Out here in Oregon, legislative bills, would-be laws and acts, fall into two fundamental categories. The first are ORDINARY bills, reviewed and voted on in the ordinary fashion, and taking effect on an ordinary schedule. The second category is that of EMERGENCY bills, legislation that, being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, declare an emergency to exist, and take effect on their passage. You know, things like hurricanes, earthquakes, plagues, foreign invasion, locusts, meteors, space aliens, and zombie attacks… no, seriously, both the state and federal government want us to prepare for a zombie attack. Which is funny, because firearms are generally considered the best anti-zombie weapon, and our legislators are hell-bent on taking those away.
In our current 2012-13 legislative cycle, Oregon’s elected leaders have proposed over 2,500 bits of legislation Oregonians simply cannot live without. If a person was pedantic enough to dig through boxes and boxes of electronic paperwork, read these proposed bills, and actually peer into the minds of our esteemed leaders, that person would discover our elected officials believe Oregon is in a terrible state of EMERGENCY! Emergencies to the left of us! Emergencies to the right! Emergencies under every rock, behind every bush, and lurking in every dark alleyway! Hundreds of ‘em! If the public only knew the terrible and dangerous state of things here in our beloved state, surely there would be widespread panic in our streets!
I sifted through these hundreds of ‘state of EMERGENCY’ bills written by our smartest, most rational, and most compulsively honest elected leaders. I found many amazing EMERGENCY bills, and have come up with a top ten list of the best ‘EMERGENCIES’ of the 2013 legislative session. I ranked them in descending order so my fellow Oregonians will know exactly what our brave law-makers think about ‘We, the People.’ Honestly, I do not what such lowly sheep did to deserve such amazing shepherds. Oh, wait, that’s right, we elected them. So, without further ado, I present to my fellow Oregonians, our leaders’ collectively low IQ. The authors have declared every one of the following Oregon legislative bills ‘EMERGENCIES’.
Honorable mention EMERGENCY – HB3450 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hb3400.dir/hb3450.intro.pdf)
Brought to you by Rep Jennifer “I wish I was a real blond!” Williamson, Oregon House District 36.
HB3450 establishes James Beard Public Market Project funding at taxpayer expense. Here is the scoop. Despite the Portland Metropolitan area being flush with farmers markets, restaurants, and specialty retailers who cater to the organic, local produce crowd, Jenny wants to take general fund money and give it to the James Beard Public Market Project so the citizens of Harney County can help pay for a fancy, publicly funded grocery market for Multnomah County foodies. I guess Jenny thinks she will just die without it… along with those cute, little red pumps she just saw in the window at Nordstrom’s.
EMERGENCY #10 – HB3113 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hb3100.dir/hb3113.intro.pdf)
Brought to you by House Committee on Revenue Chair, Philip “Phil the tax coffers” Barnhart, Oregon House District 11.
HB3113 eliminates the requirement that vote-by-mail envelopes be pre-printed with a warning to voters that tax or bond measure is included on the ballot. Here is the scoop. Current Oregon Vote-By-Mail law requires the state to put a warning label on the envelope if the ballot contains any tax or revenue bills, just like the warning on a pack of cigarettes. ‘Tax Coffer’ Phil wants to get rid of this warning in hopes of sneaking new taxes and fees by Oregon voters. This can only be an emergency in the mind of a narcissistic sociopath.
EMERGENCY #9 – HB2696 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hb2600.dir/hb2696.intro.pdf)
Brought to you by Rep James “I have a condition” Thompson, Oregon House district 23.
HB2629 wants to build a new highway from I-5 to McMinnville to relieve congestion on highway 99 through Newberg and Dundee. I have driven this horrid stretch of road many times and understand that folk with bladder problems, crawling along at a snail’s pace, may not be able to make it through this bottleneck without wetting themselves. I even support the idea of a by-pass. But I gotta say, Jimbo, it ain’t no EMERGENCY… unless zombies attack and you are stuck in traffic… and you just turned your gun over to Merwyn Greenlick to stay out of jail.
EMERGENCY #8 – HB3306 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hb3300.dir/hb3306.intro.pdf)
Brought to you by Rep Philip “I can’t think of a good reason” Barnhart, Oregon House District 11.
HB3306 creates a task force on mining. WOW, PHIL, THAT IS A REAL FRICKIN’ EMERGENCY! PEOPLE ARE GONNA DIE IF WE DON’T CREATE A MINING TASK FORCE RIGHT NOW! THANK GOD YOU ARE THERE, PROTECTING THE CITIZENS OF OREGON!
EMERGENCY #7 – SB758 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/sb0700.dir/sb0758.intro.pdf)
Brought to you by Senator Jackie “I support the right to bare arms only if women register their bingo-wings with the state police” Dingfelder, Oregon Senate District 23.
SB758 requires gun owners to purchase specific liability insurance that covers firearms, and fines them up to $10,000 if they do not comply. I am at a loss here. Why not force citizens to purchase free speech liability insurance? Or pedestrian insurance? Or bicycle insurance? Or knife insurance? How about power tool insurance? Rusty nail insurance? Children (boy, do they ever get in trouble!) insurance? How about marriage insurance? Sen Dingfelder is not making sense here when she singles out firearms, unless she wants to create a database of gun owners for some other purpose. Sneaky, sneaky, Jackie! Maybe next time you will sponsor an emergency bill requiring dumb people to purchase IQ specific liability insurance.
EMERGENCY #6 – HB3200 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hb3200.dir/hb3200.intro.pdf)
Brought to you by Rep Merwyn “Conservatives belong in jail” Greenlick, Oregon House District 33.
HB3200 makes it illegal to own or transfer assault style firearms and large capacity magazines, essentially turning tens of millions of law-abiding Americans into criminals. Merwyn wants everyone who violates his new law to do 10 years in prison and pay a $250,000 fine… and he wonders why nobody likes him and he gets hate mail.
EMERGENCY #5 – HB3099 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hb3000.dir/hb3099.intro.pdf)
Brought to you by Rep Mark “I thought Tagalog was a Girl Scout cookie!” Johnson, Oregon House District 52.
HB3099 requires every health care facility in Oregon to be collectively fluent in the over 300 languages commonly spoken in the United States of America so they can properly communicate with every potential patient that comes through their door. Pretty high expectations from a guy who did not manage to graduate from Whitworth College. The level of multilingualism he dreams of does not exist anywhere in the cosmos. I wonder how many languages Mark speaks, anyway? At least a rudimentary form of English called ‘Merican, I hope. Anyway, Mark, I have to say, this is a really, really retarded idea.
EMERGENCY #4 – HB2347 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hb2300.dir/hb2347.intro.pdf)
Brought to you by Rep Merwyn “I can’t believe Arlo Guthrie is a Republican” Greenlick, Oregon House District 33.
HB2347 would transfer the Bonny Slope area from Multnomah County to Washington County for development purposes. My best guess is that Merwyn was driving through Cedar Mill and saw his neighbors with shovels, rakes and other implements of destruction and mistakenly thought they meant to attack Multnomah Country over the Bonny Slope conflict. “This is an EMERGENCY!” he must have thought to himself. “I have to preserve the public peace!” Unfortunately, his neighbors were simply doing yard work, and 99.999(999)% of the Metro area population have never heard of Bonny Slope and really do not give a shit.
EMERGENCY #3 – HB3039 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hb3000.dir/hb3039.intro.pdf)
Brought to you by House Deputy Majority Whip, Jules “ManBearPig is real!” Bailey, Oregon House District 42.
HB3039 requires the state to give preferential treatment to contractors who limit the release of CO2, methane, and ozone. That’s right, folks, Jules wants contractors who don’t smoke, don’t drink beer, and don’t fart. EMERGENCY? No way. Dumb as a box of rocks? You bet!
EMERGENCY #2 – HB2329 (http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/hb2300.dir/hb2329.intro.pdf)
Brought to you by Rep Carolyn “one Nation, under Love” Tomei, Oregon House District 41.
HB2696 declares November of each year as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Awareness Month. Er, Carolyn, I hate to pop your balloon, but COPD has been around for a long, long time, and everybody is already aware it exists, what causes it, and how to treat it to maximize patient quality of life. Sorry, lady, you are about a century too late in declaring it a public EMERGENCY. You might as well ride through Portland screaming, “The British are coming, the British are coming,” at the top of your lungs. Wrong city, wrong century.
And now for John’s 2013 NUMBER ONE PICK of the Oregon Legislative EMERGENCY Bills that are absolutely (not) necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, and should (not) take effect immediately upon its passage:
EMERGENCY #1 – SB816 – the “Get Drunk and Go Blind” bill. (http://www.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measpdf/sb0800.dir/sb0816.intro.pdf)
Courtesy of Senator Floyd “My brain is pickled in acetaldehyde” Prozanski, District 4.
SB816 establishes an Agricultural Experiment Station Fermentation Sciences and Value Added Program at OSU. Yes, you read correctly. People will die if we don’t start fermenting. There will be wide spread panic, chaos and anarchy. I swear I am not making this up. I looked in the thesaurus and non-fermentation was actually a synonym for EMERGENCY. I just called 911, and the operator confirmed that Senator Prozanski’s bill, SB816, is a bigger EMERGENCY than a hurricane, earthquake, and zombie plague all rolled into one. If this bill does not pass, you better stock up on high capacity clips and assault rifles, Merwyn Greenlick be damned, because the world will surely end!