The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

February 27, 2014

Ho-hum session: Legislative session shows why lawmakers don't have to meet every year

The silly season appears to be over, and now the Iowa Legislature can get down to the business of crafting a budget.

Not much is expected from lawmakers this year as those up for election challenges don’t want to irritate potential voters.

A legislative deadline passed last week, and some bills didn’t make it to the next stage of consideration.

They include medical marijuana. The bill would legalize usage for some people with chronic conditions with oversight from the state.

It’s been found to work fine in other states, but Iowa lawmakers aren’t quite ready to embrace it here.

There also was a bill introduced that would have made it easier for women to later sue doctors who performed an abortion on them.

A resolution seeking to amend the state constitution to add the right to bear arms didn’t find favor with lawmakers. We already have the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing the right to bear arms, so one has to wonder why this piece of legislation even was offered for consideration.

A measure regarding distillery sales won’t go anywhere this year. This bill would allow micro-distilleries in Iowa to sell the liquor they make by the glass and increases the number of bottles they can sell on the premises.

Why the government would think it needs to dictate how private businesses do their work is a head scratcher, but when it comes to liquor, the government believes it should dictate the rules.

And a bill that would require all in-home daycares register with the state didn’t pass muster, either. Currently those that look after five or fewer children are exempt.

Iowa already is an overregulated state. Lawmakers were right to stay out of the baby-sitting business. Parents should be smart enough to know who to leave their child with during the day. They don’t need the government to help them with that chore. At least they shouldn’t.

This is the kind of legislative session that provides an apt example why state lawmakers don’t need to meet every year. Every other year would work just fine. It would save the state millions.

As they piece together a budget before they head out to campaign, perhaps they should consider that.

It would be in the taxpaying public’s best interest.

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