(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Alabama legislation The periodic report from the Alabama Bar's magazine, recounting what the Legislature did in its latest session, always contains at least a couple of things to make me slap my forehead. The one that came in the mail yesterday is no exception. (Apparently you can access these Acts through the Legislature's site, but the site seems to be so Microsoft-centric that I can't make it work on my Microsoft-avoiding system).

* Just one more instance of casual establishment of religion: SB 124, Act 2002-408, says that new teenage drivers can't drive without a grownup between midnight and 6 am, unless they're going to (among the very few exceptions) an event sponsored by a religious organization. If any kid out there gets stopped in the middle of the night coming back from a local-union-sponsored event, or a NOW-sponsored event, or even the Young Republican Club's Abstinence Week sock hop, don't forget to call me.

* There is near-unanimous consensus, among people who care about such things, that Alabama's tax system is disastrously incoherent, inadequate, and regressive. And as Paul Krugman notes today (New York Times, registration required), Alabama is in financial distress. So what does HB 35, Act 2002-414, do to change this? While former law (sec. 40-26(b)-2) had taxed prescription drugs that cost more than $3, this Act closes that loophole, making sure that even the prescriptions that cost less than $3 are taxed!

posted by sam 9:46 AM 0 comments


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