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Nobody is safe from House initiation rites

When it comes to rites of passage, not even legislative aides are off limits.

With newly minted Rep. Jose Oliva stuck in traffic on I-75 Monday, assistant Chris Cantens was called upon to present HB 583 to the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.

“He’s never presented a bill before,” subcommittee chairman Rep. Rich Glorioso pointed out.

Cantens pitched the bill, which would allow prosecutors to reclassify the charges brought in murder cases where the victim is a child.

When it came time for questions, Rep. Ray Pilon asked Cantens if he had read several obscure statutes.

“No sir,” Cantens replied.

“Will you read those statutes in the future?” Pilon asked.

“Yes, I will,” Cantens said.

Glorioso spoke up when no other questions were posed.

“You’re getting off awful easy,” he told Cantens, drawing laughs from his colleagues.

Glorioso then turned to the audience.

“Anyone else want to speak on the bill?” he asked. “C’mon, anyone out there want to give him a hard time?”

Nobody did –- and the bill passed unanimously.