A bill that would require children under 18 to wear helmets while skiing or snowboarding is now one step away from the governor’s desk. The measure provoked a lively debate today before passing the Assembly.
Democrats say the bill is about keeping children safe. Assemblyman Mike Eng says he worked in an emergency room and saw kids come in after accidents when they weren’t wearing helmets. “The biggest, most gut-wrenching sound that you can hear are the parents that are sobbing and saying, if only I had gotten the child to wear his or her protective device!” said Eng.
Republicans call the measure just another “nanny-state” regulation. Assemblywoman Shannon Grove questioned Democrats’ consistency about parental responsibility, saying, “we tell parents that they shouldn’t know about when their kid has an abortion or when they get STD treatment. But by god, let’s make parents pay for a helmet and pay a $25 fine to defend their kids on the slopes. This is the most misguided place that I have ever been in, in my entire life.”
The bill now goes back to the Senate for a final vote.