Democrats got very upset about President Trump’s travel ban, which in fact only applied to a handful of countries where terrorism is rampant. It seems like it’s not the actual idea of travel bans they hate, though — they just don’t like using them against potential extremists. When it comes to using them against US states whose policies they disagree with, though, California Democrats like travel bans just fine. Feel like going to Iowa? Well, California’s state government isn’t going to help you with that.
Since 2016, California has been quietly building a list of states that don’t share Sacramento’s opinions on gay rights — and banning any publicly funded travel to them. Iowa is the latest victim of this policy.
- California’s travel ban is authorized under Assembly Bill 1887, which was passed by Sacramento as a backlash against religious freedom laws in other states. Officially it’s to withhold California tax money from states that operate religious freedom laws, and “keep public employees out of situations where they may feel uncomfortable.”
- The actual effect of it is to ban any taxpayer-funded travel for public employees or state university students to states on the list. There are very limited exceptions for law enforcement or tax enforcement, but if any other California state employee needs to travel to a banned state on business, they have to pay for it themselves.
- College sports teams have had to resort to crowdfunding and other privately raised revenue to make pre-arranged matches in states Sacramento disapproves of. Technically, schools are forbidden from taking part in events in these states, but they’ve been creative at working around the ban.
- Ten states were already on California’s ban list, including Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Mississippi and Kentucky. Iowa will be formally added to the list on October 4, and no public funding will be authorized for travel after that.
- Iowa’s “offense” was to refuse Medicaid funding for sex-change operations. Back in March, the state’s supreme court ruled that taxpayers’ money could be used to pay for gender reassignment surgery through Medicaid.
- However, in May, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a law that overturned the court ruling and reinstated Iowa’s long-standing ban on public funding of sex changes. California didn’t seem to notice that ban between 2016 and this March, but it certainly has now.
What do you think of California’s “ban” on several states due to their political differences? Let us know in the comments.
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