Will Our Legislature Ever Do Some Real Work?

Every year, I hold on to a small glimmer of hope that our state legislature will actually do some meaningful work. Surely they’ll spend their time in Pierre drafting, debating, and passing important legislation that will enrich the lives of everybody who lives in this state.
As you might expect, every year I’m inevitably let down. Our governor lays down the law on what he wants, and it passes quickly with flying colors. The rest of the time is spent debating meaningless garbage such as the state’s official food/bird/whatever.
Still, I had some hope for this year. Surely this would be the year that our representatives would finally give some serious thought to issues such as school funding, water, and the controversial pipeline and oil refinery that may be built in the near future.
None of those issues have yet to be discussed in Pierre. Guess what is the topic that has so far been given the biggest priority? A code of ethics for lawmakers. Come on, this is almost comical.
Yes, we had a couple of controversial incidents last year. An oath of ethics would not have prevented either situation. Does anybody really believe that Ted Klaudt would have refrained from messing with those young women if this law had been passed?
Another wonderful bill would require all high school students to send at least one application letter to a “postsecondary educational institution”. Obviously, extending a student’s education is certainly recommended, but forcing students to apply? Come on, that’s ridiculous.
Even dumber is a new bill that Pat Powers’ Dakota War College blog calls “the absolute stupidest and most meaningless legislation of all time.” Senator Tom Katus has introduced Senate Bill 90, “an act to provide for voluntary limitations on campaign spending for legislative office.” A voluntary law?
The worst bill I’ve seen so far this year, though, comes from Sioux Falls’ very own Sandy Jerstad. This should be no surprise, as last year she was the voice behind the failed attempt to raise the car seat age to eight.
You may also recall that last year she was the person that was the most upset when Olivia’s opened a few miles west of Tea. I guess it should be no surprise that she would introduce a bill to regulate “naughty” retailers. Under her plan, any retailer selling anything that is vaguely classified as obscene will have to be licensed, and cannot be within 1000 feet of schools, playgrounds, parks, or pools, and cannot be within 250 feet of any street, and also cannot be open between midnight and 8 a.m., or on Sunday.
Quoting once again from Dakota War College, “Because of how her law is written, Jerstad wants to require licensure and all the setback limitations on Wal-mart (naughty underwear, movies, personal lubricants) , many drug stores (personal lubricants, magazines, etcetera.), video stores (racy movies, duh), convenience stores (Movies, magazines), Victoria’s Secret (naughty, naughty underwear), most bookstores (books), movie theatres (Movies), and the public library (books).”
Come on, Sandy. We get that you don’t like Olivia’s. Don’t go in the store if that’s the case, but once again I have to say that there’s no way you can possibly tell me that the existence of this store has had any negative impact on the Tea area. There’s no mobs of underage kids chasing each other with battery-operated sex gadgets; the high schools aren’t full of Lolita’s wearing crotch-less negligee. No parent has to explain to their toddlers what kind of store that is they’re passing on their way to the Empire Mall. Ok, maybe a few more adults may have, uh, “satisfied” smiles on their faces, but is that a bad thing?


steph_sf_sd said…
I agree with you Mr. Hudson. Their are many children who have happier, healthier single mothers because of places like Olivia's. Let's hear it for battery operated sex toys! woo hoo!!!
phenobarbara said…
Hey, if mama's not happy, NOOOOObody's happy!

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