Everyone wants to get in on the action when the Legislature’s in session. And there’s not near enough time to review all of the weird or noteworthy pieces of legislation in a few 800 word pieces every now and again. So we are going to try something a little different. At least a couple of days a week during the session, we’re going to be featuring a #BillOfTheDay just so we can highlight some of the better ones. There will also be a new section on the center section of the site where you can track those bills we highlight during the session.

And what better place to start this experiment than House Bill 1 in the 2017 session. The first bill filed in a session should really set the tone for the legislative body and Rep. Earle Banks (D) gets us started off with a doozy. The title of the bill is “Venomous snakes; classify as inherently dangerous to humans.” Now I’m not a rocket surgeon by any stretch, but 45 years of living in Mississippi have taught me a few things. (1) Don’t play with gasoline around bonfires when you’ve been drinking and (2) Venomous snakes are hazardous to your health. I’m not sure that I need the state legislature to tell me either one.

Probably even more fun than the title is that there’s a law already on the books (Section 49-8-5) that classifies dangerous animals to Mississippians. It’s replete with three syllable words with latin sounds. Yes, you’ll be glad to know that your legislature has already classified such inherent dangers as hippopotamus, buffaloes, cheetahs, rhinos, jackals, African hunting dogs, dingos, baboons and snow leopards as hazardous to your health . . . in Mississippi. And what true Mississippian doesn’t have a family story about good ole Uncle Earle being stuck on a squirrel hunt staring down a rhino with nothing more than a 20 gauge with 6 shot and a flask of Bushmill’s.

Section 49-8-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-8-5. The following wild animals are classed as animals inherently dangerous to humans:
(a) Order Primates:
(i) Family Pongidae (gibbons, orangutan, chimpanzees, siamangs and gorillas) – all species;
(ii) Family Cercopithecidae:
A. Genus Macaca (macaques) – all species;
B. Genus Papio (mandrills, drills and baboons) – all species;
C. Theropithecus Gelada (Gelada baboon);
(b) Order Carnivora:
(i) Family Canidae:
A. Genus Canis (wolves, jackals and dingos; all species, including crosses between wolves and domestic animals);
B. Chrysocyon brachyurus (maned wolf);
C. Cuon alpinus (red dog);
D. Lycaon pictus (African hunting dog);
(ii) Family Ursidae (bears) – all species;
(iii) Family Mustelidae – Gulo gulo (wolverine);
(iv) Family Hyaenidae (hyenas) – all species;
(v) Family Felidae:
A. Genus Leo or Panthera or Neofelis (lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards) – all species;
B. Unica unica (snow leopard);
C. Acinonyx jubatus (cheetah);
D. Felis concolor (cougar) – all subspecies;
(c) Order Proboscidae: Family Elephantidae (elephants) – all species;
(d) Order Perissodactyla: Family Rhinocerotidae (rhinoceroses) – all species;
(e) Order Artiodactyla:
(i) Family Hippopotamidae – Hippopotamus amphibius (hippopotamus);
(ii) Family Bovidae: Syncerus caffer (African buffalo * * *);
(f) Suborder Serpentes: Snakes – all poisonous or venomous species.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

You can’t make it up folks. It’s our #msleg . . . . . #billoftheday

And if you have #billoftheday nominees, you can either tweet them to us @MSYallPolitics with #billoftheday or you can email them.

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