A New York judge yesterday struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on big sugary sodas, giving the city's restaurant owners reason to cheer. But a similar ban could soon come to Washington, where several D.C. Council members have said they'd be in favor of a comparable soda rule. And Whispers finds that there is plenty of legislation being considered in other states that proposes bans on different products and activities.
In Nevada, for example, a bill is being considered to ban texting while walking across a highway. Democratic assemblyman Harvey Munford of Las Vegas, who introduced the legislation, told the Los Angeles Times he had the idea while watching people distractedly text and walk. The bill says first-time offenders get a written warning, while second and third-time violators of the law face a fine of up to $250.
Rhode Island, meanwhile, might soon become the first state to ban plastic bags statewide. While shoppers in the District of Columbia are asked to pay 5 cents for each plastic bag they use, Democratic Rep. Maria Cimini of Providence has introduced legislation that would prevent large retailers and then small stores in her state from offering bags at all. She told the Brown Daily Herald that the bags "pollute our waterways, and that's not attractive—it's incredibly unpleasant." Critics say the ban could cost thousands of jobs.
California is considering two controversial bills—one to ban the use of lead ammunition and another to ban smoking in homes. Both bills were introduced by Democratic lawmakers for health and safety reasons.
And as the gun control debate continues to rage across the country, Colorado Democrats have proposed legislation limiting large-capacity magazines. Republicans in the state told Denver's CBS local news channel that the language of the bill may mean shotguns are banned, too. That would be an unpopular measure, as the shotgun is the most popular firearm for hunting in the state.
Also on the docket in Colorado: legislation to ban farmers from cutting cow tails, even for sanitary reasons.
Illinois, for its part, is debating the use of lion meat in restaurant steaks. Democratic Chicago Rep. Luis Arroyo recently introduced legislation banning the sale of lion meat in Chicago restaurants, suggesting violators face a fine of $25,000 and up to one year in jail. Republican critics told the Chicago Sun Times that with the state's budget issues and an ongoing gun control debate, Illinois lawmakers have bigger problems to tackle.