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The Legislature is back in session, and this means the next few months will be wild and wooly in the newspapers, at the capitol, and in your household. Watch as adults, kids, and the elderly all come to discuss the various bills, resolutions, and people that will come under scrutiny in the coming weeks. As a service to you, I will interpret some of these items and give me opinion on what it means to you, your children, your neighbors, and even your dog.

First off, Iíll tackle some bills that will directly relate to you and your money, since thatís what everyoneís most interested in anyway...Admit it!

House Bill (HB) 1009 says that about $530,000 will come out of the general fund in the state treasury and go to the state fair association. So, in theory, the tax you pay on the cheeseburger today could be used to buy a trophy for the best cow of the fair.

HB1208 gives the Department of Parks and Recreation authority to supervise the International Peace Garden. This could be a bad thing since the Winter Daze scavenger hunt prize could maybe even be located way up there!

Senate Bill (SB) 2186 penalizes inmates for putting bodily fluid in contact with non-inmates and law enforcement officers. Thank goodness. These people deserve a lot of respect, and if we need to start at this low a level, we should as soon as possible. The unfortunate aspect of this is, what about other inmates? Blecch...

HB1215 raises the weight limit of an all-terrain vehicle, allowing Roseanne Barr to safely enter our state. Closely related to that that bill is SB2193, which defines a procedure for licensing people who give ultrasound exams to livestock. This means that Roseanne, who of course is not an all-terrain vehicle, can now make sure that when she's pregnant, she can now look for an authorized ultrasound expert.

HB1211 provides exemptions for the requirement to be a real write-in candidate. This means that as much as you may want, any votes for the wrestler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will not be counted in the final tabulation.

HB1206 directly affects me, any student in grade 12 and under, and any parents who provide rides to these students. It gives the school superintendent the authority to decide the length of the last day of school. Thank goodness they have this power now, so instead of sending complaint letters to the legislature saying things like, "I wanna half-day of school at the end," you can now conveniently send them to your local superintendent!

Also, there seems to be more bodily fluid talk in government, which is dealt with in HB1129. Apparently here in North Dakota, people who relieve themselves into containers and toss them to the side of the road are somewhat common. As much as I hate to even think about that (and as much as it reminds me of that scene in the movie Dumb and Dumber with the beer bottles) , the House Transportation Committee may pass a measure that will establish a fine of up to $500 for dumping...ummm...your unwanted liquids along the roadside. This measure would also raise the fine of dumping garbage along the roadside to $50.

This sounds fine and dandy to me, but I'd like to get an addendum to this bill. The addition would sound something like this: "whomever turns in the putrid beast to the authorities for this crime is allowed one swift kick to the gluteous maximus of the lawbreaker."

On a side note, all legislative information can be found on the web at http://www.state.nd.us/lr/ . Unfortunately, the bills they have here are listed in their actual, lawyer-ish form. So, the bill that says no "Stone Cold" Steve Austin votes will be counted goes something like this, only for many pages longer.

"A bill for the exemption of postulately-informative members of the civilian corps in transcribed-in voting excluding, but not limited to, wrestlers, magazine publishers, talk show host who has farm animals on thou show, and funky divas of soul from the late 70s. Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of North Dakota..."

Finally, I think a quote from a...well...a man, is fitting to end this article. "I have no self-esteem, but the biggest ego in the world." That's almost what you need to be to get some of these bills passed into laws. Unfortunately, passing laws is not "what does this bill actually do" anymore. It's now moving towards the ideals of "who is trying to get this bill passed, and what's in it for me?" I think as a country we need to get rid of people who practice this type of law-making, and usher in a new, fresh, clean slate for the next millennium of law making, which starts in the year 2001. Oh yes, and the man who was quoted as saying that was...Mike Tyson. Yeah, I know...


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Karl Becker, the author of all these articles, uses New Tricks for his writings.



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