By Derek Jacobs and Mallory Jesperson:
Every state has unusual, off-the-wall or laws that some wondering why they are needed. For example, ultimate fighting is illegal in Utah if biting is involved. Alcohol can’t be sold during an emergency in Utah. Dairy farmers and their families can drink milk right from the cow or dairy tank without any health inspectors poking around.
So here’s some tongue-in-cheek nominations for legislative bills that are likely needed, but could be categorized as head scratchers.
Doggone it. Here’s a problem looking for a solution: What do you do when your horse dies? Everyone has heard the much debated question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?” A much more important question that you must all ask yourselves is, “If a horse falls in the middle of a field and no one knows, is it really dead?”
If so, HB261, sponsored by Jacob L. Anderegg, R-Lehi, says that you have two business days to bury it or the city will do it for you. The local police are clearly lobbying for more work and figure this would keep them very busy. It is not just Black Beauty that needs burying, any large domestic animal such as a pig, goat, mule, or sheep must be six feet under. Of course, you might consider a barbeque for certain animals, but if that’s not an option the city will bury the animal and then charge you for the trouble.
Part of the law is that for every one acre of land you can only bury two animals per year. This addition will make large animal cemeteries an unprofitable venture. In order to make sure that the law makes sense economically and environmentally, the Aggies in Logan will be researching the impact. We wonder if this means that BYU can bury USU’s mascot, he is a bull named Big Blue, after every football victory. That impact would be mostly emotional.
You may know people who are constantly hitting animals on the road and when the cop shows up to file the police report because there is a deer’s head poking through their windshield, the officer can hardly type because of the insistent nagging to take such succulent meat home. The officer then informs your friend that they have to buy a permit in order to take home the rightfully won prize. The permit runs about $30, yet after the damage to your friend’s Ford, he will have paid $2,030 for one deer.
Well, thankfully this legislative session some amendments were proposed to make it so the police that arrives at the scene can award the roadkill to the driver without having to buy a permit. Lawmakers found out they could make this change through an administrative rule change and not a bill.
If roadkill isn’t your thing, be careful with how many wives you have. Polygamy has been illegal since Brigham Young was alive, yet why does it seem that none of the offenders are being prosecuted, not persecuted, nowadays?
HB58 would make it illegal to cohabitate with a different person while still being married to your spouse. The changes to the bill “removes cohabitation with another person as an element of the offense of bigamy.” Rep. Jerry Anderson, R-Price, is the bill’s sponsor
Chickens are “fun,” not just food. If you agree with this statement or if you have purchased tickets to a fowl fight it would probably be a smart idea to get your tickets refunded because you might regret it after Utah’s Legislature discusses SB 112.
Sen. Gene Davis, R-Salt Lake City, is sponsoring a bill that would create harsher repercussions for not only participants in these fights, but would also include attendees of these fights to be punished as well. If charged with involvement in the game fowl fighting, the punishment would be a third-degree felony which could include up to five years in prison and fines up to $5,000. However, for just merely attending these fights you could be charged a Class B misdemeanor which could result in up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. The moral of this legislation, animal cruelty is never worth it.
If chicken fights won’t keep you awake, this next bill should. You could drink an energy drink, listen to loud music, eat lots of sugar and snacks, whatever you do just STAY AWAKE! If you don’t keep those eyes open you could end up facing criminal charges if SB 149 is passed.
Sen. Osmond, R-South Jordan, the bill’s sponsor, is looking to designate accidents caused by sleepy drivers as, “Distracted Driving.” He also plans to establish a week during the year as “Drowsy Driver Awareness Week” in order to inform the public of the dangers that can happen when one drives while drowsy.
Make sure you get enough sleep before you operate a motor vehicle — that’s you, BYU student, before you cram all night for an exam and then drive home to California the next day. If this bill passes through the House and the Senate and you cause an accident, you’re probably going to wish you were actually sleeping so it can be chalked up to just a bad dream.
Taking out the trash may have a whole meaning for various rural residents in Utah if HB 13 ends up being passed. HB 13, sponsored by Rep. Menlove, R-Garland, and would allow folks to get rid of trash on their own property – something Utahns have been doing for generations. Now it would just be legal.
HB 13 will prove to especially useful to rural folks and have no access to a, “public or duty licensed waste disposal service.” Instead of having to collect all of their waste to drive it to the closest dump AKA “waste disposal service” would have the ability to bury their trash right at home. This would only be allowed as long as the nonhazardous waste was created by the owner of the private property.
If Menlove’s bill passes there will be no more waiting to get rid of your garbage. Grab your shovels and start digging!