We should get our money's worth out of our state senators this week. Facing a short four-day week, senators will have their last chance to get their bills approved out of their chamber. Barring some parliamentary sleight of hand, anything not passed by Friday will lie dormant for the foreseeable future.
There are about 250 bills that senators will be asked to consider this week. Some of them are tough issues, such as Senate Bill 888, Ted Lieu's attempt to block picketers at funerals. This stems from the Westboro Baptist Church's demonstrations at military funerals, where picketers blame the deaths of our military men and women on the U.S.'s tolerance of gays.
This is a deserving discussion of the balance that needs to be struck protecting free speech, while at the same time protecting those trying to grieve with dignity.
Other bills tackle other big issues, such as banning Styrofoam food containers, and ensuring professional sports teams repay loans to cities before they relocate to another town.
And then there's this.
Senate Bill 932. From Senator Mark Leno. The senator from Northern California wants to warn everyone about the potential dangers of cellular telephones. He wants to make it law that all cellphone retailers post a sign alerting consumers of a possible health threat. Never mind that no study has ever definitively linked cellphones with brain cancer or any other malady.
Nevertheless, Leno wants the Senate to spend some time debating the merits of posting a notice in every mobile phone retailer that says, "This device emits radiofrequency energy. Consult the user's manual for additional information on safe use."
I have an idea. Let me do that right here, right now. Ready? Here we go: Cellphones emit radio waves. Check the user's manual for information on safe use.
OK? Check that one off the Senate "to do" list. Now, can you get down to the business of running the state?