The 2009 legislative session is now entering its second week, and already we have reason to celebrate. That’s right, the hotly contested House Resolution Supporting the Narrows Water Project in Central Utah has passed! We’ve done it! Now anything is possible!
Finally, we can all put aside our bitterly-held Narrows Water Project in Central Utah differences. Instead of the heated arguments that have plagued our homes and workplaces for months, we can heal our broken families and friendships and unite behind some sort of water project. I didn’t think I would live to see it.
Now that lawmakers have finally settled this one torturous, hot-button issue, we can move onto the rest of this year’s session. I’ve designed this noteworthy bill guide in order to keep you aware of this year’s most contested bills. Never again will you miss out on the drama of water project proportions. Let’s get started:
H.B. 116 Uniform Fees on Canoes—The language in the bill ensures that when passed, it will amend “the definition of ‘canoe’ to include a canoe with an outboard motor.” Thank goodness! For those of you who have been reaping the benefits of canoe ambiguity, your joyride is at an end!
Not only will this bill protect us from criminals trying to pass off their canoes as motorboats, it will put an end to tricksters passing off household items as canoes. All that thanks to language that clearly describes that a canoe “is long and narrow” and “has curved sides.” Being fooled will be a thing of the past, to be replaced with conversations like this:
Trickster: Check out my canoe.
Craig: That’s no canoe, that’s just a cardboard box.
Trickster: I’ve been discovered!
The bill also promises, to the relief of thousands, that it will “make technical changes.” Technical changes are long overdue. We want technical change, and we want it now!
H.B. 34 Penalties for Destruction of Bald Eagle—Destruction is a pretty strong word. I assume this means you can still sneak up behind a bald eagle and engage it in a wrestling match without any consequences. Shooting a bald eagle in the face with a missile, however, is out of the question.
What I learned most from H.B. 34 has nothing to do with bald eagles though. I learned from the bill’s language that I will be fined $500 for destroying a gila monster but only $100 for destroying a loon. Nice to know. But what my fine would be if I destroyed a loon riding a gila monster is mysteriously missing. There’s always next year’s session.
H.C.R. 4 University of Utah Championship Football Team Concurrent Resolution—Congratulating the football team for its undefeated season will be no easy task. After all, there are several issues to muddle through, like whether or not to include a wreath. What font should it be in? Normal paper, or cardstock? Here’s hoping the Legislature takes its time to make sure it’s just right. I imagine the final letter will read something along the lines of:
Dear University of Utah,
Great job on the football team’s undefeated season!
PS Your budget is totally screwed. Haha hahaha.
S.B. 142 Disposition of a Dead Body—This has some people worried, considering the bill will make it “a class B misdemeanor to engage in any conduct that makes a dead body unavailable for postmortem investigation, unless, before engaging in that conduct, the person obtains a permit from the medical examiner.”
If this bill passes, it’s going to be much more difficult to hang out with a dead body. You won’t be able to play hide-and-seek with a dead body anymore, take a dead body on a roller coaster or go water skiing with a dead body. The days of playing a game of checkers with a dead body, or talking to one extensively on the phone are at an end. Those things would make a dead body unavailable. How dare they? Is it not an intrinsic right to be able to monopolize the time of any dead body you please?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the hardest-hitting bills of the year, you can relax. We still have some months to go before they go into effect. Meanwhile, it’s time to grab your favorite dead body, and take it out on your motorboat while you still can. Because in a few weeks, we’re all going to know it’s a canoe.
(I wrote this for the Daily Utah Chronicle, if you would like to read it there, feel free to push this button.)