Opinion Photo

small oversight on my part that we should clear up. Writing last week about Arizona’s new laws governing sex education – and one school district’s kerfuffle over chicken breasts – I may have inadvertently given the impression that our state Legislature had descended to new levels of absurdity in passing House Bill 2035 last year.

My bad. Forcing parents to opt-in to sex ed for kids isn’t silly at all when compared to some of the bills filed this session.

Like HB2439, sponsored by Peoria Republican Beverly Pingarelli. This bill would force school boards to approve not just textbooks, but every single book in each of their school’s libraries. It would also give parents a 60-day window to review every new library book being purchased and the ability to request a list of every book their child has borrowed from the library.

On the bright side, given Arizona’s reading scores on standardized tests, I’m going to assume that would be a very short list.

HB2597, another education bill, is the work of East Valley Republican John Fillmore. It would mandate that students in grades K-6 recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily, unless some Commie pinko parent requests an opt-out. 

But wait, there’s more: Schools must also create “a specific time each day” for students in grades 4-12 “to engage in quiet reflection and moral reasoning for at least one minute.”

We do that at my house, too. Whenever a TV ad for The Husband and Wife Law Team comes on, I spend a minute trying to reason my way around the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment.

Silly bills are not solely authored by the GOP. West Valley Dem Amish Shah – who contributed $22,000 of his own money to land a job that pays $24,000 annually – is the sponsor of HB2224, on behalf of … cats.

Shah’s bill would ban declawing the arrogant little beasts unless the procedure is for “a therapeutic purpose” – i.e., “addressing an existing or recurring infection, disease, injury or abnormal condition.”

So no, Morris shredding your favorite La-Z-Boy doesn’t count.

Legislators from both parties love creating new fake holidays in Arizona, meaning we don’t get days off from work, but they still get to make a political statement. 

Among the new “days” being proposed: Arizona Jazz Day on April 30th; a “national day of racial healing” on the third Tuesday of every January; and Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Day, which will make each June 27 a blessed event for every reporter who’s every covered the Legislature for a session.

President Donald Trump may also get a day – June 14th, his birthday, courtesy of White Mountains Republican Wendy Rogers.

 Not content to stop there with the MAGA ass-kissing, Rogers also has authored Senate Concurrent Memorial 1001, which if passed would urge the Arizona Department of Transportation to designate State Route 260 as the “Donald Trump Memorial Highway.”

Clever leader, this Sen. Rogers.  She may have accidentally discovered a way to reduce weekend traffic up to Show Low and Pinetop by 50 percent – after all the state’s Prius and Subaru drivers boycott traveling on 260 for the rest of their lives.

It’s unlikely any of these bills actually pass and become law in Arizona, which is both a frustrating thought and a cause for joy. 

Frustrating because you’d think this body of 90 elected officials would have better things to do with their time. Yet joyful because if this Legislature is busy debating cat claws, forced moral reasoning, fake holidays and highway names, they’re not busy screwing up our lives even further.

I’ve heard it said we get the government we deserve. If so, Arizona’s 7 million residents must have been really lousy humans in our past lives.