Capitol Alert

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Lawmakers, apparently, are never too busy for a few laughs.

The final floor sessions of the year kicked off last week with tall stacks of bills and rousing games of legislative bingo.

That's the bipartisan game lawmakers play to fuse silly phrases into their "debate."

Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, distributed yellow sticky notes bearing words or phrases they had to work into their comments.

"When we're extending a sunset the sun is out, and when the sheriffs are in favor, the guns are out," said Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto.

A crab trapping bill prompted Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata, to say that eating crab usually involves enjoying a beer, so if the bill doesn't pass everyone should expect to "stay thirsty."

The game was going on over in the Senate, too, where debate over a bill to allow a redevelopment project in Whittier drew references to workout gear and a Peruvian lake with a suggestive name.

Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Hemet, asked if a carve-out for "Lake Titicaca" would be next.

Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, cited his basketball career at Whittier College, claiming he had used a "thigh master" there.



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