Admittedly, I do not understand the machinations of politics.
For some reason, state lawmakers proposed an anti-smoking measure to be amended to a bill to balance the state budget.
OK, if y’all say so.
But the measure to outlaw smoking in public places — not public property, mind you — evidently drew heated discussion Friday night, according to a Texas Tribune report reprinted at Pegasus News.
The amendment would prohibit smoking in restaurants and bars, for example, and some members of the House cried even more creeping government intrusion into personal lives while others cited the dangers of second-hand smoke.
Rep. David Simpson, a Republication representing Longview, fell into the former camp. He went so far as to propose a ban on perfume and cologne in public places because those smells offend some people, particularly when the fat chick doused in Jean Naté gets on the elevator with you after a garlic-heavy lunch.
His tongue-in-cheek proposal brought down the House with laughter before Rep. Lois Kolkhost, R-Brenham, called him out for making fun of second-hand smoke effects. Someone also pointed out that perfume and cologne do, in fact, contain carcinogens, and I’ll just take that at face value.
Simpson took it as the light of enlightenment and withdrew his proposal.
Oh, and the measure to ban smoking in restaurants and bars — but not in bingo parlor and pool halls — passed, 73-66. Now it’s off to the state Senate as SB 1811 for more yucks and hijinks.
Bruce Felps owns and operatesEast Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He does not smoke. Or is it wear cologne? One or the other.