Senator Brandt Hershman's Senate Bill 65 has passed the Senate. You know how they sometime name bills after dead children or fancy acronyms? Maybe they can call this one the "What domestic violence issue?" bill.
Remember, Hershman keeps claiming that SJR-7, the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, doesn't have any, shall-we-say, side effects. You'd think he could look across the border at Ohio and see how their amendment is screwing up domestic violence laws there since the language in both amendments is similar. (If you're not married, it won't be domestic violence anymore - that would be a "legal incident of marriage.") Hey, that won't happen here! Don't question! Just hurry up and pass the amendment without thinking about it!
But then ole sneaky Hersh decides to pull his bait-and-switch. He gets his claws in a "vehicle bill." What does his bill do? It redefines the definition of "family or household member" in domestic violence laws to specifically cover unmarried couples. Cuz, you know, he just felt like it.
The bill now moves on to the House.
ED NOTE: I changed the post to clear up any confusing language about the vehicle bill. Thanks to Doug Masson for pointing out where my errors were in the post originally. I've asked him for permission to reprint his very clear description of vehicle bills and their purpose.
Got his permission. From Doug: "Vehicle bills are just blank bills introduced at the beginning of the session to technically comply with rules regarding deadlines for introducing bills. I think hey usually get assigned to the rules committee where the head of the chamber (Senate President pro tem or House Speaker) controls things. The leadership can then approve initiation of bills that came down the pike after the introduction deadlines but before the committee deadlines. It's pretty routine and done by both parties."