However, it is not just people and investment that migrate from California to the other states — the bans do as well. In the mid-1990s, California was the first state to enact strict indoor workspace and bar and restaurant smoking bans, which are now the norm in many states. San Francisco’s plastic bag ban is another case in point. Vermont just implemented a strict indoor tanning prohibition for minors that is modeled after California’s, while at least 17 other states are considering similar measures this year.
It looks like the old saying “as California goes, so goes the nation” still holds true — so kick back and enjoy your caffeinated beer on your synthetic front lawn while you can, as more nanny-state bans will likely sprout up in your state soon.
Sandra Fabry is a freelance writer and public policy expert. Focusing on state and federal spending, accountability, and regulatory issues, she previously served as the executive director of the Center for Fiscal Accountability, which has recently been rebranded as the Cost of Government Center at Americans for Tax Reform.