The salamander bill is back and tweeps are roundly criticizing it on Twitter.
I’m not so down on it, though intelligent minds may disagree.
Here’s why: It’s a silly idea, sure, but Idaho lawmakers are no strangers to odd plans. And, why is one irrelevant, meaningless bill worth more than another?
The backstory: schoolkids in the Boise area decided a few years ago to explore and then participate in government for a class project. After some research, they realized Idaho doesn’t have a state amphibian, so they decided to propose one.
In the years since the kids first pitched the idea, they’ve surely learned a valuable lesson: only state lawmakers and vested interests get their bills through the Legislature, no matter how silly.
For example: just about two years ago, Idaho lawmakers approved a resolution asking the federal government to censor your television by limiting portrayals of premarital sex. Besides accomplishing nothing at all, the bill might have been more damaging than the salamander measure ever could be because it showed an abiding faith in the federal government to make moral decisions for individuals.
The trivial and unimportant resolutions don’t end there: Last year, legislators approved a memorial asking Congress to work with Idaho on marketing seafood.
If you’re not well-versed on geography, this one’s a head-scratcher because Idaho isn’t exactly beachfront property.
In the end, the salamander bill is incredibly silly. But so is asking the federal government to censor your television. One trivial bill, favored by lawmakers and lobbyists, wins easy passage in both legislative chambers, while another, powered by citizen determination, dies an unremarkable death yearly.
That smacks of elitism.
Lawmakers, don’t waste our time and money this year considering unimportant issues. Otherwise, pass the dang salamander bill and get it over with.
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