CARSON CITY – The good idea fairy is alive and well in Carson City.
I’ve sure you’ve met the good idea fairy before. It’s when a boss, co-worker, friend or even spouse sees what you’re doing and offers an unsolicited suggestion that you do something additional. The suggestion they offer isn’t inherently bad or destructive. You may even eventually decide to make that choice yourself, but “good ideas” can cause you to lose your focus on the most important task.
Consider AB85, which would require all public and private schools to teach CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator in junior and high school health classes. The proposal by the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee passed the Assembly unanimously and looks like it’ll do the same in the Senate. Who could possibly be opposed to teaching children CPR? After all, it’s a good idea. It could even save a life someday.
But it shouldn’t be illegal to run a school that doesn’t teach 12-year-olds CPR or how to use a defibrillator. What’s a good idea in Carson City turns into red tape for those having to live under legal mandates.
The same thing is true of AB241, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson. It would require that new buildings used by the public include a baby changing station accessible to men and women. As a father who’s been annoyed that a men’s restroom didn’t have a diaper changing station, I appreciate the thought behind it. I hope businesses do this, but it shouldn’t be against the law not to.
While those may seem like trivial issues, once legislators see their role as putting good ideas into place, instead of securing life, liberty and property and providing essentials like roads and education, the “good” ideas become more and more invasive.
On Friday, the Senate passed SB196, mandating some employers provide paid sick leave. Both houses are considering bills to raise Nevada’s minimum wage, and some want to price-fix diabetes medications with SB265.
The best lawmakers understand the difference between a good idea and good law.