Thursday, April 17, 2014

JONES: Who’s in control? Parents or the state?

By KEVIN JONES, The Playground | 2/10/2014

Last week at the Capitol was cut short by the weather, but we have been reassured the Legislature will follow our original schedule without pushing the calendar back.

House Bill 2435

I would like to get your input on House Bill 2435, which would make it illegal for anyone younger than 18 to use a tanning bed. This just passed favorably out of the Health and Human Services Committee and will now go “below the line” until it is put “above the line” by the Speaker of the House to be heard on the floor.

I voted against this bill in committee for one reason. This is a parental authority issue, not a state authority issue. The state should not do the job of a parent. If a child wants to get a tan for a dance or for a coming cruise, he or she should be able to go to Mom or Dad or the legal guardian and get that permission — not to the state. Now, I could be wrong, but if it is a “state authority” issue, then shouldn’t we be outlawing tanning beds altogether or requiring that every child younger than 18 wear a T-shirt, a helmet and SPF +30 when they go to the swimming pool each summer? Should it be the job of the state to restrict exposure to the sun? (By the way, in the testimony we heard, there is no conclusive evidence that a tanning bed causes any more cancer than the sun.)

At this point, I believe we are wasting state resources on legislation that is not needed, at a time when there are much more pressing issues to be addressed, like considering a Constitutional Convention of the States — for the purpose of a federal balanced budget amendment — as mentioned in Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution.

Propane delivery

If you use propane in your home for cooking and/or heating, you probably are aware of the dramatic increase in the price of propane during the past few weeks. The primary cause for the price spike is the record low level in the supply of propane in the Midwest. Dave Lybarger, Garnett, whose company, Lybarger Oil, provides much of the propane to rural properties in the 5th District, contacted me early on with concerns of restrictions and supply. In turn, I brought this to Gov. Sam Brownback’s attention. In an attempt to make certain propane delivery isn’t held up because of state government regulation, Brownback issued an executive order that provides temporary relief from motor carrier rules and regulations. The executive order is for 30 days and is designed to ensure continued delivery of propane to Kansas families and businesses. It only applies to motor carriers delivering propane directly in relief efforts.

 

Filed for office

On a personal note, I went to the Secretary of State’s Office last week to formally file to run for re-election. I have been blessed with this historic opportunity of service, and I do believe I am an even better candidate for the job than I was two years ago.

Kevin Jones, R-Wellsville, represents Franklin County and the 5th District in the Kansas House. Email him at kevin.jones@house.ks.gov or call (785) 296-6287.

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