Is California about to lose a House seat?
The upcoming census projections indicate that California’s population decrease could be significant enough to lose a Congressional seat for the first time in state history. It is expected that approximately 203,000 residents moved out of California since 2018. If the number is accurate, then expect to see California’s Congressional House seats decrease from 53 to 52. California would not be the only state to potentially lose a seat. Projections in population loss show that Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia may also lose seats. The states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas are set to gain seats.
California is losing a substantial number of residents with the majority moving to Texas. What could be the cause for this? Deciding factors could be a number of policies by California’s deep blue state government. California’s inner cities and suburbs are burdened with large amounts of homelessness and crimes. The average cost of building a new home in California is $303,496 according to “Home Advisor”. Energy costs have skyrocketed under new policies. All these factors convey that it is a hard state to work, live, and play in.
January 1, 2020 marks the beginning of California’s Assembly Bill 5. This new law targets the gig economy and independent contractors. Businesses will now have to decide to hire employees on as full-time or lay them off. Left leaning Vox Media’s sport website, SB Nation, laid off 200 writers due to this new law. As Forbes indicates, only unions and trial attorneys benefit from the law change. Uber has challenged the law in Courts with no movement. Forbes also states that this law may not affect the gig economy as it reflects what Massachusetts passed nearly a decade ago. The Massachusetts law had little effect on the gig economy according to economists.
California Assembly Bill 5 is really a referendum on whether the state views a contractor as an employee or an independent businessman. California has the highest cost of living, the nation’s highest poverty level, about half of America’s homeless, one of the worst court systems in the nation, and just recently recovered from a recession. That recovery was fueled by private-sector business and innovation such as Uber and Silicon Valley. This bill would handicap the industries that helped bring the state back to life. Now citizens relocating to Texas will potentially net Texas three new Congressional House seats. Hopefully the citizens relocating don’t vote for the same policies that forced them to uproot their lives to begin with.