August 24, 2006, Sacramento, California.
Introduced by Assembly Members Richman and Canciamilla
Coauthors: Assembly Members Aghazarian, Bass, Benoit, Berg, Bermudez, Blakeslee, Bogh, Calderon, Chan, Chavez, Cogdill, Cohn, Coto, Daucher, DeVore, Emmerson, Frommer, Garcia, Goldberg, Haynes, Jerome Horton, Shirley Horton, Houston, Huff, Karnette, Keene, Koretz, La Malfa, Laird, Leno, Lieber, Liu, Matthews, Maze, Mountjoy, Mullin, Nakanishi, Nation, Negrete McLeod, Niello, Parra, Plescia, Ridley-Thomas, Sharon Runner, Ruskin, Salinas, Strickland, Tran, Walters, Wolk, Wyland, and Yee.
August 24, 2006
Relative to Pluto's planetary status.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
WHEREAS, Recent astronomical discoveries, including Pluto's oblong orbit and the sighting of a slightly larger Kuiper Belt object, have led astronomers to question the planetary status of Pluto; and
WHEREAS, The mean-spirited International Astronomical Union decided on August 24, 2006, to disrespect Pluto by stripping Pluto of its planetary status and reclassifying it as a lowly dwarf planet; and
WHEREAS, Pluto was discovered in 1930 by an American, Clyde Tombaugh, at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, and this discovery resulted in millions of Californians being taught that Pluto was the ninth planet in the solar system; and
WHEREAS, Pluto, named after the Roman God of the underworld and affectionately sharing the name of California's most famous animated dog, has a special connection to California history and culture; and
WHEREAS, Downgrading Pluto's status will cause psychological harm to some Californians who question their place in the universe and worry about the instability of universal constants; and
WHEREAS, The deletion of Pluto as a planet renders millions of text books, museum displays, and children's refrigerator art projects obsolete, and represents a substantial unfunded mandate that must be paid by dwindling Proposition 98 education funds, thereby harming California's children and widening its budget deficits; and
WHEREAS, The deletion of Pluto as a planet is a hasty, ill-considered scientific heresy similar to questioning the Copernican theory, drawing maps of a round world, and proving the existence of the time and space continuum; and
WHEREAS, The downgrading of Pluto reduces the number of planets available for legislative leaders to hide redistricting legislation and other inconvenient political reform measures; and
WHEREAS, The California Legislature, in the closing days of the 2005-06 session, has been considering few matters important to the future of California, and the status of Pluto takes precedence and is worthy of this body's immediate attention; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly hereby condemns the International Astronomical Union's decision to strip Pluto of its planetary status for its tremendous impact on the people of California and the state's long term fiscal health; and be it further
Resolved, That the Assembly Clerk shall send a copy of the resolution to the International Astronomical Union and to any Californian who, believing that his or her legislator is addressing the problems that threaten the future of the Golden State, requests a copy of the resolution.