Monday, August 20, 2007

Word Choice Is Important

From the THV website. At the time I copied this, it was their second most-viewed story.

Marriage At Any Age In Ark.

Governor Beebe may have to call legislators back to the Capitol to change a law passed this year that would allow Arkansans of any age -- even infants -- to marry if their parents allow it. Bill sponsor Representative Will Bond says the legislation was intended to establish 18 as the minimum age to marry but was intended to allow pregnant teenagers to marry with parental consent. An extraneous "not" in the bill, however, allows anyone who is not pregnant to marry at any age if the parents allow it. Bond says the way the bill came out clearly did not the express the intent of legislators. The Arkansas Legislative Council says the change needed to fix the law is too great for the code revision commission to handle. That's because eliminating the legal age for marrying went beyond the scope of an ordinary technical error. The commission will likely have to meet in the coming weeks to undo a change it made to the law, and several lawmakers said a special session may be necessary. Senator Sue Madison of Fayetteville, says the bill would attract pedophiles to Arkansas.
Mike Duncan, Reporter, Weekend Anchor
Created: 8/18/2007 2:41:51 PM
Updated: 8/18/2007 2:42:32 PM

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ran an article on this Saturday. The article stated that a special session would cost roughly $19,000 a day.

Here's part of the law dealing with the Arkansas Code Revision Commission:
§ 1-2-303(d)(1) In exercising the powers and duties imposed upon it by this subchapter, the commission shall not authorize any change in the substance or meaning of any provision of the Arkansas Code or any act of the General Assembly. The bureau shall not change the substance or meaning of any provision of the Arkansas Code or any act of the General Assembly. However, the bureau working under the direction of the commission may:
(A) Correct the spelling of words;
(B) Change capitalization for the purpose of uniformity;
(C) Correct manifest typographical and grammatical errors;
(D) Correct manifest errors in references to laws and other documents;
(E) Correct manifest errors in internal reference numbers;
(F) Substitute the proper Arkansas Code section number, subchapter number, chapter number, subtitle number, title number, or other number or designation for the terms "this act", "the preceding Code section", or any similar words or phrases;
(G) Number, renumber, redesignate, and rearrange chapters, subchapters, sections, subsections, and subdivisions, or any combination or portion of chapters, subchapters, sections, subsections, and subdivisions;
(H) Change internal reference numbers to agree with renumbered chapters, subchapters, sections, subsections, subdivisions, or portions of chapters, subchapters, sections, subsections, and subdivisions;
(I) Substitute the correct calendar date for "the effective date of this act" and other phrases of similar import;
(J) Correct inaccurate references to:
(i) Funds;
(ii) Fund accounts;
(iii) The titles of officers;
(iv) The names of departments or other agencies of the federal government, the state government, or local governments, and the names of other entities; and
(v) The short titles of other laws;
(K) Make any other name changes necessary to be consistent with the laws currently in effect; (L) Alphabetize definitions and make any necessary changes to conform the definitions sections to Arkansas Code style and format;
(M) Insert or delete hyphens in words so as to follow correct grammatical usage;

It goes on and on, but I'm sure you get the idea. I haven't had this much fun cutting and pasting Arkansas Code since I found the definition section that let us know (at least for the purposes of that subchapter) a tractor is not a motorcycle. The next time I'm searching for a job, I should just cut and paste all this in the job for a previous job description.

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