Making decisions in Montgomery

Published 11:43 am Thursday, April 2, 2009

Beyond the state budget, legislators face other decisions of great import back here in Shelby County as they work in Montgomery. A few of the more interesting bills still pending in the statehouse:

-Bingo. Taxing gaming in several “hand-picked” locations in our state is a backdoor effort to legalize it.

Well-funded ad campaigns attempt to position the bill as a means of eliminating illegal gaming in the state while pumping tax money into state coffers when, in actuality, it would legalize gaming by taxing it.

Our state constitution, antiquated as it is, makes gaming illegal in the state, creating a real head-scratcher for those driving by the bingo halls and dog tracks that litter parts of our state.

Little Red Riding Hood was bright enough to realize a wolf dressed as her grandmother was still a wolf; let’s hope our legislators have a similar perspective on this bill and others like it.

-Sunday alcohol sales. A recently introduced bill to grandfather-in existing restaurants in Shelby County that sell alcohol on Sunday is a reasonable compromise, regardless of one’s personal feelings on imbibing on the Sabbath.

Changing the rules on businesses in our community, disallowing a revenue stream that is currently legal, is unfair and unwarranted.

-Smoke-free public spaces. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, leads this effort to pass a bill which would limit smoking in public to bars and locations more than 50 feet from public buildings.

While the bill has failed to resonate with previous legislative sessions, it appears poised to receive a positive vote this time around.

Rep. McClurkin deserves praise for her steadfast leadership with this much-needed legislation, and the bill she has helped put forward deserves the support of our elected officials.