The Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation is back!

552566043_3339b39c4f

The Florida Legislature is halfway through its annual session and, as the maxim goes, “no man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the (Florida) Legislature is in session.” (Thanks, Mark Twain!)

I would add “no man’s sanity is safe either.”

The main word this session is “deregulation.” From suspending impact fees to giving telephone and power companies carte blanche over our pocketbooks, Florida’s politicians are bending backwards to try and appease business interests in the hopes of turning around our desperate economic situation. At least that’s the party line; the real reason could be opportunism.

Luckily, several journalists are reporting on these important bills, including Howard Troxler for the St. Petersburg Times. WMNF’s Rob Lorei interviewed Troxler yesterday for his “Radioactivity” program and I highly recommend downloading the podcast (it’s not available yet, but keep looking). Even as reporters’ ranks dwindle, some good work is coming out of the state’s major papers on these topics.

But what I don’t hear a lot about are these little bills that may not affect all Floridians, but could make lives miserable for a certain few. These are bills filed by legislators who missed the boat on real reforms and instead throw out politically-charged manifestos intended to get them re-elected. Or in some cases, perhaps these politicians are just insane.

Last year, while working at Creative Loafing, I profiled a number of a bills that just defied logic. At the top of my list was the law banning Truck Nutz. In fact, I rated all the other pieces of ridiculous legislation with one to five “Truck Nutz.” The law requiring the right amount of TP in public restrooms earned two “Nutz,” while the saggy pants bill earned five.

This year’s list of bills does not look much better. So, I’m bringing back the “Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation.” There’s no Truck Nutz bill this session, so I’m going with another absurd proposed law: Rep. Darryl Rouson’s “bong tax.” I won’t go into the specifics here — I reported on this bill right before my lay-off — but basically Rep. Rouson wants to put a heavy tax on all the headshops in the state. So, every bill I outline here will be rated from one “bong hit” to five, with five representing the most stoned bills coming out this session.

For the next week, I’ll post a few outrageous bills each day. This is an important time for citizens; next week, many legislators will go home for Easter and put many of these bills on hold until they return. This is your chance to send letters and e-mails letting your representative and tell them you don’t appreciate their precious (and paid-for) time wasted on stupid legislation. Yes, laws like the bong tax might get us on the Daily Show, but they don’t solve our state’s problems.

(Photo courtesy of whizchickenonabun/Flickr)

13 thoughts on “The Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation is back!

  1. Pingback: re/creating tampa - Sunday Roundup

  2. Truck Nutz! And to think I’ve only called them Bumper Nutz up until this point. My vocabulary is expanding!

    Do you know if you can get Bumper Lips anywhere?

    Blog assignment, Pickett: You should purchase a set of Truck Nutz, drive around St. Pete/Tampa with them boys flappin’ and write about the looks you get from females drivers. Or male drivers for that matter.

  3. Pingback: Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation: Illegal alien or undocumented worker? Dictionary be damned, a Florida Senator decides « Will Report for Food: Tales of an unemployed journalist

  4. Pingback: Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation: The return of the saggy pants bill « Will Report for Food: Tales of an unemployed journalist

  5. Heidi, OK. I guess I could become the scourge of women and male drivers with my own set of bumper nuts. (And bumper nutz is commonly used too, so you’re right on.) I wonder if they would drag on the ground of my Corolla…

  6. Pingback: Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation: Florida lawmakers want to ban novelty lighters « Will Report for Food: Tales of an unemployed journalist

  7. Pingback: Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation: Denying financial aid to visa-carrying students « Will Report for Food: Tales of an unemployed journalist

  8. Pingback: Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation: Lawmakers want the sun out of the sunshine laws « Will Report for Food: Tales of an unemployed journalist

  9. Pingback: Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation: Law would give campus police more power to arrest off-campus « Will Report for Food: Tales of an unemployed journalist

  10. I’d Like to hang an exact copy of my very large cock off the back of my car. Is that ok ???

  11. Pingback: Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation: Florida Gov. Rick Scott rejects high speed rail funding «

  12. Pingback: Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation is back for 2011! «

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s