Some of the bills being churned out of the incoming 2018 assembly are boring. In fact, most are boring. Mind-numbingly boring. That’s good sometimes. My financial advisor is boring. My retirement fund appreciates at a healthy rate and I don’t lose all my savings in Bitcoin or KittenMittens.
So now that my ‘Ode to Boring’ is finished, let’s review some interesting bills that either break the mold, break your brain cells or break the internet.. perhaps a combination of the three!
SB 115 – Mamie Locke (D) , or the “restaurant killer” bill as I call it not only wants to increase your taxes, but also takes your voice out of the whole equation (see below). This bill needs to be 86’d in my humble opinion.
County food and beverage tax. Increases from four percent to eight percent the maximum tax that any county is authorized to impose on food and beverages sold by a restaurant, commonly referred to as the meals tax. The bill also removes the requirement that a county hold a referendum before imposing a meals tax.
SB220 and 221 from Dick Saslaw (D) seek to raise the threshold of Grand Larceny from $200 to $500. This is long overdue, $200 will barely get you a ticket to a Football game anymore, its shouldn’t be a life-destroying felony. I support this measure.
Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $200 to $500 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.
HB 31 from Michael Webbert (R) wants to decriminalize swearing. Wait, WTF – that’s a crime? Bravo, sir.
Profane swearing in public. Eliminates the crime of profanely swearing or cursing in public, which is currently punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.
HB 207 – Mike Mullin (D) wants to fine you morning commuters for not completing the winter drudgery of scraping their windshields to the state’s satisfaction.
Provides that it is a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of $100 for a person to operate a moving motor vehicle with any amount of accumulated snow or ice on its exposed surfaces where, were the snow or ice to become dislodged from such vehicle, such accumulated snow or ice could interfere with the operation of another motor vehicle or cause injury to persons or property.
SB 163 – Chap Peterson (D) is California Dreamin’ his plastic bag tax will help save the bay and ensure we have to use a burlap sack to stash Fido’s dog dookie on his next walk. Next..
Plastic bag tax in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Imposes a five-cent per bag tax on plastic bags provided to customers by certain retailers in localities located wholly within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and directs revenues to be used to support the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan.
HB 177 – Dickie Bell (R) wants to prohibit you, as if Peterson’s bill outlawing plastic bags wasn’t onerous enough, from taking rides with Fido! This law is ripe for misinterpretation and a waste of the courts time.
The bill prohibits any person, while operating a moving motor vehicle, to (i) have an animal on his lap, (ii) permit an animal to impede his free access to and use of vehicle controls, or (iii) obstruct his vision.
HB 25 – Jennifer Boysko (D) wants to make tampons and other menstrual products tax free! Well, God bless her. I’m not touching this with a 10-foot pole.
HB 102 – Chris Head (R) Offers further commons sense for the 21st century, amid growing precedent to remove archaic barriers to alcohol sales. If government knew how to run a business, well, they wouldn’t be in government.
Alcoholic beverage control; gourmet shop licensees. Eliminates the requirement that gourmet shop licensees maintain each year an average monthly inventory and sales volume of at least $1,000 in products such as cheeses and gourmet food.
And of course there is your garden variety attempts to take away your guns (HB 198 -SB 155), incentivize illegal immigration (HB 11, 12) and increase your chances of getting pulled over (HB 27). Remember your Mark Twain, ladies and gentlemen:
“Nobody’s life, liberty nor pursuit of happiness is safe while the legislature is in session.”