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N.C.s 10 dumbest bills
State religion, guns in schools among worst
Published Thursday, May 2, 2013 10:07 am
by Scott Mooneyham

With most of the North Carolina legislature's bill filing deadlines now past, consideration of the depth of the bad ideas emanating from the honorables is in order.

Yes, many of these proposals will now die a quiet death in a House or Senate rules committee.

But now is as good a time as any to compile a list of the 10 dumbest bills that came from state lawmakers this year. Some have already received negative press; others deserve similar treatment, so why not give them some?

1. A bill filed by better than a dozen House Republicans that contemplates the creation of a state religion led to guffaws from around the country. It was in the form of a non-binding resolution, but saying that the federal courts do not have the power to determine what is constitutional led to a couple of obvious questions: Did anyone tell the U.S. Supreme Court? Who does say then, the king?

2. Legislation filed by Rep. Rodney Moore, a Charlotte Democrat, would subject the owners of five breeds of "aggressive" dogs to criminal background checks and insurance notification requirements. The five breeds included pit bulls and Rottweilers. Moore now says that he just wanted to spark some discussion. None of that discussion was supposed to include, "Bite him!"

3. Another religion-related bill filed by four House Republicans would ban the state from passing laws that burden religion. Sounds fine, right? But this kind of law was first passed in the Pacific Northwest after some workers were fired for taking illegal drugs, which they said was part of their religious practice. Pass this law, and the state prisons could soon be filled with practitioners of the Church of the Sacred Sweet Leaf.

4. A bill filed by three Senate Republicans responds to school shootings by allowing any concealed-carry permit holder to carry concealed guns onto school grounds. Surely no student would ever get hold of a gun under those circumstances.

5. A bill filed by House Democrats would undo gun legislation passed by the General Assembly over the last two years, require gun owners to carry liability insurance and lead to more gun reporting requirements. These sponsors' motto: Futility, we know not your name.

6. A group of House Republicans wants to copy Colorado with a bill that would tie state spending to inflation and population growth. They apparently had not gotten word that Colorado pretty much repealed its law in 2005.

7. Another bill filed by House Republicans contemplates arresting FBI agents who enforce federal guns laws in North Carolina if the guns were made here and never transported over state lines.

8. Yet another House bill instructs Attorney General Roy Cooper to challenge the federal government regarding any North Carolina residents who is a U.S. citizen who is held without charge as a terrorist.

9-10. Pick any of the bills that usurp local governments of power and replace it with state authority. After all, those who govern best hang out in Raleigh.

Just ask them.

Scott Mooneyham writes for Capitol Press Association in Raleigh. Contact him at smooneyh@ncinsider.com.


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