Today marks the beginning of Florida's most turbulent 60 days of the year, a bizarre two-month stretch when 160 oddballs convene in a remote North Florida town and -- between bites from gigantic plates of paella -- find new ways to make our state even more dysfunctional.
Yes, it's time for another session of the Florida Legislature. To prep you for the insanity to come, New Times combed through the 1,495 bills filed so far to highlight the worst and strangest proposals that your elected officials have decided to waste time on in 2015.
"Patriotic Film Screening": Yes, this one is as bad as its title suggests. Rep. Neil Combee, a Republican from Polk County, wants to force every eighth- and 11th-grader in the state to suffer through Dinesh D'Souza's America: Imagine the World Without Her, a piece of political propaganda so terrible it netted 8 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and prompted the AV Club to call it "astonishingly facile, a film comprised entirely of straw man arguments."
"Medical Tourism": Republican Sen. Aaron Bean would like Florida to do more to encourage medical tourists to visit the Sunshine State. The Biogenesis scandal here in Miami has painted a pretty good picture of why the state's profit-first, anything-goes medical landscape isn't exactly a great idea.
Lifetime Electronic Monitoring of Sex Offenders: We've already forced them to live under bridges and in Hialeah parking lots. Why not spend millions of state cash to electronically monitor them for life?
"American Founders Month": Rep. Michael Bileca, a Republican from Miami, would like to make September "America's Founders Month," because schoolchildren just don't learn enough about the white dudes who made this country what it is.
"Rural Letter Carriers": There's a plague in this state, and it's rural postal workers getting tickets for not wearing seat belts while delivering junk mail to Florida's farmers. Who will rid us of this pernicious problem? Sen. Greg Evers, that's who.
"Hemp Production": Florida lags dangerously behind the curve in development of a homegrown hemp necklace industry. Luckily, Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda is heavily funded by Big Phish and is here to help.
"Powdered Distilled Spirits": Did you know that scientists last year finally found a way to create delicious cocktails in powdered form? And did you know that the feds took steps toward making margaritas in a packet legal? Well, it won't matter in Florida if Sen. Anita Flores has her way, because she wants to preemptively prevent powdered booze from becoming a thing in the state.
Surveillance by a Drone: Worried about drones spying on your house? So is Rep. Larry Metz, who wants to ban the practice.
Slungshot: Were you aware of a weapon called a "slungshot"? It does exist, as evidenced by the video above. In fact, Florida already classified slungshots as weapons covered under state concealed weapons laws. If Sen. Alan Hayes has his way, that will change and you'll be able to walk around all day long with your slungshot in plain view. Truly, it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted.
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