7 September 2007
Written by Key Votes
State lawmakers don't get together at the bars after work as often as or in numbers like they used to. Some of the blame has been placed on regulations regarding lobbyists taking the lawmakers out.
As one lawmaker, who wished to remain unknown, put it, "It's funny how when you take away the free booze and take away the babes, people just aren't as interested in hanging out."
There was discussion of a bill that would allow those convicted of a DUI to wear an ankle bracelet that detects alcohol through the skin. This would be a substitute to jail, a way to end probation early, or a way to get a driver's license back early. Representative Ronnie Sutton had this to say:"You're going to create two classes of citizens: Those that can afford $12 a day and those that can't," he said. "I was passed a note that said that Paris Hilton is in favor of this bill."
Rep. Danny Martiny, R-Kenner, floated a facetious amendment that would have extended the time period for charges until Jordan and Riley "actually work together," rather than just talk publicly about doing so.
"I'm very proud to come from Jefferson Parish where our district attorney, our judges and our sheriff speak to each other if there's a problem to get things done," Martiny said. "In New Orleans, they actually have press conferences to say they get along."
The actual text of the amendment: "Section 2. The provisions of this Act shall be null and void when the District Attorney of the Parish of Orleans and the Chief of Police of the City of New Orleans actually get along."
It would have made a wonderful key vote, if only the sponsor hadn't withdrawn it.
On the amendment adding loopholes to a smoking ban bill: "So we're basically saying we're throwing those people away healthwise," Sen. Stewart Greenleaf said. Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Allegheny, called the exemptions "disgusting gobbledygook," and Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, said the changes were like "a pig in lipstick" being billed as a beauty queen.
On passing a bill legalizing Ultimate Fighting (mixed martial arts matches):
"I'm kind of reluctant to even question this bill," joked Democratic Sen. William Purcell of Laurinburg, "having seen this guy at the Finance committee the other day who could probably take care of five or six of us at one time."
State lawmakers from MA and some other states met to discuss gambling, transportation funding, and other issues. Their meeting was held in a convention hall in Boston. There was a free bar involved. "If they're going to be attending a conference to discuss serious things like health care and casino gambling and fair taxation, then they should probably be sober when they're doing it," said Barbara Anderson, spokeswoman for the taxpayer watchdog group Citizens for Limited Taxation.
Heated budget negotiations have stalled between Governor Rod Blagojevich, Senate President Emil Jones, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, and House Minority Leader Tom Cross. Regarding this standoff, Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson had this to say:
"If I was in on those meetings, things would not be going that way. Too much testosterone in there, if you know what I mean."
Have a great day from the Key Votes Department!