By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Latarski: Some bill proposals
View from the Ledge
Placeholder Image

The General Assembly is out of session for a while and basking in the glow of another job well done. Well, that's their story.

This is the time we must recount their efforts and think about all the wonderful bills that might have been passed. These are the things it would be nice to see but don't hold your breath waiting for them to happen.

We should have a law requiring all lobbyists to wear a big red nose when dealing with any member of the legislature. This way we could tell who they were schmoozing even when they are taking a legislator to a golf outing in Bermuda or dinner at a five-star restaurant.

How about a bill capping the price of food or beverages sold at any stadium, arena or other such facility if built with any tax payer money. If you want the public to help pay for your facility then you should not be allowed to gouge them with $5 hotdogs or $9 beers.

We need a bill calling for anyone standing in a checkout line or at an ATM and talking on a cell phone be required to wear a sign for a week that reads, "I am an inconsiderate boob."

A law should have been passed requiring any bill you receive - cable, phone, power, etc. - be no longer than one page. If a company can't hide all its surcharges and mystery fees on one page they shouldn't be in business.
A bill was passed allowing hunters to bait fields with things like corn to attract deer and feral hogs and then get as close as they wish for the kill, but the bill did not include lawyers, insurance salesmen or politicians.
Shoot, we might want to even throw journalists on that list except it probably would not work because most journalists want their corn bottled.

How about a bill requiring that no company or government agency can have one of those lunatic phone trees that has more than two options before you actually get to speak to a real live person.

Naturally we should have had a bill toughening the ethics laws that allegedly govern the conduct of our elected officials but since these are the guys making the laws they must live by it did not happen. It would have been nice had they passed at least a minimum bill regarding ethics, something that simply says, "We will have some."
The bill allowing outdoor advertisers to cut down trees in front of their signs passed, so how about a bill calling for the sign to be cut down if it is left blank or unused for more than three days.

We should have seen a bill making all state agency directors or commissioners or other patronage positions appointed by the governor one year appointments, eligible to be renewed after a public hearing where they can explain how good a job they are doing and why they should be reappointed. During a time when low end employees are being furloughed or shown the door the person at the top should be required to justify their job.

A bill was passed calling for a committee to be established to review the state's criminal justice and corrections system during the next five years as a first step to overhauling the entire system. Not a bad idea but the bill should have required at least one-third of the committee be made up of people who actually work in the system, as opposed to a bunch of high level bureaucrats who may have never actually worked for a living.

Finally, how about a bill calling for a bunch of computer geeks to get together and develop a program that will eliminate gerrymandering and reapportion the state based solely on numbers. This might actually make things fair and efficient.

Unfortunately, fair and efficient are two things we don't want to force on members of the General Assembly. The strain might be too much for them.

Ric Latarski is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and can be reached at