Saturday, January 31, 2009

Legislative Breakfast

I'm off to moderate a session at our annual legislative breakfast, where we annually rant at our state legislators about unfunded mandates and the governor's budget. It's a little awkward for me this year, because although I find our legislators' pet unfunded mandates particularly egregious this year, I'm quite sure the money isn't there to recoup much of anything from the governor's budget without impacting roads, hospitals, zoos, etc.


Steve Adams said...

Not sure what's bad about the legislation you linked to. Living Wage concerns, and all. At the least it doesn't seem 'egregious'.

KAZ said...

It's egregious because it's another one of those mandates that wasn't thought through, that sounds on its face like a good idea but that opens endless doors to horrible effects. We have many 10-month (and a few 11-month) employees at the schools, including all the teachers. Many choose to work that schedule because of their own needs--children home all summer, agricultural work, etc. Many others do useful work in the summers--for example, our bus drivers often drive for camps, which desperately need drivers. If you suddenly offer unemployment insurance over the course of what used to be considered summer vacation time, which this law opens us up to, then not only is it a very large burden financially for the schools (we're already paying unemployment for some substitute teachers, and don't get me started on what a bad idea THAT is), but it provides a disincentive for anyone to work over the summer. And although they may think they're just talking about cafeteria workers and bus drivers, this opens the door to teachers demanding equity--and why shouldn't they. The cost will be enormous. We're already talking about a loss statewide of 16-25,000teaching jobs.

I did manage to get our Assemblywoman to agree that there's no way such a thing could or should pass this year.