Hide your wallet, protect the kids and lock the doors, legislators are preparing to invade! Pre-filing of legislation has started in anticipation of the 81st Session of the Legislature. While Texans are worried about skyrocketing property taxes, liberal lawmakers have other priorities.

State Senator Elliott Shapleigh of El Paso has filed Senate Bill 204, which would prohibit “foods containing trans fat” and, because the left is allow about choices, provide “a criminal penalty.”

Continuing the nanny-state trend is State Rep. Armando Martinez of Weslaco who is out to ban “novelty lighters” with House Bill 90. For the sake of the children, of course, Mr. Martinez would ban lighters that have “entertaining audio or visual effects, or that resembles in physical form or function articles commonly recognized as appealing to or intended for use by children under 18 years of age.” So if a 17-year-old finds the lighter amusing it’s bad, but if a 19-year-old does it’s okay?

He helpfully lists items that might be thought of as amusing: “resemble cartoon characters, toys, guns, watches, musical instruments, vehicles, toy animals, food, or beverages.”

So would a lighter, used to heat trans fat and shaped like a legislator’s head be permissible?

We’ll be watching the filings to help keep you up-to-date on the good, the bad, and the down-right ugly.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."