Wasting Time in Annapolis
By Richard Fidler
Sometimes you have to wonder if the Montgomery County delegation is a few clowns short of a circus. They sometimes feel an urgent need to propose legislation, even though there is no need for it or even when there is strong evidence against it.
Here are two examples of how our delegation busies itself in Annapolis.
Last year, Delegate Aruna Miller sponsored HB1023, Public Schools – Thirsty Kids’ Act. From the title, you would think our students are as thirsty as a Las Vegas golf course. To wit: (a) Each public school shall: (1) make available free, unlimited, potable drinking water for each student throughout the school day; (2) include a reusable water bottle on the school supplies list for each student in kindergarten through grade 12; and (3) provide flat–bottomed, biodegradable cups for drinking water in each location where meals are served.(b) the department [of Education] shall encourage each county board to develop a plan to promote in public schools: (1) the consumption of drinking water; (2) the use of reusable water bottles; and (3) weekly cleaning of reusable water bottles.”
The Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE), representing all twenty-four of the state’s local boards of education, opposed the bill. Why? Because “The federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires schools participating in the National School Lunch Program to make potable water available to children at no charge in the place where lunch meals are served during the meal service.”
Continuing to prove that some in our delegation are a few fries short of a Happy Meal, this year Delegate Ariana Kelly (LD16) has sponsored HB 455, Hair Dressers.
This bill would require that in order for someone to professionally blow-dry someone else’s hair, the person must be a licensed “blow-dry technician.” And to get that license they would need to be at least 17 years old, have completed the 9th grade and have taken 350 hours of training at a cosmetology school certified by the state Department of Education. Furthermore, the blow-dry technician couldn’t just set up shop by herself; she would need to work in a licensed beauty salon or barber shop or be sponsored by them to work in a nursing home, hospital, hospice, the residence of an individual confined to the residence by reason of a physical or mental infirmity or an assisted living facility.
Now, really, does it take 350 hours – nearly 44 eight-hour days – just to learn how to blow dry hair? Several videos on YouTube show how to blow dry hair in no more than 7 minutes and 13 seconds.
As Will Rogers said, “Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”