The nanny-staters are at it again with HB 1384 – Shopping Carts/Prevent Exposure to Germs. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Earl Jones (D – Guilford), would “encourage” retail outlets that offer customers shopping carts to make free sanitation wipes available near the store entrance.
The purpose of the bill is to “protect consumers from shopping cart handles that may be contaminated with bodily fluids, including blood, saliva, mucus, and urine, and fecal matter, by encouraging that the means to disinfect or sanitize nonporous surfaces on shopping carts be provided to the public.”
I don’t know about you, but if I see a cart with blood, urine and fecal matter on it – I’m telling the manger and leaving the store. A Clorox wipe is not going to put me at ease.
Of course, using the term “encourage” indicates that stores will not be required to provide such wipes under this law. But we all know what will happen if stores are not complying at a high enough rate – the next law will force retailers to comply, imposing yet another government cost on business owners.
Many stores that offer shopping carts already offer free sanitary wipes, but apparently not at the rate Rep. Jones finds acceptable. Store owners should be free to decide whether they want to supply the wipes, and customers would be free to shop only at stores that supply such wipes – if they choose to do so.
Thankfully, the NC House saw the uselessness of this bill and defeated it by a 44 to 73 vote on May 14, 2009. While it ultimately did not pass, it goes to show the types of bad ideas emanating from the hallowed halls of the General Assembly in 2009.
For further advancing the nanny state and wishing to impose additional costs upon businesses, HB 1384 is this week’s “Bad Bill of the Week.”