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Just-Stam
things that just are

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Give Us Back This Sabbath Day

The Virginia state Senate today convened for a special session to take care of some rather embarrassing legislative business: It had to deal with a law mistakenly passed earlier this year that gave all Virginians the right to avoid work on their Sabbath. Today's bill passed 36-0 and was sent to the House of Delegates with an emergency clause that would make it effective as soon as Gov. Mark R. Warner signs it. Gov. Warner called the lawmakers into special session after round-the-clock and weekend businesses in the state voiced alarm that they could be left without workers. The problem started when legislators moved to repeal the outdated "blue laws" that restricted trade on Sundays. Inattentive legislators and their staffs somehow missed the fact that the law also repealed a list of businesses exempt from Virginia's "day of rest" law. Sen. Frederick Quayle, the law's original sponsor, expressed regret about the whole thing. "I think that perhaps a lot of us have learned lessons from this on reviewing the legislation that we introduce," he said.

From The Wall Street Journal's Afternoon Report

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