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.
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.