I think some congratulations are in order for the Massachusetts State Legislature.
State legislatures are charged with crafting laws to better the lives of the citizens of their states, but so often they seem to spend so much time doing everything but that.
Here in Arizona, we have suffered at the hands of our Legislature this year, with bills to kill Common Core in schools and give hatred for gays the go-ahead in the name of religious liberty. And those were just bills that made it to a vote.
If you could SEE some of the bills that DIDN’T get a hearing. It’s like a special-interest Renaissance Festival in January down at 19th Avenue and Washington.
But Thursday, in Massachusetts, lawmakers got down to business and fixed a problem with an existing law.
Back in 2010, police in Boston arrested Michael Robertson. He was caught in the practice of “upskirting”. It’s just what it sounds like. He was taking cell phone pictures up the skirts of female train riders.
A judge (female, it should be noted) ruled what he was doing was not technically illegal because current law didn’t define a person who was wearing clothing as being possibly nude, even if a picture taken was done so from UNDER her clothes.
Sounds stupid, right? That’s because it is.
So, in two days, the Massachusetts Legislature drafted a new law. They heard the bill. And passed it. And the governor signed it.
Why is it news when state lawmakers do the right thing? Because it’s unusual.
And that’s too bad.