Complaints are plentiful about the repeated betrayals of traditional Republican principles being produced from Washington D.C.. The spending is out of control, it has become commonplace to ignore character flaws of all types, national health care in the form of Obamacare is still entrenched and threats of abridgment of rights, once anathema to Republicans, have become accepted and commonplace from the White House.
Due to all of the attention given to President Trump and the Republican Congress, it’s easy to forget that there are states where the same type of single-party control is in effect – with the other major party. One of those states is California, which has been enacting new laws this year.
Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law water usage restrictions. From the Mercury News:
Brown signed two bills, SB 606 by Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and AB 1668 by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), that require cities, water districts and large agricultural water districts to set strict annual water budgets, potentially facing fines of $1,000 per day if they don’t meet them, and $10,000 a day during drought emergencies.
According to WTVY:
In 2022, the new indoor water standard will be 55 gallons per person, per day. by 2030, it will fall to 50 gallons.
“With a child and every day having to wash clothes, that’s, just my opinion, not feasible. But I get it and I understand that we’re trying to preserve…but 55 gallons a day?” said Tanya Allen, who has a 4-year-old daughter.
An 8-minute shower uses about 17 gallons of water, a load of laundry up to 40, and a bathtub can hold 80 to 100 gallons of water.
The official answer is to build all new homes with water-restrictive devices, and retrofit older homes with them.
That would make the homes more expensive, which might affect the average city dweller in California. Currently, small condominiums and homes ranging from 770 to 1950 square feet (depending on the desirability of the neighborhood) will run $750K. (Curbed)
The water restrictions are not required to be equitable, however. As noted in the Mercury News:
The targets must be approved by the State Water Resources Control Board between now and then, and will vary by city and county.
So, with the correct paperwork approved, the wealthy and influential will be able to enjoy unrestricted water usage – possibly in exchange for a nominal fee – while poorer and less influential citizenry will be subjected to the limits.
Another recently enacted law creates new requirements for rooftops. From Bloomberg:
On Wednesday, the Golden State became the first in the U.S. to require solar panels on almost all new homes. Most new units built after Jan. 1, 2020, will be required to include solar systems as part of the standards adopted by the California Energy Commission. While that’s a boost for the solar industry, critics warned that it will also drive up the cost of buying a house by almost $10,000. Solar shares surged on the decision. Homebuilders fell.
These aren’t the only new laws… there are many more. But with these two alone, home prices – already amazingly high – will surge higher still. New inspectors and regulators will be required to ensure compliance, with fees and penalties available for those who are judged not to meet the standards.
The prominence of the Republicans on the national stage, and their repeated failures to produce on much beyond the most elementary of Republican promises (tax cuts, a successful military operation against a small army, diminished regulations) can, and should, lead to suspicion or even refutation of the party. But that in no way indicates that either the policies or the politicians of the Democrat party are any better.