January 26, 2007
WORTH NOTING: Sex, drugs and Rock 'n' Roll Hit States
By Daniel C. Vock, Staff Writer
Rhode Island won't be the landlord for a strip club much longer, reports the Providence Journal . The state's Department of Transportation is moving to sell the building housing Club Desire, valued at $2.3 million, to raise money to qualify for federal matching grants. The agency acquired the building through eminent domain for a highway expansion project in 2000.
An Oregon lawmaker wants to keep colleagues honest when it comes to drug use. State Rep. Wayne Krieger (R) proposed mandating drug tests for lawmakers and other state leaders. "State officials should be more than willing to stand up and say, 'When I'm doing the people's business, I'm doing it with a clear mind and not under the influence of any drug,'" Krieger told The Oregonian .
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) invited rocker Ted Nugent to perform at a black-tie inaugural bash for Perry's second term. Nugent showed up in a Confederate flag T-shirt, according to the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram . The shirt offended some audience members, but the governor's spokesman said Perry supported Nugent's right to wear whatever he chose. Perry himself would not wear such a shirt, because it was in "poor taste," the spokesman said. But according to Nugent, Perry advised him to tell T-shirt critics to "drop dead."
Colorado lawmakers last year tried to prevent the state from spending a dime on illegal immigrants (unless the federal government said otherwise). The result? State agencies spent $2 million to abide by the new rules and saved nothing, according to the Denver Post .
Senior bingo doesn't have the bang it used to, so New Hampshire lawmakers are looking to revive its fortunes. They're considering lowering the minimum age for participants (currently 60) and allowing bigger winnings, according to The (Manchester) Union Leader .
It could be easier to get booze on Sundays in Washington state soon, writes the (Tacoma) News Tribune . Lawmakers there are encouraged by a 16-month pilot program that lets 55 private and state stores sell liquor for five hours on Sundays. The stores are expected to bring in $18.5 million in sales by June - twice the original estimate. That's good news for lawmakers, because the state, municipalities, health services and alcohol treatment programs all share in the revenues.
Arizona legislators dislike speed traps so much, they're refusing to stop motorists from masking their license plates to avoid traffic cameras. The state Senate's transportation committee voted down a measure that would have made it illegal for motorists to obscure their tags. The bill's sponsor said the proposal would make it easier for police to hunt down hit-and-run drivers. But state Sen. Robert Blendu (R) disputed that. "The real issue revolving around this … is that cities are not getting the revenues off the photo radar," he said, according to the Arizona Daily Star .
The upcoming Super Bowl contest between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts is testing allegiances at the Indiana Capitol, reports the Times of Northwest Indiana . State Rep. Duane Cheney (D), a Bears fan from Indiana's Chicago suburbs, knows he's outnumbered. "I'm not loudly proclaiming I'm a Bears fan, we'll put it that way," he said. But state Sen. Sam Smith, a Democrat who grew up a Bears fan, says he's changed his ways. "How can I pay taxes in this state and be a state politician and go against the Colts? The Colts all the way. The Colts eat Bear meat," he said.
Looking ahead: The military's top brass will discuss restructuring the National Guard on Capitol Hill Wednesday… Perry, the Texas governor, will send 604 National Guard troops (on top of 1,700 he sent last summer) to beef up security on the Mexican border as part of "Operation Wrangler."