Thank you to our state’s school bus drivers as we celebrated School Bus Driver Appreciation Day on Wednesday. The appreciation I have for our bus drivers’ ability to safely bring our children to school and home again cannot be overstated, as well as the positive impacts they have on young riders. Thanks for all you do, school bus drivers!
On a different safety note, National Farm Safety and Health Week officially occurs the third week in September, but important discussions related to that topic are happening right now.
Proposals are emerging to provide funding for farm safety measures such as tractor rollover protection and grain bin equipment. State Rep. Paul Anderson, our House District 12B neighbor adjacent to the west, is himself a farmer and has been closely involved with this subject over the years. This year, he has authored a bill to establish a grain storage facility safety grant program. In 2016, he successfully authored a bill to start a tractor rollover kit reimbursement program funded by a public-private partnership to help farmers make their implements safer.
As we continue working on ideas at the Capitol to help keep our ag. workers safe, please be especially careful around grain bins. A wet harvest appears to be causing dangerous conditions with bins this winter and the issue could carry into the spring.
One of the biggest news items from the floor this week is the House majority approved two bills that impact the Second Amendment. Before we get into the specifics of this issue, it should be noted that I cherish our Second Amendment rights. These bills each contain major concerns and have bipartisan opposition, mainly because they violate the rights of law-abiding gun owners and undermine due process.
For instance, with the Red Flag Bill, we already have laws in place to remove guns from people who may be considered threats to themselves or others. Someone experiencing a mental-health crisis can be placed on a 72-hour emergency hold for medical evaluation and potential commitment for further treatment. As for domestic violence cases, state statute currently directs officers to make an arrest if they believe that domestic violence has occurred in the preceding 72 hours, or if the person poses a threat to the alleged victim.
The Background Check Bill, in addition to preventing routine transfers between friends and family, limits permits to purchase to one firearm every 30 days. This would effectively create a state-level gun registry. Our state already conducts background checks and, again, this bill would only serve to create more red tape for law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights.
Instead of taking these approaches, the best gun policies should start with enforcing what already is on the books, not further burdening law-abiding citizens and infringing on our Constitution. The good news is the Senate majority has made it clear it does not support these bills and will protect our Second Amendment from these changes.
Thank you for continuing to read my updates and enjoy the weekend. It looks like March will be coming in as a lamb!