Are lawmakers parenting from Austin? Love it or Hate it? - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Are lawmakers parenting from Austin? Love it or Hate it? Leave your comments.

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By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - No smoking, no tanning and no driving at night...some Texas lawmakers are cracking down with several new proposals that are mere steps from becoming law. They are aimed at making your teenagers safe just about everywhere they go, but some say big government is crossing a big line, from protecting to parenting.

"If parents were doing what they were supposed to do then I don't think the state would have to step in," said Jo DeMoville, a middle school teacher.

Some grandpas, and great-grandpas disagree.

"I don't need laws telling us how to raise our children," said Jack Mitchell, a grandparent.

And, lawmakers have come up with a lot of them. State Senate Bill 1049 ups the legal smoking age to 19. Texas House Bill 1310 prohibits any teen, 16 and half-years-old or younger from tanning in a salon without a parent's consent. Even inside the rodeo arena one bill would require any bull-riding, calf-roper, under 18 to wear a helmet.

"I don't see anything wrong with them," said O.V. Rhodes, the mother of 18-year-old.

"You want to protect your child, but they have rights too," said Diane Smith, the mother of 17-year-old.

Fro example, driving, but the car isn't exempt. A couple of bills look to set higher driver's ed standards and ban teen cell phone use in the car. Senate Bill 1077 would take teens off the road after 10pm all-together.

"They are legislating a lot of behaviors," said Suzi Stein.

Stein said she understands the frustrations. She is with Pay Attention East Texas. They are a group dedicated to preventing accidents by keeping East Texas drivers focused, especially inexperienced ones.

"Sometimes your freedoms encroach on our safety," said Stein. "The fact that the legislature is trying to make that a safer place for us out there...is a good thing."

Which raises the question: Is too much law...too much of a good thing?

The Texas Senate has already passed a few of the measures. They are headed to committee. Similar bills have been passed, or are pending in the State House.

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