Governor should sign common sense bills into law

Published 10:45 pm Thursday, March 23, 2017

A bill headed to Gov. Phil Bryant seeks to make traveling in a motor vehicle safer. Senate Bill 2724 would expand the state’s current seatbelt law to require all passengers, front or back, to buckle up.

Current law only requires front-seat passengers and children to be buckled. Buses, farm vehicles and mail vehicles would be exempt. A driver could be fined $25 for every unbelted passenger.

The bill would take effect July 1 if Bryant signs it.

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Rep. Steve Massengill, a Hickory Flat Republican, pushed the measure after two unrestrained teens were thrown from the back seat of a pickup truck and killed in November, The Associated Press reported.

The bill is a common sense measure that we hope Bryant will sign into law. While government often intervenes in places it has no business, public safety is an area where intervention is often needed.

Wearing seatbelts saves lives, it’s that simple. A law that requires more people to wear them makes sense.

Another measure that will likely become law is Senate Bill 2689, which contains campaign finance reforms.

The bill would ban lawmakers and other elected officials from spending money for non-campaign purposes such as a mortgage payment, funerals, clothing, automobiles, tuition or undocumented loans.

This is another common sense measure that we hope Bryant signs.

Under current law, candidates can spend any leftover campaign funds on anything they like as long as they pay taxes on it.

But those campaign contributions start to look like bribes if they can be used to purchase automobiles, homes or other personal items.

The measure would also require elected officials to itemize credit card purchases of more than $200.

“The overall rule on this is just common sense,” Sen. Sally Doty, R-Brookhaven, told senators.

We agree.