Crossover Day – we survived!


House members worked until nine-thirty Monday evening as they completed work on House bills before the crossover deadline.  Of the 22 bills and joint resolutions on the calendar, eight were defeated.  The Senate also had 22 bills and joint resolutions, but finished their work about five hours earlier, after passing half the bills and killing half.

One of the bills the House passed on crossover day was an act to apply smoke-free laws to e-cigarettes.  According to information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, e-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. youth.  E-cigarette aerosol generally contains fewer toxic chemicals than the mix of 7,000 chemicals in smoke from regular cigarettes. However, opponents of vaping point out that the aerosol can still contain nicotine, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents.  Research shows that vaping can weaken your immune system, damage blood vessels, and make you four times more likely to start smoking cigarettes.

The House defeated an act to lower the compulsory school attendance age from 18 to 16.  This was prompted in part by concerns over the Juvenile Justice Public Safety Improvement Act, which attempts to keep more students in their home communities rather than committed to the Department of Corrections.  While recognizing that the Juvenile Justice Act needs some tweaks, legislators were not convinced that this was a step in the right direction.

Another bill that was lost was the “guns in trunks” bill which has been defeated several times before in past legislative sessions.  HB1173 would have prevented employers from restricting guns in the parking lots of their business, and given employees the right to keep a legally owned and lawfully possessed firearm locked inside a private motor vehicle.  The argument for the bill is that we have a Second Amendment right to defend ourselves.  The argument against the bill is that the Second Amendment does not supersede property rights.



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