Laws should have sunset clause
Our Legislature, or at least some members of it, have authored or supported some bills that, at first blush, might seem good, but they’re really knee-jerk reactions to what’s happening in other states. Two recent examples come to mind. One is the bill that “protects” school students’ freedom of expression, mainly to allow them to engage in Christian prayer at school functions. With what passes for attorneys and judges now-a-days, we need to be very careful with something like this. Another is the “ban on bans” that was passed to keep newspapers from divulging certain information about private citizens.
Both of these Bills illustrate why I believe that every bill passed by our Legislature and especially the Congress should have an automatic sunset clause. That way when unintended consequences raise their ugly heads, or when the laws prove to be ineffective or ineffective, the laws can be scrapped automatically. A good example of the Sunset Clause working is the death of the Clinton gun ban and magazine capacity limitation. It just didn’t work, no matter how “well-intentioned” it was.
Congress is now trying to pass even more onerous bills for Obama to sign, knowing that they won’t work. But, the stated purpose of these bills is not the true purpose. It’s just a cover to mask the truth so people will swallow the bait before they realize what’s happening. Many states are already enacting laws to counter-act what they perceive to be unconstitutional laws.
I’m asking our area representatives and senators to work on a bill that will require all future bills to have a sunset clause, including it. After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.