It's time again for Richmond's favorite reality show, WORST BILL EVER! Excited Republican state Delegates and Senators are lining up today to try to pass the weirdest, dumbest, most cynical or just plain revolting legislation. Make sure to vote in the poll at the end of this post for the bill you think deserves the prize.
This round's contenders include:
- Del. Bob Marshall's "Funny Money" bill (HJ 590) -- Sideshow Bob is the Rocky Balboa of freaky legislation, and he never fails to disappoint. This worthy contender, to study whether Virginia should print its own currency, is one for the ages -- I encourage you to read it in full, while enjoying such lines as "WHEREAS, many widely recognized experts predict the inevitable destruction of the Federal Reserve System's currency through hyperinflation in the foreseeable future..." Needless to say, this bill has been approved in subcommittee.
- Del. Marshall's "Cold, Dead Hands" bill (HB 2340), which would prohibit state employees from helping to enforce new Federal gun laws. Whaditellya? Like Michael Jordan, Sideshow Bob never just takes one shot at the basket. Of course, this bill is too mild for our friends at the Virginia Gun Owners Coalition, who point out that it fails to include a provision to arrest Federal officials who themselves try to enforce Federal laws. Well, good point, but Rome wasn't brutally massacred in a day. This bill, needless to say, has been reported out of committee.
- Sen. Watkins' "Make Virginia Glow" bill (SB1353) to open the floodgates to uranium mining in the wet, heavily populated state of Virginia. This bill bravely ignores the opposition of Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Virginians and North Carolinians in the area that would be subject to the risk of radioactively contaminated lakes and streams. As the Simpsons' Montgomery Burns would say, "Eeeexxxxxceellent!" This bill has the added advantage of the support of Democratic Senate leader Dick Saslaw, proving that being bought by industry can be a sacred bipartisan value. For some reason, this legislation has not yet made it out of committee. Step it up, people!
- Sen. Watkins' now-famous "Panda Burger" redistricting bill (now HB 259), so named for the honor it received of being honored by Stephen Colbert in his Alpha Dog of the Week feature. This bill to change district lines without the burdens of Constitutional authority, consent from the Democrats who run half the Senate, hearings, etc., has of course passed the Senate and is awaiting House action and potential signature by Governor Bob McDonnell, who continues to keep that option open, saying
There's a lot of bills that I get that I might not like the way it was done, that I don't like the way they were amended and so forth...But my job when I get a bill is not to look at the process, it's to look at the bill on the merits."
Yeah, only wimps care about stuff like Constitutional, democratic process!
I apologize for cutting off the list at this point, knowing that there are many other worthy contenders out there. Please feel free to add your favorites in the comments section. We truly have here an embarrassment of riches. Or...maybe just an embarrassment?
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