SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Consider it yet another victim of California's ongoing fiscal mess: The state Senate has indefinitely postponed action on a do-gooder resolution that would encourage Californians to give up swearing temporarily.
The resolution, which establishes an annual statewide "Cuss Free Week," passed the Assembly on Thursday. If the Senate had approved it, the measure would have taken effect this week.
Instead, the resolution is awaiting assignment by the Senate Rules Committee as lawmakers grapple with the state's $20 billion budget deficit.
"We have some pressing fiscal concerns to address," said Kathryn Dresslar, chief of staff to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. "There's absolutely nothing personal about this."
Some of the bill's chief supporters aren't so sure.
"This is basically saying to people, especially kids, 'We don't care what you do,"' said South Pasadena resident Brent Hatch, whose 16-year-old son McKay inspired the bill through his international campaign against profanity.
McKay Hatch started a No Cussing Club at his junior high school in 2007, and similar clubs have since cropped up in every state and 20 countries. Hatch said he sees a link between foul-mouthed incivility and other forms of problem behavior, such as drug use and bullying.
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, a Democrat from La Canada Flintridge and co-author of the Cuss Free Week bill, said that with or without Senate approval, the attention the measure has already received has advanced Hatch's cause.
"This is a ceremonial resolution, and the spirit of it, I think, has taken hold," he said Tuesday.
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