|SB 279 - Snookered Again!
May 6, 1997
Would you believe we were actually within hours of a repeal vote in the House of Representatives? Not once, not twice, but three times in the last ten days! What seemed like a certainty has once again become a comedy routine perpetrated on the riders in this state.
We had this simple little Senate Bill making it a law to stop, look and listen at railroad crossings. A helmet repeal amendment was attached to that innocuous railroad safety bill and looked like a sure thing on April 28th. It got postponed until April 29th. Then the shit hit the fan: another amendment was attached which would have repealed the gas tax increase which was recently passed. The bill is yanked off the floor schedule and sent to the Appropriations Committee. We are told the representative who added the gas tax repeal (an alleged supporter of helmet repeal) wasn't aware that the helmet repeal ammendment was already in place (this is known as having one's head up one's ass) and, upon learning of the helmet ammendment, supposedly agrees to withdraw the gas tax repeal ammendment. This would get our bill back out on the floor. "Look for a vote on April 30th or May 5th" we are told. Then, another 8 or 10 ammendments get laid on the Senate Bill (I guess you could have heard those heads popping out of assholes clear to New Jersey) and the President of the House makes it very plain that NO Title 75 bills will be voted on in the House (for fear of more gas tax repeal efforts) until further notice or hell freezes over, whichever comes first.
Thus, through no fault of our own or our elected supporters, we once again stand rigidly in front of the crotch of justice with legislative blue balls.
Of course there is still S.B. 516, a near carbon copy of the helmet repeal which the Senate passed last year. It goes before the Senate Transportation Committee on May 13th. If we can get one swing vote the bill will go to the floor for a vote. CATCH 22 = it's a Title 75 bill which, if passed, must go to the House for a vote (see bullshit above). And there is still the original H.B. 34 with its 80+ sponsors sitting in the House Transportation Committee where the Chairman there won't let it out on the floor.
Now there is talk of running repeal through the House with something called a Discharge Resolution.(?)
I don't know about the rest of my non-violent brothers and sisters, but I damn sure know what I'd like to discharge up in the capitol. Call it S.W. 357!
See: 50 State Review