A requirement that children wear life jackets when they’re on the water is one of the new regulations to emerge from the 2008 Iowa Legislature. Representative Mike May, a Republican from, says it’s common sense. If a child 12 or under is on the deck of a boat, they’ll have to wear a life jacket when the boat’s on the water.
May runs an Okoboji resort and he says most parents take that step anyway. "I think folks are really pretty good about this. I think most parents, particularly those that aren’t around the water a lot, really want to take care of their kids and we don’t have much trouble at the resort that I have," May says. "…And in fact the adults are pretty good about it themselves, particularly those that aren’t around the water a lot."
May says he’s disappointed, however, lawmakers didn’t make another water safety move and make the standard for drunken boating mirror drunken driving with a .08 blood alcohol level. "We have some folks in the Iowa House who are just vehemently opposed to that so we didn’t get what we wanted there, but we are happy to get the life jacket portion," May says.
House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy says he’s appointed a group of lawmakers to consider the drunken boating issue, but nothing is likely to happen on it this year.