Florida's Eight Weirdest Bills: Pecan Crime, Lifeguard Beatdowns and Trees Painted Purple
THIS SPECIES PROTECTED UNDER SENATE BILL 0184
Every year, Florida lawmakers propose more than a thousand bills. Some of them are admirable and important changes designed to make our streets safer, our schools better, and our citizenry healthier. Then there are the other 92 percent. Here are the eight most awesomely befuddling and obscure bills from this session we could find by poring through the state database. Take it away, psychedelic senators!
1. "Trespassing," from Jacksonville Sen. John Thrasher
The gist: Make purple paint on trees the statewide sign for "no trespassing."
Our thoughts: The purple-paint lobby is ruthless. If you don't cater to them, you'll find your household pets looking like Barney.
2. "Personal Trainers," from Delray Beach Sen. Maria Sachs
Gist: License personal trainers, which seems reasonable. But strangely, the law's language is dominated by rules barring trainers from having sexual relations with their clients outside the gym.
Thoughts: Is there any doubt that Sachs was wooed by a bad-news Lothario of the spandex set?
3. "Merry Christmas/Official Greeting for December 25," from Orlando Sen. Gary Siplin
Gist: Make "Merry Christmas" the official greeting for December 25.
Thoughts: Because if you use any other greeting that day -- such as "happy Kwanzaa" or "howdy" -- Angry Jesus will break Blitzen's antler off in your ass.
4. "State Symbols/Barking Tree Frog," from Miami Sen. Larcenia Bullard
Gist: Make the barking tree frog the official state amphibian.
Thoughts: Is it any surprise that Bullard has also proposed a bill legalizing medical marijuana?
5. "Pecans," from Tallahassee Sen. Bill Montford
Gist: Make it a crime to pick pecans off the ground under privately owned trees.
Thoughts: In a related bill, Florida's new state slogan would be, "Hands off our nuts."
6. "Low-Speed Vehicles," from Umatilla Sen. Alan Hays
Gist: Authorize people to turn "low-speed vehicles" into golf carts.
Thoughts: We've read this bill about 12 times, and all we can say is expect to see some Oldsmobile Cutlasses hurtling along the green next year.
7. "Landscape Architecture Month," from Baker Sen. Greg Evers
Gist: Make March Landscape Architecture Month.
Thoughts: Ooh, this is fun. Can we play? Let's make July Jell-O Mold Month! And April could just be called "Lamp"!
8. "Ocean Lifeguards," from Miami Sen. Gwen Margolis
Gist: Increase penalties for assault and battery on ocean lifeguards.
Thoughts: How could Margolis miss the opportunity to name this bill "Don't Hassle the Hoff"?
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