Group grope. A bill that would redefine the term "parent" is edging closer to becoming law in California. SB 1476 would allow any number of adults to share legal custody of a child. The bill has already passed the Senate and at least one committee in the General Assembly. According to the text, "This bill would, in the case of a child with more than two legal parents, require the court to allocate custody and visitation among the parents based on the best interest of the child, including stability for the child." The bill's author is San Francisco Democrat Mark Leno, who is-no surprise here-openly homosexual. He said the bill would help children with "unconventional family arrangements," such as gay parents, as well as sperm donors and surrogate mothers. The California Family Policy Council and Focus on the Family-again, no surprise here-oppose this bill.
Pulling the plug on Planned Parenthood. North Carolina approved a new budget on Tuesday that will send the $434,000 that formerly went to Planned Parenthood to county health departments. Lame duck Gov. Beverly Perdue, a Democrat, vetoed the budget, but the Republican-controlled legislature (since the 2010 election) overrode it. North Carolina is now at least the eighth state to divert a combined $61.7 million in family-planning funds from Planned Parenthood. This year, Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire joined North Carolina, according to the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA). "Planned Parenthood is an abortion-centered, profit-driven business, not the caring health provider for women and girls they purport to be," said SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser. "They neither need nor deserve taxpayer dollars. This budget adjustment does not cut a dime of family planning funding. It does protect the consciences of pro-life taxpayers by sending funds to county health departments."
Really? A study released Tuesday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that kids between the ages of 12 and 17 are most likely to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana for the first time during the summer months. The study, titled "Monthly Variation in Substance Use Initiation Among Adolescents," was based on SAMHSA's research involving 231,500 teens from 2002 to 2010. It showed that more than 11,000 of them tried alcohol for the first time in the months of June, July, or December. In other months, the number ranged from 5,000 to 8,000. More kids try cigarettes and marijuana in the summer months, too. The reason for the increase? "More free time and less adult supervision," said SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde. I hate to be dismissive of such a study. Perhaps it yielded more and less obvious data. But my first reaction is: Really? Ya think? These findings should be obvious to anyone who has ever heard the expression, "Idle hands are the devil's playthings." Or, if you prefer your wisdom directly from Scripture: "Idle hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring riches. The son who gathers during summer is prudent." (Proverbs 10:4-5) I don't know how much this study cost the taxpayers, but I think we overpaid.
Hoosier turnaround. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Tuesday that a "preliminary look at fiscal data shows that Indiana will close the 2012 Fiscal Year with reserves of more than $2 billion and a structural surplus, meaning annual revenue in excess of annual expenses, of more than $500 million." What's particularly impressive is that Daniels accomplished this financial feat when other states-liberal California, to name an obvious example-are struggling to meet their basic obligations to taxpayers. Since Daniels became governor, Indiana has repaid more than $750 million of debt previously owed to schools, universities, and local governments. Daniels, the subject of a WORLD profile last year when he was considering a presidential run, has been on many people's short list for vice president. But he recently committed to becoming the next president of Purdue University once his term as governor ends in January, and so far there's been little indication that he's on Mitt Romney's list, which is the list that counts.