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Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes helmet bill, criticizes 'nanny state'

September 7, 2011 | 10:12 am

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