Stateline Story

What will lawmakers think of next?

Every restaurant in Florida would be required by law to make sure every rest-room stall is supplied with toilet paper at all times if a bill okayed by a state Senate committee this week winds up on the statute books. Sen. Victor Crist (R), the bill's sponsor, said the measure was necessary to prevent food-borne illness, according to The Miami Herald .

Illinois Rep. Bill Black (R) kidded with colleagues what it might be like to change his gender, but not everyone thought it was funny. "I've often thought that perhaps I was a female trapped in a male body. I know — it scares me too," he said while mocking a bill to make it easier for people to change their names after a sex change, according to The Daily Herald . Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D), the bill's sponsor, was not amused. "I think a lot of my colleagues demonstrated some serious insensitivity to a very complex issue. I thought it was very unprofessional," she said.

In Oklahoma, men are men and watermelons are.... a vegetable? The Sooner State already has an official fruit — the strawberry — so legislators voted this week to make watermelon the official state veggie, according to The Oklahoman . Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines the popular melon as a "large roundish or oblong fruit" belonging to the gourd family. Lawmakers decided to change the genus to promote a watermelon festival in Rush Springs, Okla.

This beats double coupon day! Wisconsin state legislators unanimously passed a bill allowing grocery stores to hand out free 6 oz. samples of beer to patrons, according to the Associated Press . The bill was passed to give suds equal footing with wine, which food and liquor stores already can offer as samples. Wisconsin is home to several major commercial brewers including G. Heileman, owned by Stroh's, Jacob Leinenkugel, and the Miller and Pabst companies.

The steamroller has hit a roadblock. In February, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) was quoted by the New York Post: "Listen, I'm a (expletive) steamroller and I'll roll over you and anybody else." Apparently, that didn't scare leaders of the Seneca Indian Nation, who told the governor Wednesday that the state was trespassing on a portion of road that cuts across the their reservation, according to an Associated Press story in the Albany Times Union. The tribe rescinded a 53-year old easement on their property over a plan to collect taxes on tobacco products sold on the reservation, the paper reported.