Among the dozens of proposed bills filed ahead of the new legislative session is HB 1041, Representative Larry Haler's (R-Richland) poorly thought out measure requiring that applicants provide "proof of Washington residency" before being issued a driver's license, learner's permit, or state identity card. From the bill:

(7)(a) An applicant must provide evidence of a valid principal Washington residence address with an original, notarized, or certified copy of any of the following:
(i) A utility bill;
(ii) A bank statement;
(iii) A paycheck;
(iv) A government check; or
(v) Other government document with a valid Washington residence address.
(b) The department must, to the extent possible, authenticate the address presented by the applicant.

Um, how many 15-year-olds have a utility bill, paycheck, government check or other government document mailed to them? So essentially, this bill requires that teens open a bank account before applying for a learner's permit. Weird. I'm guessing this isn't really the intent of this added piece of government red tape, but then, I'm not really sure what public good Representative Haler hopes to achieve from this.

Oh, and by the way, on his official home page, Representative Haler lists one of his top legislative goals as: "Removing excessive government regulations." Funny.