Mpls. council to consider removing 'stupid laws'

MINNEAPOLIS - Minneapolis city councilman Andrew Johnson is working to get rid of what he calls "stupid laws." So what exactly are those laws?

Believe it or not, in any given Minneapolis theater – it is against the law to wear a hat.

"Maybe it was difficult for people to see behind you. These hats don't stick up that much," said Bob Flink, pointing to his ball cap, which is more streamlined than the hats men and women wore when the law was written.

That's just one example of a so-called "stupid law" written more than 50 years ago that Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson wants to change.

"They're pretty stupid yeah," Johnson said.

"Antiquated Laws" are what he prefers to call them.

"Yeah, because I think at one time they had a purpose. They're just no longer needed," Johnson said.

Johnson says he's clearing out laws as part of Mayor Betsy Hodges' "Business Made Simple" plan.

"One of the problems becomes you don't know, as a business owner, if a law is or is not being enforced," Johnson said.

Johnson adds that by law, businesses such as theaters already have the right to kick out people making disruptions.

Another such law deals with businesses that used to sell ice cut from Minnesota's frozen lakes.

Another still requires bars to license and pay a fee to the city for jukeboxes.

Not everyone is keen on all this change.

"I think the hat law is a good one. I really do. Because it served a purpose in the day," said Doug DeSota.

While workers at the theater wouldn't mind a new law instead.

"I wish they'd make a law about people talking on their cell phones during a movie. I think that's more important!" said Katie Holmes, manager at Riverview Theater in South Minneapolis.

The city council has removed other outdated laws in the last couple years. That includes one that only allowed people who grow their own vegetables to sell them 15 days out of the year.


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