Democracy Tree simply adores December — that magical month of bountiful legislative gifts and gaffs to write about. So much crazy, so little time. Today’s report leads with the ludicrous, but ends with one good piece of proposed legislation. We’ve got it all — from naughty nipples to the just plain nutty.
First, you should know, Michigan lawmakers were finally brought to their knees earlier this week.
Their WiFi was on the blink from 1:30 to 4:00 on Tuesday, preventing them from further eroding our civil rights — they couldn’t introduce legislation, vote, play Angry Birds or cyber Christmas shop for that perfect electronic gift.
On the short list of legislation introduced before the tech-crash, one bill stood-out — SB-701. It somehow seemed familiar…..(queue-up the dreamy flash-back harp music).
Democracy Tree reported last month on Sen. Patrick Colbeck’s (R-7) proposed legislation from June of this year. Senate Bill-423 would have required school districts to instruct students on the importance of our nation’s foundational documents, among which Colbeck inserted the Anti-Federalist Papers — those anonymously authored writings which argued against adopting a constitution in favor of absolute state sovereignty. The Anti-Federalist Papers are a big hit with the Tea Party — yes, they just love our Constitution and Old Glory so much, they want to make it mandatory for our kids to learn why they are really bad for us.
Nothing wrong with learning about the papers, not at all. But, to make them mandatory? The bill insists that a school “shall ensure that instruction” on the various documents occurs in their classrooms. It went on to encourage the development of a curriculum reflecting such, and facilitation of a display of the documents for students to see daily.
The Senate Fiscal Agency Bill Analysis found that Colbeck’s bill would:
Require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to ensure that the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) and the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) include questions related to the instruction required, and historical documents referred to, in the bill.
Yes. Apparently Senator Colbeck was told as much by his fellow lawmakers. He reintroduced a watered-down version of the legislation on Tuesday with SB-701, which still contained the Anti-Federalist Papers as a supposed foundational document, but made their teaching more of a friendly suggestion than a requirement. His original bill enjoyed 11 additional sponsors, but this week’s version has only 6.
Next up, on Wednesday we find a brilliant piece of lawmaking that addresses a problem that apparently must be critical to the functioning of government and our very existence.
Nothing to fear, you will be safe now.
Rep. Kevin Cotter (R-99) introduced HB-5176 which would prevent the Michigan Department of Health from investigating accusations of misconduct of healthcare professionals if the allegation is “based upon information obtained from viewing the broadcast of a reality program.”
Apparently in his estimation, it’s a huge problem in the state of Michigan. We were unaware of the rash of investigations based on reality shows, and are glad Cotter is on top of this. Imagine the consequences of leaving this crisis unaddressed.
Alcohol and Sex
Sen. Rick Jones (R-24) is simply scandalized by the mixing of hot girls and boozy men, and intends to save us all from their combined deleterious effects. He’s out to ban strip clubs that serve alcohol. With his proposed new law, SB-706, the senator will once and for all lay to rest the problem of the effect female nudity has on the drinking male. In his bill, taverns couldn’t even display sexually provocative material. Mind you, according to Rick’s law, nudie joints are just fine without booze, as are bars with no semi-clad girls, but the two must never mix. There are few things more pleasurable (other than booze and sex of course) than reading how the sphincter-clenching congressional writing team articulates this kind of legislation. (Oh goodie, lawyers writing about sex!) In their words:
(Queue-up some hot porn beats)
Pretty steamy stuff, eh?
We particularly appreciate the definition of “adult entertainment” being any exhibition that involves a person in a state of nudity. (Always suspected there was something seedy about that Michelangelo fellow.)
Congressman Jones would be well-advised to cancel his cable TV and avoid the beach altogether — they simply wouldn’t mix with a Bud Light. And for heaven’s sake, steer clear of museums –hotbeds of nudity they are. Danger and temptation lurks everywhere.
One Good Bill
With the support of 29 fellow lawmakers, Rep. Andy Schor (D-68) introduced HB-5164 – a bill to require third-party candidate ads that are broadcast within 60 days of an election be reported to the Secretary of State within 7 days of their initial airtime. The state then has 24 hours to publish the names, amounts and addresses of those paying for the ads.
Not nearly as sexy as the other bills, but campaign finance in Michigan truly is one hot mess.
The first three crazy bills have a better chance of passage than the common sense last one.
Amy Kerr Hardin