Entries in legislation (2)


Gulf of America: Mississippi Bill Would Rename Gulf

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(JACKSON, Miss.) -- If a bill passes in Mississippi, maps and textbooks may need to be re-written.

Democrat state Rep. Steve Holland proposed a bill that would rename the Gulf of Mexico to the “Gulf of America.”

“For all official purposes within the state of Mississippi, the body of water that is located directly south...shall be known as the ‘Gulf of America’,” the bill states. The bill, if passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, would go into effect July 1.

Still, that may be a tall order. There is a Republican majority in all branches of government in Mississippi and Holland does not agree with Republican viewpoints on immigration.

“They are trying to really discriminate against immigrants, which offends me severely,” Holland told ABC News.  “I just thought if we’re gonna get into it, we might as well all get into it, it’s purely tongue and cheek.”

Holland said the bill, meant to mock other bills drilling down on immigration, is getting a lot of attention, which was the point in the first place. He does not expect it to go anywhere.

“It’s to bring the attention that things are going south with legislation in this country and not the kind of south I would like,” Holland said.

Not everyone thinks House Bill No. 150 is the most appropriate way to draw attention to the issue of immigration.

“I was just astonished that someone would propose a bill such as that,” Bob Quasius, President of Cafe Con Leche Republicans, told ABC News.  The group, self-described as dedicated to making America and GOP a friendly place for immigrants, released a letter asking Holland to withdraw the bill.

“Later we heard that he [Holland] was saying that it was just a piece of satire -- it’s not a good topic for satire and it never should have been introduced as a bill,” said Quasius.

Quasius does not believe the bill is drawing the right kind of attention and brings Holland’s credibility into question in as well as wasting taxpayer funds.  The group has not yet decided if they will take further action. They want to give Holland more time to withdraw the bill.

“We’re still asking for him to pull the bill, apologize and move on,” he said.  “The bottom line -- he submitted a bill that is unacceptable and an embarrassment.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Southern California Pushes for Secession

Digital Vision(LOS ANGELES) -- A new push to divide the Golden State in two could make Southern California the 51st state.

"Our state legislature that is supposed to be making laws and being respected, imposes laws that aren't even lawful," Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone told Los Angeles ABC station KABC-TV. "So I think our state is California gone wild."

Stone is proposing that 13 Southern California counties secede from the state, dividing California into a north and south region.

Stone's proposal came on Thursday just hours after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state's new budget legislation, passed by the Democratic majority, which will divert millions of dollars away from county and city agencies.

"Local jurisdiction, particularly those in Southern California, have been at the mercy of the state legislature for well over a decade," Stone's chief of staff, Verne Lauritzen, told ABC News. "The state has been unable and incompetent in producing a budget that is not only balanced but appropriate to local governments."

One of the elements of the budget that has particularly angered Stone is a trailer, SV89, which says that any city in the state incorporated after 2004 must forfeit funding from the vehicle licensing fee.

"This bill unfairly targets only four cities, all of which are in Riverside County," Lauritzen said. "All of them have been incorporated since 2004. One of them was just incorporated yesterday, Jurupa Valley. This bill creates a $6.2 million takeaway from that city, which has an approximate budget of $22 million. They'll have to forfeit nearly 30 percent of that. That is catastrophic."

The succession plan also calls for a shift of the balance of power to local governments.

This is not the first secession proposal California has seen. The first proposal came in the 1850s, then others in the 1940s, 1965 and 1992, when former Northern California legislator Stan Statham tried to split the state into not two, but three states.

The current secession proposal would include the counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial, San Diego, Orange, Kings, Kern, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa and Mono, and have a population of 13.07 million people. The remaining state of California would have 24.18 million.

Both the state legislature and Congress would have to sign off on any plan to split California in two.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio