New laws take effect; anger some
By 09/25/2003 00:00:00
License plate frames, ‘fatty' foods take hit
The Ellis County Press
ELLIS COUNTY - Get out the screwdriver, license plate frames are now illegal.
The new law, one of many new measures to be enacted Sept. 1, crept up on residents without much fanfare, but now it's official, motorists with frames ranging from their favorite university football team to a dealership tag can be fined $200.
'Is nobody looking out for the interests of car enthusiasts?' asked Oak Leaf resident Corey Rueth, rhetorically.
Rueth, 26, was referring to both the license plate frame law and a measure to crack down on illegal street racing, which, if caught, violators can have their drivers license suspended for a year - spectators can be fined and charged as well.
'As always, a few of us will be made into examples and ran through the ringer in a futile attempt to stop street racing,' Rueth said.
'If they hit street racing where it really hurts they can stop it, or at least dramatically reduce it. However, coming after all of us with Class B misdemeanors is going to accomplish nothing except creating enormous animosity between the police and us.'
Also on the state's check list are new regulations for government-run public schools to combat obesity; schools now must toss the candy, gum, many sodas and reduce the amount of 'junk food' cafeteria's serve each day.
'The goal of the [lawyers] is to make themselves multimillionaires while pretending that their motive is a high-minded concern for public health,' said Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis senior fellow Bruce Bartlett, in response to the latest trend in schools and fast-food restaurants being sued because of contributions to obesity.
'It would be laughable if it hadn't already worked so well with the tobacco companies, which not coincidentally, also own many food operations.'
Bartlett, in his weekly column titled, 'First tobacco, now fat,' called politicians' and lawyers' attempts to curb obesity a 'Marxist hatred of capitalism.'
Aside from the car laws and obesity-fighting measures, the state has also made abortions harder to get.
Only a limited amount of doctors can legally perform the procedure, and obtaining an abortion requires signatured doctor's forms stating the reasons for needing one.
And as part of the state's war on terrorism, residents who refuse to submit to a quarantine can be arrested and fined. The quartantines would be used in cases like a bio or chemical attack, according to state government officials.
For more information on the 100-plus laws enacted Sept. 1, visit www.capitol.state.tx.us.