Every spring, they pour into Tallahassee like a gaggle of clowns falling out of a tiny car, except much less funny and far more harmful to Florida's residents. They're members of the Florida House of Representatives, and as 2013's legislative session opens this week, they're set to wreak havoc on the Sunshine State yet again.
As a service to our readers, we've combed through more than 500 bills already filed to find the best, the worst, and the weirdest in this session.
Bill: "Wine," sponsored by Reps. Frank Artiles and Dana Young
The gist: Legalizes larger containers of wine
Our take: Sometimes a box of Merlot just isn't enough. Introducing: WineTubz™
Bill: "Protest Activities," sponsored by Rep. Tom Rooney
The gist: Prohibits protests within a set distance of funerals and memorial services
Our take: Suck it, Westboro Baptist Church!
Bill: "Search and Seizure of Portable Electronic Devices," sponsored by Rep. Carlos Trujillo
The gist: Prohibits police from tracking you via your phone's GPS without a warrant
Our take: Yes, police can actually do this without a warrant right now. (Stares panicked around the office. Chucks phone out the window. Sprints away.)
Continue to the next page for the Worst and the Weirdest...
Bill: "American Founders' Month," by Rep. Michael Bileca
The gist: Designates September as "American Founders' Month"
Our take: How come no one ever talks about those awesome white guys who founded our country? If only we had a day to honor the Pilgrims by eating some turkey, or maybe another day to remember Christopher Columbus.
Bill: "Public School Buses" by Rep. Irv Slosberg
The gist: Allows advertising on public school buses
Our take: "Mommmm, I don't want to ride the Fish McBites School Bus Sponsored by Beef 'O' Brady's to Jiffy Lube Elementary!"
Bill: "Sound Devices in Motor Vehicles" by Rep. Kevin Rader
The gist: Gives local authorities leeway to ban loud car speakers
Our take: These guys don't realize how pissed Marco Rubio is gonna be if they try to tone down his weekend Tupac-blasting
Bill: "Gov. Scott's Secretary," by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen
The gist: Revokes Gov. Rick Scott's right to hire a private secretary
Our take: The Founding Fathers intended our governors to take their own dictation. It's in the Constitution -- just trust us on that.
The bill: "Open Parties," by Rep. Tom Rooney
The gist: Expands a law against open house parties to all open parties
Our take: No more wild keggers on the beach? What is this, Soviet Russia?
The bill: "Low Speed Vehicles," by Rep. Neil Combee
The gist: Allows low-speed vehicles to be used as golf carts
Our take: When will Tallahassee give up this annual obsession with getting Oldsmobiles onto golf courses?
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.