State Capitol News
11:23 am
Fri February 25, 2011

State Votes to Keep Government from Interfering with Happy Meals in Arizona

Phoenix, AZ – So here's today's question: What do guns and happy meal toys have
in common? They both are items that the Arizona Legislature said
they don't want the government to take. Several bills are making
their way through the Legislature to protect the right to own and
carry firearms and even create exemptions from federal
regulation. This measure, crafted by the Arizona Restaurant
Association, is designed to bar Arizona cities from following the
lead of some California communities which have banned restaurants
from using toys as an incentive to sell high-fat and high-calorie
meals to kids. Rep. Jim Weiers said he is glad to sponsor it.

(Government needs to stay out of the way of free enterprise.
Until business owners start telling government what to do, only
then should government start coming in and telling them how to
run their business. Keep their stinking noses out of our
businesses. It doesn't concern them. It has no effect on them
whatsoever. Every business has the right to do something as long
as it's not really truly hurting anyone else.)

Weiers brushed aside questions of whether incentives to get kids
to demand less-than-healty meals leads to childhood obesity.

(I don't know. Ask the parents who are supposed to be ultimately
responsible. Don't ask me.)

The idea of the state preempting local laws drew derision from
House Minority Leader Chad Campbell. He noted that the
Republicans who control the Legislature are constantly
complaining about the federal government telling the state what
it can or must do and what it cannot do. Campbell said these
kinds of issues are best left to local control. And he said there
is an ultimate check on the power of local officials.

(If the cities want to try and do that and the voters of that
city are unhappy, the voters of that city can throw out that city
council and that mayor. If they like what the mayor and city
council are doing, they can reelect them. But, again, it's up to
the voters to decide.)

But Weiers was unapologetic for championing a measure to take
away local control, at least on this issue.

(I'm happy telling cities and other municipalities to stay out of
the business of business. They do a crummy job of running cities
for the most part. I don't know whether they think they have a
better handle on how to run business.)

A final roll-call vote will send the measure to the Senate. For
Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.