The wacko world of state legislatures: Missouri 2015 edition

Missouri_Legislature_Back3_t670It’s crazy time again in Missouri: the opening weeks of the legislative session. This is the time of year when legislators introduce their nutso ideas for new laws. Most of them go nowhere. But the fact that someone took the time to draft these things means that he or she somehow thinks they are good ideas. At the very least, these bills reflect some of the radical, right-wing “thinking” that dominates the legislature that rules my daily life.

Here are some examples of bills recently introduced. [Hat tip to Michael Bersin, at Show Me Progress, who diligently reads through the filings and keeps the rest of us aware of what’s going on.]

HB 826

…No domestic wine shall be sold at retail in the state unless it has been certified as having been produced by and with grapes harvested by verified United States citizens.

Clearly a xenophobic law pushed by an anti-immigration-reform Republican, this bill conveniently ignores the fact that there are many agricultural workers in this country who may not be official citizens, but who have legal status as Lawful Permanent Residents. According to federal statues:

“Any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing the in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as “Permanent Resident Alien,” “Resident Alien Permit Holder,” and “Green Card Holder.”

Yeah, but they’re brown…

HJR 38

Section 38. All areas of this state shall be exempted from the daylight saving time provisions of 15 U.S.C. Section 260a. Beginning on the first Sunday in March of 2017, the state and its political subdivisions and agencies shall switch clocks to daylight saving for the last time and the use of daylight saving time for public purposes will be eliminated. After this time, daylight saving time will no longer be recognized as the official time of this state.

Does anybody really know what time it is in Missouri? While I have, in fact, wondered at times about the value of the agriculturally oriented notion of daylight saving time in the 21st century, this bill is probably more about the “freedoms” and “liberties” that right-wingers worry about than it is about the greater good. Why don’t we all just go back to the good old days of the 19th century, when there was no standard time at all?

And finally, HB 723, quoted without comment

The dog known as “Old Drum”, whose death became the subject of an 1870 Missouri Supreme Court case and the delivery of a famous speech as the closing argument to the case known as the “Eulogy to Old Drum”, is designated as the historical dog of the state of Missouri.

The dog known as “Jim the Wonder Dog” is designated as Missouri’s Wonder Dog.