the pointless (banning prison inmates from tattooing themselves)." As my wife's schoolteacher/nun used to say, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop." Well, idle time in the Legislature is the workshop for the state's muscular unions and environmental interests." There's still a week before legislators take their usual one-month vacation. It could be a long few days.
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