Wednesday, August 31, 2011

California Puts the "Nanny" in Nanny Statism (Edited)

In case you thought the California Legislature was serious about focusing on the state's jobs crisis and refraining from trying to micromanage its economy via regulations, you'll be glad to know that they've passed a new rule for the manufacture of baby bottles and sippy-cups. According to the Sacramento Bee, it's now illegal to produce, sell, or distribute beverage containers for young children that contain the chemical bisphenol A, also known as BPA. Unfortunately, BPA is pretty much omnipresent in manufacturing, and AB 1319 sets a very low threshold. So, a likely result of the rule will be to expose factories not intentionally using the chemical to litigation.

Even worse, however, is AB 889, the so-called "Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights," a proposal that essentially flips the original Bill of Rights on its head by declaring the state's right to intrude even more deeply into the private sphere. Over at Reason, Matt Welch scratches his head over many of the new "rights" the bill gives nannies and babysitters. For any non-family babysitter over 18, these include minimum-wage payment, a substitute caregiver every two hours to allow breaks for the babysitter, worker's compensation coverage, overtime, a timecard, and an actual paycheck. Nannies would also be provided a detailed timecard and paycheck. The bill, from San Francisco Democrat Tom Ammiano, illustrates that brain-dead economic ignorance remains ubiquitous in California's Assembly. While Republicans are likely to support the bill, since it would further criminalize the hiring of illegal immigrants as nannies, it would drive much legitimate home care into the state's growing underground economy, and force cash-strapped Californians to pay more for day care and institutional care of elderly family members. Also, we don't want to know how Ammiano plans on enforcing this.

(UPDATE: An Anonymous commenter correct us: the bill was authored by Democrat Tom Ammiano, not Republican Doug LaMalfa. Our apologies.)


  1. AnonymousSep 1, 2011 11:01 AM
    I actually think you are missing something- LaMalfa opposes the Nany bill and was brining it to public attention. Also the "help our state act" is designed tp prevent confiscation of money by taxes...
  2. GSLSep 1, 2011 11:10 AM
    @Anonymous: Thanks for the correction. The perils of blogging too quickly.