CORRECTION: This item erroneously reports that Assembly Bill 2032, now on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk, would raise about $2,700 in new fees for state work permits that allow minors to work in the entertainment industry. The correct estimate, according to a legislative bill analysis, is about $2.7 million. The Bee regrets the error.
The exact cost of processing a single bill through the California Legislature is unknown, but $20,000 would be a reasonably good guess - which brings us to Assembly Bill 2032.
Sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild and carried by Assemblyman Mike Davis, D-Los Angeles, AB 2032 would authorize the state labor commissioner to charge a $50 fee to process work permits for minors in the entertainment industry and, it's said, to underwrite enforcement of child labor laws in the industry.
The problem, however, is that the Legislature's official analysis of the bill says at most it would generate just $2,700 a year in revenue, more than half of which would be consumed by costs of collecting the fee and depositing it in a special account in the state treasury. Thus the general fund savings, the analysis says, would be $767 to $1,100 - yep, just a few hundred bucks.
If the bill's signed, therefore, it would take the state about 20 years to recoup the cost of processing it through the Legislature. Chances are it won't be signed, since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, himself an actor, already vetoed a nearly identical measure, saying, "Rather than creating a new fee and duties for the Department of Industrial Relations, it is important to administer this program in the most efficient manner by transferring this function to the schools."
AB 2032 is one of 20 bills that Flashreport.org, the state's most-read conservative political website, lists as most deserving of Schwarzenegger's rejection this month, a list compiled by two Republican legislators from Orange County, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore and Sen. Mimi Walters.
The two fashioned a similar list of 20 bills last year and Schwarzenegger vetoed 12 of them, but that earned him just a "D" grade from Flashreport.
This year's list can be found here.