SEN. MCLACHLAN’S ‘BIRTHER’ BILL JUST ONE OF SEVERAL FRIVOLOUS, FRINGE BILLS

State Sen. Michael McLachlan (R-Danbury) gained attention this week for introducing a “birther bill” in the current session of the General Assembly (requiring anyone who wants to run for president or vice president of the United States to first present a valid birth certificate to the state secretary of state showing he or she was born in this country). But an examination of other bills he has introduced or at least has had drafted, shows a troubling focus on fringe positions on national issues.

Despite the fact the state is facing an historic $4 billion budget deficit, Sen. McLachlan seems to want to spend time debating:
• A bill that would prohibit rationing of health care. Apparently playing on the fears of those who say the Obama healthcare plan would result in “rationing” care, the bill’s (No. 545; LCO 1998) stated purpose is, “To prohibit private and public insurers from rationing health care benefits or requiring insured persons to participate in end-of-life counseling.” Seriously? He wants to spend time on this? It gets better.
• A bill requiring the study of “the founding documents” of the United States in high school. The bill (No. 426, LOC 1672) requires “the study of the founding documents, including, but not limited to, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights, in the civics and American Government component of the high school graduation requirements.” One would think the leaders of his own caucus would slap this one down. Republicans have long screamed for local control in education.
• A Joint Resolution (No. 10, LCO 1368) calling “upon the Congress of the United States to abide by the terms, conditions and spirit of the tenth amendment to the United States Constitution.” The tenth amendment, of course, says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Sen. McLachlan is certainly entitled to his political views. But it seems a monumental waste of time to spend even a moment of the state legislature’s time for McLachlan to make his political statements. Each one of these bills has to be drafted and printed by the Legislative Commissioners Office. It takes time and money. He should go join a conservative activist group and stop wasting the legislature’s time.