One of the great things about Nevada is that we only allow our elected state legislators to convene once every two years, and only for 120 days. By minimizing the time these folks are allowed to “help” us in Carson City, we minimize the amount of damage they can do.
Yet despite such a relatively short window of opportunity for legislative mayhem; and despite the myriad problems — serious problems — facing our state, some of these people still find ways to waste everyone’s time and insult our intelligence with ridiculous bills often designed to empower government, weaken civil liberties and absolve citizens of the responsibility to take care of themselves.
As such, here are some early entries for my first “Stuck on Stupid Awards,” extended to the dumbest, most offensive or trivial legislation introduced in the 2013 session of the Nevada Legislature. And the nominees are…
• Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, who took time out of his busy schedule trying to sock Nevadans with $1.4 billion worth of higher taxes to introduce a bill to establish an official … state dog.
• Assemblyman Harvey Munford for his bill to slap a “fat tax” on Big Macs and other “junk food.” Apparently only government intervention can save people from eating food the government decides is unhealthy for you. By that logic, though, shouldn’t salads be completely tax free?
• Sen. Joe Hardy, who introduced a bill to fine parents $10 if their kids are caught skateboarding in the driveway without wearing a government-approved safety helmet. Hardy said the bill would help parents by allowing them to threaten their kids with the ol’ “it’s the law” routine.
Really? If the purpose is to help parents exert parental authority, then why fine the parents instead of the kids?
• Assemblyman Harvey Munford (a double nominee!) for his bill making it illegal to cross a street while texting on your smart phone. Sure, it’s a dumb idea to try to cross a busy intersection while texting, but it’s an even dumber idea to think this is something government law enforcement authorities have time to worry about.
• Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, who introduced a heavy-handed bill authorizing the government to force privately-owned restaurants to go through the expense of figuring out exactly how many calories are in each menu item and publishing that information on all menus and menu boards.
Apparently without this information a diner is unable to determine that the Mac-and-Cheese entrée might be more fattening than a Caesar’s salad.
Nominations still are open. All “Stuck on Stupid Award” nominees will receive a certificate, suitable for framing, bearing this quote from Ronald Reagan: “I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves. That’s one of our sacred rights — to be stupid.”