California bans non-essential state travel to five red states, increases total list to seventeen

AP Photo/Robin Rayne

California’s Democrat Attorney General Rob Bonta is making a list and checking it twice. The naughty state list is growing. Bonta added five more red states to his list of no-go states for California state employees. Florida tops the list of the latest states to make the banned list for non-essential travel.

Bonta also listed bans for non-essential state travel to Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia. All state employee travel is banned except under limited circumstances. Ssshh.. that means the ban is only for drama. Travel will be found to be necessary when it would otherwise be deemed unnecessary, that’s how these things work. There is always a way around virtue-signaling wokeness in government. The other off-limits states, if you are curious, are Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee. As you can see, most of the states are considered red states, though a few like North Carolina, Kansas, and Kentucky have Democrat governors.

In 2016, California lawmakers began this banning nonsense in order to send a message that they don’t approve of legislation passed in a state’s legislature. It must be a shock to Californians that many other states do not see the world as they do. These bans began over what California lawmakers call discriminatory laws against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Bonta justifies the decision – “Make no mistake: We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country — and the State of California is not going to support it.” Talk about hyperbole. That statement is absurd. Never have these groups of people been less discriminated against. Does he think this is the 1950s? In 2021, people are free to be, to paraphrase Marlo Thomas, and to blast states for passing legislation to protect women and girls is disingenuous. The rights of transgender women to compete in women’s sports events, for example, should not override the rights of biological women. Every transgender woman who is allowed to compete in a competitive event denies a spot in that competition to a biological woman. Transgender men win the events because they are biologically different than women. This is science. Aren’t we supposed to follow science?

So, what have these bad states done so wrong? They “demonize” trans youth. Transsexuals are having a moment in American culture.

The five states newly added to the list have introduced bills in their legislatures this year that prevent transgender women and girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity, block access to health care and allow the discrimination of the LGBTQ community, Bonta said.

Florida, Montana, Arkansas, and West Virginia passed laws that prevent transgender women and girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.

North Dakota signed into law a bill allowing certain publicly-funded student organizations to restrict LGBTQ students from joining without losing funding.

Arkansas passed the first law in the nation to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming healthcare to transgender minors — regardless of the wishes of parents or whether a physician deems such care to be medically necessary.

Bonta was born in 1972. According to my calculations, that makes him 49 years old. He’s old enough to know better if he has bothered to read a book or watch a documentary but maybe not. Maybe he’s too young to know better. Mostly, though, you can bet this is all about taking the opportunity to prove he’s a fighter and use it in his next campaign. Here’s the thing – do these bans even make a difference? Mostly, no.

As I noted, there’s always a way around such bans. Suddenly state travel that was once considered non-essential will be deems essential. Bonta points a finger at red-state legislatures and says they should be focusing on “real issues” like “tackling gun violence, beating back this pandemic, and rebuilding our economy.” I hate to break this to him but red states are outperforming blue states when it comes to rebuilding our economy. They are also tackling gun violence and the pandemic, just not in ways Bonta ideologically prefers.

The state law has exemptions for some trips, such as travel needed to enforce California law and to honor contracts signed before the states were added to the list. Travel to conferences or out-of-state training are examples of trips that can be blocked.

Unemployment is recovering the fastest in red states. Red states were the first to reopen and allow businesses to reopen, for people to get back to work.

To see which states’ unemployment rates are recovering the most, WalletHub conducted a study, comparing all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The study was based on five key metrics, comparing the unemployment rate from May of this year to both 2019 and 2020.

The top states are considered red states or have Republican governors who are signing into law these bills that Bonta finds offensive. WalletHub provides the numbers. The top ten are 1.Vermont, 2 Utah, 3. Nebraska, 4. South Dakota, 5. Idaho, 6. New Hampshire, 7. Alabama, 8. Kansas, 9. Montana, 10. Oklahoma. You have to go down to number 15 to find a Democrat governor – North Carolina.

So, good luck, California. As with other virtue-signaling moves by Democrats, Bonta’s announcement was long on drama and short on specifics. He provided no information about how many state agencies have stopped sending state employees to the states on the naughty list or on the financial impact on the banned states.