Ever wonder who in the Legislature has passed the most bills, in that paper blizzard chamber of lawmaking?
Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, has gotten 108 of his bills signed into law, my colleague Taryn Luna wrote the other day. That’s a lot of law, all of which we need, I am sure.
Hill represents San Bruno, where the devastating PG&E gas pipeline explosion killed eight people. Much of his legislation relates to that horror show. Good on him.
But Hill has ventured far beyond San Bruno. You can barely turn (or click) the pages of the newspaper without seeing some story about a Hill bill.
An expert on marriage, having tied the knot four times, Hill proposed a bill that would make it illegal for people to get married if they were under 18. Like some marriages, it failed. Another bill would make sure people who aren’t entitled to use disabled parking placards would be more fully vetted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. That’s one I like.
The list of Hill’s bills and their subject matter, passed and unpassed, is (sorry) unsurpassed. Charter bus seat belts. Police surveillance technology. Law enforcement firearm oversight. Superbugs. Smoking pot while driving. The list is lengthy.
Hill will be termed out in 2020, so, at 70, the Lou Gehrig of the hopper can see his legislative clock running down. The question is, what’s left for Hill to legislate? Well, I offer this elegy on Hill’s prospective bills:
▪ “Making the Cable Guy Show Up Act.” Would require any cable guy to arrive within the actual four-hour window.
▪ “The Autonomous Driving While Stoned Act.” Bans autonomous vehicles from operating on cannabinoids while underway.
▪ “The Safe Sitting Act.” Prescribes strict guidelines for sitting quietly.
▪ “The No Middle Aged Man Left Behind Act.” Creates and funds a new entitlement for light complaining from sofa, angry outbursts about sporting team performances, light beer purity, and hair loss.
▪ “The Can You People Just Watch The Movie? Act.” Regulates movie theater behavior with regard to chatting during critical scenes, analysis of special effects, relative merits of one actor vs. another, and shifting in seat while eating Milk Duds.
▪ “The Right Tool Act.” Disallows the use of a Stillson wrench in place of a smaller monkey wrench, using a baseball bat to hammer in a picture frame nail, and wiggling your wrist trying to get a regular screwdriver head in a Phillips-head screw.
▪ “The Feline Mobile Device Use Act.” Tightens laws regarding online behavior of cats, access to apps such as “CatBoxMe,” “MeowTinder,” and “DisInterest.”
▪ “The Ex-Wife Comity Act.” Bans ex-wives from offering life advice, inquiring lightly as to the health of your current wife, and showing up at your doorstep at 2:34 a.m. under the influence of a “few chardonnays.”
▪ “The Legislative Cap on Bill Introduction Act.” Provides for restrictions on bill introduction on all subjects, and issues strict rules regarding subject matter, area of interest, and applicability.
That last one was a joke.
On the subject of his bill profligacy, Hill muses: “The first thing they tell you when you get here is don’t get married to your bills. I get married to every single one of them.”
Hey, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Hopeless romantic, I guess.