Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes helmet bill, criticizes ‘nanny state’

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Gov. Jerry Brown struck a blow against what some have called the ‘nanny state’ on Wednesday, vetoing legislation that would have made it a crime for kids to ski without wearing a helmet.

Brown objected that the bill could ‘impose criminal penalties on a child’ or their parents for a decision that he believes should be left to mothers and fathers.

‘While I appreciate the value of wearing a ski helmet, I am concerned about the continuing and seemingly inexorable transfer of authority from parents to the state,’ Brown wrote in his veto message. ‘Not every human problem deserves a law. I believe parents have the ability and responsibility to make good choices for their children.’

Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) carried SB 105 based on arguments that helmets can significantly reduce serious head injuries and deaths by skiers and snowboarders.


-- Patrick McGreevy