Though “Right To Work” legislation has definitely been the hot button issue of this legislative session, there ARE other pieces of legislation floating around. There were three pieces that caught my eye and, I think, are particularly important pieces of legislation (or at least important enough I felt compelled to write about them).
The first has to do with drug testing welfare recipients in order for them to collect their dollars. The fact that this hasn’t already been law is shocking, and common sense will tell you that if a person has money for drugs, then they certainly don’t need taxpayer money. The bill has solid bipartisan support (15-5) through the Ways and Means Committee (it goes to a full House vote next) and would require the state’s Family and Social Services Agency to test out a drug-screening program on a small scale before it was launched statewide. That sounds fair enough to me, too. Something like this will have sweeping effects, and should be tested on a sample group first. The effects, I think, will be obvious enough; there will be some people that will have to make a choice. Do they want to feed their children? Or do they want to do drugs? I think it’s a fair enough question when it comes out of my own pocket, and I think most people have little problem with helping those who are willing to help themselves.
Another law has to do with public intoxication laws. Senate Bill 97, which now goes to the full Senate, prohibits a public intoxication arrest unless a drunk person is endangering their life, the life of another person or breaching the peace. This combats a court ruling where a vehicle that is pulled over counted as a “public place”, and so a person who is drunk, getting a ride from a sober friend who gets pulled over for, oh, I don’t know…a seat belt violation, would end up in jail. This bill passed the Senate Committee 10-0, and is another “no brainer”.
The last bill is sponsored by our own Senator Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso. This bill passed committee by an 8-0 vote and ensures that a rapist is not allowed custody to the child that he fathered from that violent encounter. Leave it up to Illinois, again, to be our inspiration in what not to do. Sen. Charbonneau said he sponsored Senate Bill 190 after learning of a Chicago case in which the rapist sued his victim for custody of the child conceived as a result of the rape.
There are a lot of other bills that will effect us as Hoosiers, but these are just three that have caught my eye and, I think, will be very good for the state and the people living in it. Of course there are other bills, like the “no smoking in public/let’s take away the rights of private property and business owners” bill that looks to be inching closer and closer (and SHOULD NOT pass), and the “Right To Work” bill, which NEEDS to be amended so that those that opt out of the union don’t HAVE to be represented by the union that they don’t pay dues to (I’m all about choice and peoples rights to not be forced into anything, but we can’t say one person can’t be forced into something, and then force the other guy into something different), and so on, and so on. These are three bills that seem to be flying under the radar, though, and haven’t gotten talked about much. So here they are, what do YOU think?
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