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Stop Digging!

The problem with the Nevada Legislature is that legislators keep adding new feel-good program after new feel-good program without regard to how we, the taxpayers, are gonna pay for ‘em. That’s why we’re in the fiscal mess we’re in today. And you’d think the severity of the mess we’re in today would cause legislators, at least the Republican ones, to knock it off.

Not.

Case in point. AB 234, introduced by Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert – who, by the way, has thus far chosen not to co-sponsor a pair of conservative bills promoting school choice and restraining tax hikes – would require that everyone arrested for a felony be given a DNA test. Not convicted, mind you. Arrested. It’s estimated that the new law will cost Nevadans an additional $6.15 million a year.

Where’s the money going to come from? According to the bill, the person arrested would have to pay the $150 testing fee. But what if they don’t have the money? Well, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal this morning, Gov. Jim Gibbons proposes adding a new $5 tax (fee) on all citations issued in the state. Which means people pulled over for speeding tickets are going to be paying for DNA testing of suspected felons. Lovely.

Oh, and none of this even scratches the surface of the civil rights issues at play, especially for the vast majority of those arrested for felonies who are never convicted. Nevertheless, expect this bill to pass, especially after the guilt trip one victim’s relative took the Legislature on Friday.

“Future tragedies would be prevented with the passing of this legislation,” Lauren Dennison, whose niece was murdered in Reno last year, told legislators at a hearing on the bill. “I ask each of you to think about the women who are important to you; your wives, mothers and sisters. This legislation will protect them.”

Yeah, that’s how we got the TSA. And aren’t we all a whole lot safer with government agents patting down grannies in wheelchairs and confiscating toothpaste at the airport?