New year brings hundreds of new laws

It's true. Someday, everything is going to be illegal.

Take California, for instance. Californians will celebrate the new year by welcoming 876 new laws that need bureaucrats to monitor and enforce.

And we wonder why government grows?

Homeowners behind on their mortgage payments and negotiating with their banks to find a way to work things out won't have to worry about getting a surprise foreclosure notice.

Women will have expanded access to birth control, as registered nurses will be able to dispense contraceptives such as the pill.

Apartment dwellers concerned about the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning will be able to breathe easier.

Employers will not be allowed to require workers or job applicants to divulge their social media accounts or provide passwords to them.

Those are among the legal changes in California that will kick in Tuesday as a result of some of the 876 laws signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012. By historic standards it was a somewhat low number but was the most new laws put on the books in the state since 2006.

Just as an aside, are nurses able to judge drug interactions well enough to allow them to dispense contraceptives? It is amazing that there has been a political decision to allow nurses to do this. There is no medical advantage and, in fact, may prove to be tragic if a nurse mistakenly writes a prescription for the pill for a patient who, for whatever reason, shouldn't get it.

The proliferation of laws is making society more and more complex. Unable to deal with this complexity, ordinary Americans turn to lawyers, accountants, and other professionals to walk them through the minefield of rules and regulations to prevent them from accidentally violating some law. This is not a bug - it's a feature. And will be a part of American life until voters put their foot down and stop it.




It's true. Someday, everything is going to be illegal.

Take California, for instance. Californians will celebrate the new year by welcoming 876 new laws that need bureaucrats to monitor and enforce.

And we wonder why government grows?

Homeowners behind on their mortgage payments and negotiating with their banks to find a way to work things out won't have to worry about getting a surprise foreclosure notice.

Women will have expanded access to birth control, as registered nurses will be able to dispense contraceptives such as the pill.

Apartment dwellers concerned about the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning will be able to breathe easier.

Employers will not be allowed to require workers or job applicants to divulge their social media accounts or provide passwords to them.

Those are among the legal changes in California that will kick in Tuesday as a result of some of the 876 laws signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012. By historic standards it was a somewhat low number but was the most new laws put on the books in the state since 2006.

Just as an aside, are nurses able to judge drug interactions well enough to allow them to dispense contraceptives? It is amazing that there has been a political decision to allow nurses to do this. There is no medical advantage and, in fact, may prove to be tragic if a nurse mistakenly writes a prescription for the pill for a patient who, for whatever reason, shouldn't get it.

The proliferation of laws is making society more and more complex. Unable to deal with this complexity, ordinary Americans turn to lawyers, accountants, and other professionals to walk them through the minefield of rules and regulations to prevent them from accidentally violating some law. This is not a bug - it's a feature. And will be a part of American life until voters put their foot down and stop it.




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