Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Legislature

If you'll permit me a brief rant: it's time here in Utah for our annual legislative session. Many of us hold our breaths and wait while the Democrats bury the most dangerous and restrictive of the proposed bills at the bottom of the pile so they'll never get voted on. Last year, we had a governor who was kind enough to veto one such bill, a bill that surely would have been overturned by a state court if the matter ever came up. Then, dear President Obama went and appointed him as the ambassador to China, and now we're left with someone who thinks we don't need anti-discrimination legislation, because "we should all simply do what's right".

One thing our legislature doesn't do is remove laws. A few years ago, one senator introduced a bill to finally take Utah's sodomy laws off the books, but that one never made it to a vote. As the Republicans pointed out, the Supreme Court already took care of that one. We wouldn't want people to get the wrong idea, anyway. Can you imagine a state where the activities of two consenting adults in the bedroom weren't the government's business? In fact, maybe we should all confess our various trysts in a public forum. Moreover, I think each legislator should install a webcam in their bedroom so we can make sure they're not engaging in any immoral activity with their spouse. Then again, when I think of watching two sixty-something Republicans go at it...okay, bad idea.

So, I wonder what we'll get this year? A tax on video games, perhaps. I know! No one under eighteen should be allowed to buy junk food at a convenience store. How about this one? Anyone not in church on Sunday gets hit with a $1000 fine. Maybe we should make it illegal to watch TV past eleven o'clock. Finally, if we get to it, we'll make it so that you can't renew your driver's license unless you have obtained a concealed-carry permit. If we're not required to own guns, the government might start infringing on our individual rights.

We can be certain, however, that there are a myriad of issues the legislature won't tackle. Irrelevancies like the rising cost of health care or the 58 homeless people who died on the streets of Salt Lake City last year. They won't discuss how to make the state safer from violent crime, or how to reduce the soaring number of traffic deaths that occur every year. Our police department will continue to function on a shoestring budget, and most of our education dollars will be sucked dry at the district offices.

And on that happy note, I encourage everyone to get involved. Call your congressperson. Vote. I'm certainly going to. After all, if we don't, can we really complain about the actions of those who do?

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