Business owners and others who have long complained that companies are overburdened by state regulations say a proposal now moving through the Legislature shows that lawmakers have lost all touch with reality: It would require that hotels use fitted sheets.
“We are now going to make it a crime in California not to use a fitted sheet? Really?” state Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, asked during a debate before the Senate passed the measure in June.
The bill, one of nearly 900 awaiting action in the Legislature when it returned Monday from a monthlong recess, is intended to address back injuries sustained by hotel housekeep ers. But it has revived a long-simmering debate over whether California has become a hyper-regulated “nanny state.”
Another proposal pending in the Legislature would require hospitals to provide patient-lifting equipment or teams of backup workers to help nurses avoid wrenching their backs when they lift or move patients.
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In 2007, the Legislature was subject to national ridicule when it considered a bill to outlaw spanking of young children. Embarrassed lawmakers eventually shelved that proposal, but businesses have decried the Legislature’s subsequent ban on trans fats in restaurant cooking and a requirement that calorie counts appear on menus.