Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 19, 2013

Austin festivities in full swing

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Every two years, the great State of Texas gives us all a gift in the form of the Texas Legislature.

All 181 of these sometimes smart, wonderfully goofy folks are in fine fettle, filing bills and having a big old time. As with any group of mostly guys, there’s a generous degree of chest-beating and howling, as if the loudest and meanest legislator will get all the women and the biggest portion of food.

Somebody should probably tell them it doesn’t work that way anymore, but it’s not going to be me. I get too much amusement out of their preening.

Various bills have been filed to get rid of or at least ease up on the use of testing in schools, which has a lot of supporters. Several bills would propose giving retired teachers a raise, or making their raises tied to something in reality. At least one bill would change the name of the Railroad Commission to the Oil and Gas Commission, which is a good idea about 70 years late.

I read at least three or four bills to make people who want financial aid take drug tests. Sure, because the possibility of losing their Lone Star Card will clean those addicts right up.

Having a perverse sense of humor, my favorites are the ones that swing wide of the whole “I’m a responsible adult who recognizes that I’m writing laws that will affect millions of people,” and seem more to be written from the attitude of “What happens if I push this button?” school of legislative thinking.

Along those lines we have the bill by our very own senator Brian Birdwell that college kids come with guns, Rep. Flynn’s idea that we should post the 10 commandments in public school classrooms, Rep. Huberty’s proposal to arm school board members, another allowing jails to house prisoners in tents, Zedler’s bill to protect college teachers who don’t like Darwin, and a ban on human cloning at colleges.

By the way, the cloning thing is only for colleges, so Drane science fair kids? Now’s your chance.

Another proposed bill would prohibit the selling of any sodas to students on school campuses.

You know, maybe instead of banning sodas we could teach students how to drink them responsibly? I know what you’re thinking, it sounds like I’m using an analogy here, but I’m not. When you accidentally or intentionally spray all the people around you with Mountain Dew they just get sticky.

If there’s one bill that everyone should support overwhelmingly it’s the little bill filed by Rep. Alvaredo limiting the size of fifth-grade classrooms to 22 students. Honestly, I’ve substituted in fifth-grade classrooms and the legal limit ought to be five, but any more than 22 should be criminal.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com