The Arizona Legislature's had a busy couple of weeks -- Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill banning imaginary abortions and the state Senate's trying to make sure Arizonans can't vote a Kenyan into the White House -- and on Wednesday, the Legislature voted to keep government paws off their Happy Meals.
After a 25-4 vote from the Senate approving House Bill 2490, the bill now awaits a signature from Governor Brewer.
The text of the bill states the regulation of consumer incentive items -- like the oft-debated McDonald's Happy Meal toys -- is a "statewide concern," and bans any further regulation of the items by any Arizona county, city, or town.
According to the legislation, "consumer incentive items" are more than just toys accompanying fatty and salty meals for kids -- the bill hosts protection for any coupons, club memberships, crayons, and other general swag given out with meals by restaurants and convenience stores.
Bans on Happy Meal toys have been all the rage across the country since San Francisco put a partial prohibition on such meals with toys in December, and our New York sister paper the Village Voice reports that council members in the Big Apple are trying to get rid of the toys, too.
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All this has caused McDonald's to regularly defend the Happy Meal, but it only recently began offering political advice through Twitter:
"Families say our food & toys r part of fun McD's meal. We trust families 2 make right food choices. Politicians should too"
Upon Governor Brewer's signature, Arizona becomes the first state to ban the banning of Happy Meal toys and other such junk, beating out Florida's similar legislation -- Senate Bill 366 -- which currently is on hold in that state's budget committee.
Neither Ronald McDonald nor the Hamburglar has yet issued a statement regarding the legislation.