Friday, June 12, 2009

Filling the budget holes with blueberries

The state of California is in a state of perpetual budget deficits. But our great legislatures have far more pressing things as mentioned in this news article.

As California faces what one official this week called a complete meltdown of state government, some lawmakers have their minds on other matters.

Like creating a blueberry commission. Or standing up for pomegranate juice. And, in what passes for health reform in the nation's most populous state, ensuring that the name tags of medical workers are in 18-point font.

Those are among the hundreds of bills being debated in the California Legislature as the state faces a $24.3 billion deficit and the prospect of running out of cash by late July.


Among the more eyebrow-raising bills pending in the state Legislature are ones that would:

• Ensure that juice sold as "pomegranate" is 100 percent pomegranate.

• Instruct 9th and 10th graders about the value of organ donation.

• Ban toy cigarette lighters.

• Require day cares to serve only healthy food to children.


I am not against the blueberry farmers. They themselves are skeptical about this.

Even some blueberry growers were skeptical of a commission, whose duties would include marketing and promotion.

"My blueberries promote themselves," said Suzanne Hasenplug of Patrick's Mountain Grown Fresh Berry Farm in Camino.

She doesn't oppose such a commission, but said the state faces more serious issues.

Remember all this when you go to vote the next time. This may seem comic, but that's not why we vote for them. Watch "The Daily Show" for laughs. Expect more from the congress.

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