Sunday, April 01, 2012

West Virginia Legislature Makes Slaw Mandatory

One small but very important piece of legislation that was passed in the recently concluded regular session of the West Virginia Legislature slipped by, seemingly unnoticed by regular media outlets, but we think our readers would like to know about it.

Hidden inside of the bill known officially as HB4112, and less officially as "The Junk Yard Protection Act" was one of the best laws passed in this or any other legislative session in memory. Section 4, Paragraph 1 of this bill makes it mandatory for all restaurants in West Virginia that serve "sausage sandwiches, commonly known as hot dogs" to offer slaw as a topping. Three paragraphs of the statute take on the daunting task of defining what is appropriately called coleslaw and does a pretty good job closing loopholes. For the purposes of this legislation, coleslaw is defined as "finely grated cabbage with mayonnaise based dressing" and doesn't get into matters of texture, sweetness or tartness.

The statute has no provision for charging extra for slaw, so it's only a matter of time before we'll see a lawsuit filed by a consumer against some hot dog joint for trying to charge for this legally mandated condiment. Here at, we are not taking an official stance on whether it is legal to charge for coleslaw, but we maintain that a moral obligation does indeed exist to include the cost of the topping in the stated price of a regular hot dog.

We applaud the tireless efforts of Morris County Delegate Nathan Mayer who sponsored the bill and for Martin County Senator April Simpleton for working so hard preserving the language of the original bill and taking it on the end of her Junkyard bill. On the surface it would seem to be a stretch to include a food service requirement in a bill that dealt with the rights of junkyard owners to use car parts as signs, but Senator Simpleton made it fit. Kudos Senator! You made us proud!

It should be noted that the passing of this bill was made much easier by the flood waters in Marion County that kept the entire Marion delegation preoccupied during the session. Tough break Fine citizens of Fairmont; See you in court.

This new law was signed into law by Governor Tomblin and will take effect on April 1.


Cheryl said...

Senator "King of Pork" Byrd would be most proud! (I say that with love and no mean-spiritedness whatsoever!)

The Wing Review said...

haha... good one!