Rep. Nelson’s unusual amendment: During debate about the bill banning 14- and 15-year old drivers from using cell phones while driving, Rep. Stace Nelson brought this amendment forward to make a point.
Nelson argued that the cell phone ban was a feel-good bill, and that if the idea was to “change the culture” by creating a culture against cell phone use, then he had a list of more important cultural changes to enact by banning.
The rest of the House did not take kindly to the amendment, with a series of members of both parties rising to condemn it as “offensive,” disrespectful and in bad taste.
Nelson, in response, said what was really offensive was the cell phone bill.
But the House rejected Nelson’s amendment 64-2. Rep. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, was the only member to vote with Nelson.
Minutes later, the full bill passed 43-23. That was a 10-vote improvement on last week, when the measure got 33 yes votes and 30 no votes, falling short of the 36-vote threshold for passage.
Rep. Peggy Gibson, D-Huron, credited Nelson’s amendment with actually persuading more people to vote for it.
Nelson, for his part, referred afterwards to “crocodile outrage” among his fellow legislators.