One California senator wants to remove the state’s prohibition on using taxpayer dollars to visit other states that have laws they feel are discriminatory. Since 2016, the state of California has been steadily expanding its list of prohibited U.S. travel locations.
This started after North Carolina passed legislation mandating that people use the toilets corresponding to their biological s*x. Toni Atkins, a state senator, is working to remove the ban on the grounds that the onerous requirements should be replaced with a publicity push emphasizing diversity and acceptance.
The San Diego State men’s basketball team, for example, is prohibited from using any team funds to travel to Texas for the Final Four. As far as San Diego State is aware, the NCAA is covering the costs.
“I think polarization is not working,” said Atkins. “We need to adjust our strategy. We know what we need to do, but we need to be able to be there to do it.”
There are now 23 states where Californians are not allowed to travel on the government’s dime. Outside of politics, the ban has generated significant problems, such as for public university sports teams who cannot use state finances for numerous away games.
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Repealing the restriction, however, is opposed by many California authorities who believe it would be tacit support of discriminatory policies. “We can’t back down, especially as a record amount of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is being introduced,” said Assemblymember Evan Low.
For the time being, residents of the Golden State are forbidden from visiting the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.
“When you disagree with someone, you should try to open their eyes to change hearts and minds, not pretend they don’t exist,” said Assemblymember Greg Wallis, a Republican. “I’m glad California is coming around to that approach.”
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