2024 Leg Session, Columnists, Gold Dome, Jon Caldara, Politics, Uncategorized

Caldara: Bizarre bills flow from Colorado’s loony legislature

(You can listen to this column, read by the author, here.)

While Colorado’s governmental core functions are going unattended, as witnessed by crime, traffic and crumbling roads, the legislature is busying itself with the most critical work of all — coming up with wing-bat crazy bills to promote the trans agenda by disempowering parents, crush needed industries and torture puppies.

By far, my favorite is House Bill 1039. In its original version it empowers any kid in school to choose his own name “to reflect that individual’s gender identity.” The school must use the new name he, she or “they” chose in all their record keeping, teaching, activities — even the yearbook.

Mind you, at 18 years old any young adult can legally change their name to whatever they like. But why wait to go against your parents’ wishes when the state can enable you to anger them right now, today.

The same logic would allow 8-year olds to get tattoos without parental consent.

The problem is there are plenty of kids who have my sense of humor. I would have loved to force my teachers to call me by any name I desired.

School will turn into a Saturday Night Live skit.

Let me offer some name suggestions, with apologies to Bart Simpson, for the middle school crowd who will understand the sophistication:

I.M.A. Wiener, Homer Sexual, Oliver Klozoff, Seymour Butz, Al Coholic, Tess T. Culls, Hugh Jass, Mike Rotch, Jacques Strap, Amanda Huginkiss, I.P. Freely, Ollie Tabooger, Lee Key Bum, Ivana Tinkle, Maya Buttreeks, Eura Snotball, Ahmed Adoudi, Maya Normousbutt, Drew P. Wiener, Yuri Nator, Moe Ron, Ben Dover, Fannie Licker or Moe Lester.

Parents should encourage their kids to change their first name to “Doctor” or “President.” Little girls can finally name themselves “Princess.” And, of course, the smart-aleck in class will change his name so that under his yearbook photo it will read “School Shooter.”

Next on the giggle list is House Bill 1114. It requires that before an animal shelter euthanizes any pet, they must call every other known animal shelter to see if that shelter is stupid enough to take the thing.

So, a shelter in, say, Limon has 500 pet rats no one wants to adopt. Before they put the vermin down, they must call every single shelter in the entire state and see if they would like to take them first. And if this shelter in Durango says yes, are they really gonna drive to Limon to get them?

“Excuse me, we have this very elderly rattlesnake we need to put down. Do you want to take it so when you realize it needs to be put down, you’ll be required to call every single shelter in the state like we’re doing right now? Sure, we’d rather be tending to our needy animals, but some busy-body lawmakers thought this is how we should spend our time.”

The unintended consequence is pet shelters will be much more hesitant to accept animals. Why take in animals if the risk is you’re gonna be spending all your energy trying to pawn them off on another shelter?

As usual with this type of feel-good-but-poorly-thought-through legislation, it will harm more animals as they are turned away from shelters in the first place.

And why do people give away their beloved pet? Often it’s because they can no longer afford to keep it. So, one of the great things you can do to save animals is to make sure their human beings don’t lose their jobs or that rising costs don’t eat away their paychecks.

To help with that is Senate Bill 159, which ends all oil and gas development in Colorado by 2030. This bill will destroy the largest industry in Colorado, the one that accounts for some 11% of the state’s GDP.

So, not only will the thousands of people who depend on the industry for employment lose their jobs, but working families will pay more and more for the natural gas that heats their homes and the fuel that runs their cars.

Fortunately, parents who can’t afford to feed their kids, even though they don’t know what those very kids’ names are at school, will still be able to put food on the table. When the shelter won’t take their dog, they can serve him for dinner.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.


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