Every fall, regardless of budget crisis, the state of California passes literally hundreds of asinine laws. Every Jan. 1, these laws go into effect. I made a list a few months back, but I missed some beauts that the L.A. Timesflagged on New Year's Day:
Air safety: Allows airports to kill birds that pose a danger to aircraft without violating state fish and game laws.
Blueberries: Creates a California Blueberry Commission, to be funded by an industry fee of up to $0.025 per pound of berries sold.
Fat in food: Requires restaurants to use oils, margarine and shortening with less than half a gram of trans fat per serving of regular foods. The standard will apply to deep-fried bakery goods next year. Trans fat has been linked to heart disease.
Hanging nooses: Makes it a misdemeanor to hang a noose, "knowing it to be a symbol representing a threat to life," in order to terrorize a person who lives, works or attends school at the property where the noose is hung. The law is in response to a series of incidents at California colleges.
Liquor ads: Waives rules prohibiting indoor alcohol advertisements in one club that sells the featured products: Club Nokia, a downtown Los Angeles venue owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz.
Mortgage crimes: Creates a new offense, "mortgage fraud," punishable by up to a year in prison. Such crimes are defined as those in which someone makes "any misstatement, misrepresentation or omission during the mortgage lending process with the intention that it be relied on by a mortgage lender, borrower, or any other party to the mortgage lending process."
Talent agents: Prohibits talent representatives from charging advance fees.
Snake food: Requires pet stores to use specific, "humane" methods for killing rodents before they are used as food for another animal.