11 April 2006

Floor action, Apr. 11: SB 47, 433

SB 433 would loosen existing ballot security measures that would make registrants give positive identification at least once before voting by mail. Sponsor Sen. Cleo Fields said he knew of no other state that requires people who registered by mail had to show up at least once at polls to vote, before ever voting by mail. He explained it extended the legislation from the last special session, which cut off the ability to do this Jul. 16. There was no debate. It was defeated 15-22, and Fields gave notice to reconsider, which meant it could yet be brought up again. Of the affirmative votes, 10 were by black Democrats (all such in the chamber), and all 12 such being Democrats.

You would think SB 47, which would create special orange-colored license plates for two-time convictions of drunk driving for the car’s registrants, would have been a slam dunk. Instead, Sen. Ben Nevers got some spirited questions concerning the bill, wondering whether it improperly stigmatized operators of vehicles who did not have the convictions, and whether it worked at cross purposes to existing laws that put interlock systems on doors to prevent those convicted from driving without passing a sobriety test (because those persons might be discouraged from driving their own cars). But it did end up passing 33-2.

I drove under the influence of alcohol…. It’s not feel-good legislation.
Nevers, in arguing for why his bill that would create special license plates should be forcibly issued to registrants which have two drunk driving convictions should be passed.

SB 87, SB 166, SB 167, SB 293, SB 293, and SB 301 are scheduled to be heard by the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee.

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