Tag Archives: legislation

License Plates for Bicycles Sought by NJ Lawmaker

UPDATE (01/13/11): Big Gov’t Bureaucrat Back Pedals on Bike Bill

"Can I see your license and registration, please?"

"Can I see your license and registration, please?"

A New Jersey democrat is using her political muscle to force citizens across the state to register their bicycles with the Division of Motor Vehicles. The ridiculous maneuver would help the state offset its $10 billion budget deficit by enforcing a $10 per license plate fee and fines up to $100 for those, including children, caught riding unregistered bikes.

Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex) said balancing the state’s budget isn’t her motivation for the outlandish proposal; it’s protecting senior citizens from getting run over by kids on bikes.

Affixing license plates to every bicycle in the state would help these vulnerable senior citizens identify and rattle off the license plate numbers from the kids’ bikes to the police, ensuring the rascals are brought to justice, says Tucker.

Tucker’s proposal has been met with opposition by a diverse group of interests including bicyclists, environmentalists, business owners and even her own colleagues in the State House.

“That’s an outrage, for sure,” said Paige Hiemier, vice-president of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition. “Basically, it’s outrageous for a number of reasons, and most of them are: Who is the legislation aimed at? Who’s going to administer it? How are they going to pay for it? Who’s going to stop the bicyclists and check their registration?”

Send Tucker an email reminding her not to make the same mistake twice: AswTucker@njleg.org

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State Mandates Food Cops in Every Restaurant

"I'll be your food protection manager tonight. What can't I serve you?"

"I'll be your food protection manager tonight. What can't I serve you?"

Starting Feb. 1, every restaurant in Mass. will be forced to employ at least one “certified food protection manager.” Among the many duties to be assumed by the state-mandated food cops will be teaching fellow staff about “washing hands with soap and water and not hand sanitizer, and wiping food preparation areas, table tops and highchairs with commercial-strength cleaners.”

The most important task ahead, say proponents of the mandatory food safety initiative, is preventing patrons with food allergies from being poisoned or killed by their meals. The newly enlisted food protection managers will be responsible for personally serving every ‘special needs’ patron while teaching fellow servers and kitchen staff how to avoid contaminating plates with allergens.

“Restaurants are also encouraged to make simpler dishes by avoiding ingredients that hide allergens, like some mollusks and shellfish, barley and rye,” reports Boston’s WCVB-TV. “Currently, federal law does not require ‘minor’ allergens to be clearly listed on food labels.”

Got that? Thanks to the new law, chefs will be “encouraged” to alter their signature recipes that they’ve crafted for the vast majority of patrons who do not have food allergies.

Simply posting warnings on menus about potential food allergens contained in dishes would make too much sense and force those with food allergies to actually pay attention to what they choose to consume. This way, they can not be held responsible for getting sick — it’s the restaurants and chefs who will be blamed and sued for poisoning them. Talk about a ‘Happy Meal’ for trial lawyers!

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City Slaps Sin Tax on Pregnant Pooches

Got a license for that?

Got a license for that?

An effort to cut down on the number of homeless pets in one Texas city has prompted officials to slap pet owners with a $75 sin tax to help deter their furry friends from breeding. Failure to register your pet’s new litter within 14 days “could result in fines and penalties,” states El Paso’s new animal ordinance.

City officials have also limited dogs and cats to 2 planned or unplanned pregnancies a year in an effort to prevent shelters from being overwhelmed. Professional breeders complain that the city’s crackdown on careless pet owners unfairly punishes their responsible businesses that provide in-demand pets to welcoming new homes.

El Paso Animal Services received $250,000 from the city council to step-up its enforcement efforts that will include monitoring newspapers and other media to ensure citizens selling puppies and kittens have registered their new litters and paid the sin tax for their pets’ intentional or unintentional ‘romantic encounters.’

Your taxpayer dollars hard at work!

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NY Democrat Seeks to Dethrone Bloomberg as State’s Top Nanny

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz is intent on dethroning Mayor Michael Bloomberg as NY's #1 Nanny.

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz is intent on dethroning Mayor Michael Bloomberg as NY's #1 Nanny.

New York State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) is on a roll, and we’re only 11 days in to the New Year. Earlier today we reported that he wants to install mandatory breathalyzers in New Yorkers’ automobiles by 2015, and now we get wind that he’s proposing a tax on kids’ rice cakes and video entertainment.

Our friends at Reason.tv are reporting:

Ortiz has noticed that kids are getting kind of fat, so he’s slapping a wee little tax—one quarter of one percent—on sales of all the foods listed as sweets or snacks in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, plus a tax on sale and rentals of video games and movies and game controllers. (A faint silver lining: Reading this bill taught me what DVD stands for. Digital Versatile Disk, apparently. Who knew?) That money goes to an “Childhood Obesity Prevention Program Fund.” But the tax fails to distinguish between good and bad snack, and good and bad video games. So in the name of obesity prevention, education games will get hit, as will these USDA-listed snacks …

Here’s another blooper from Ortiz’ proposed ‘anti-obesity’ tax: Kids and adults intent on purchasing Nintendo’s Wii ‘Fit’ games would be penalized with a sin tax. According to People magazine, First Lady Michelle Obama encourages her two girls to engage in Wii’s virtual physical fitness games on a regular basis.

Got some advice for Ortiz before his next attempt to legislate the behaviors and eating habits of New Yorkers both young and old? Contact his office.

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City’s Sin Tax Forces Pepsi to Shut Plant and Fire Workers

Pepsi is moving out of Baltimore due to the city's burdensome soda tax.

Pepsi is moving out of Baltimore due to the city's burdensome soda tax.

Nanny state bureaucrats in Baltimore, Md., are responsible for adding another 75 of the struggling city’s workers to the unemployment ranks, courtesy of their war against obesity. Pepsi-Cola announced it will no longer produce soda in ‘Charm City’ as a result of the recently passed two cent per container soda tax.

“In the case of Baltimore, as you may know, there was a beverage tax that was passed here and in this case, it did not help in the decision in terms of keeping the Baltimore plant open,” said Pepsi spokesperson Mark Dollins.

Baltimore grocers also report that the soda tax has had an adverse affect on their bottom lines as shoppers are traveling outside of city limits to purchase sugar-sweetened beverages.

“I’m just shocked that [Pepsi’s] pulling out and I asked them if there was anything we could do at the city level with Baltimore Development Corporation and try to offer some kind of incentive and they said it was too far down the line,” said City Council President Jack Young.

This is what happens, Jack, when big government over-regulates and over-burdens private businesses, both large and small, with needless taxes that eliminate any economic incentives keeping them in your city versus somewhere else with fiscally responsible leaders who would be more than happy to make ample accommodations that might help shrink their unemployment rosters and boost their economies in these difficult times.

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Big Apple Bureaucrat Wants Mandatory Breathalyzers for Motorists

NYS Assemblyman demonstrates what can happen when 'average' citizens drink alcohol excessively. Ironically, he seems to assume most New Yorkers are already hardcore alcoholics, otherwise, he wouldn't be proposing mandatory breathalyzers be installed in their automobiles.

NYS Assemblyman demonstrates what can happen when 'average' citizens drink alcohol excessively. Ironically, he seems to assume most New Yorkers are already hardcore alcoholics, otherwise, he wouldn't be proposing mandatory breathalyzers be installed in their automobiles.

The last time we heard from Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn), he was desperately trying to ban the use of salt in New York restaurants, followed by getting drunk to the point of vomiting on ‘Four Loko’ to prove why it also needs to be banned. Now, Ortiz wants to install breathalyzers in every New Yorker’s automobile by 2015.

Plain and simple, Ortiz does not trust New Yorkers to drink responsibly. Instead of targeting his efforts, state resources and millions in taxpayer dollars on keeping unrepentant alcoholics and repeat offenders off the roads, he prefers punishing responsible drivers and drinkers with Big Brother technology that has a zero tolerance policy towards alcohol and their use of personal judgment.

Read the text of Ortiz’ re-introduced bill and let us know what you think about his efforts to force New Yorkers to submit to breathalyzers every time they get behind the wheel.

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Bureaucrats Force Fire Trucks to Take the Long Route

"Over the river and through the woods, to put out the fire we go!"

"Over the river and through the woods, to put out the fire we go!"

Living south of a well-traveled bridge in one Mass. suburb could now mean the difference between life and death for local residents. State officials recently revised weight restrictions for “heavy trucks” crossing Haverhill’s Basiliere Bridge to include critical ladder trucks.

“It’s not ideal and we want it fixed as quickly as possible, but it’s not a source for panic,” a complicit Mayor James Fiorentini told the Eagle-Tribune. “The state has told us the restriction applies to the firetrucks. We’ve asked them to consider allowing the ladder trucks to use the bridge and they said they will get back to us. If the answer is still no, we’ve asked them to fix the bridge as quickly as possible.”

Ain’t that sweet? Mayor Fiorentini would rather allow the ‘bureaucratic process’ to run its course than do whatever it takes as quickly as possible to protect local residents whose homes and lives are at stake.

Here’s the kicker: Since the weight restrictions were enacted, no city agency has ever monitored the bridge for “heavy trucks” exceeding the posted limit, says the city’s Public Safety Committee chairman. Admittedly, the only truckers following the ill-conceived law are Haverhill firemen who are being forced to take the long route with their ladder trucks!

Someone needs to kick Mayor Fiorentini’s butt into high gear. Here’s his contact information:

Mayor Fiorentini’s on-line Constituent Services (online form)
— or —
Personal email: jimfior02@aol.com

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