The legislature is changing the law requiring school superintendents to issue work permits to anyone under 18 before they can take a paying job. But some senators think repeal, not revision, is the way to go.

State law requires those work permits to be issued by the superintendent of public schools. The law change would allow private and charter school superintends also to issue the permits or assign somebody to do that job.

The interest of the law is in school officials making sure the students’ jobs do not interfere with their schooling.

St. Louis Senator Tim Green calls that law, even with changes, “ludicrous” and “idiotic.” His son went to a parochial school but had to get a permit from the superintendent of a public district.. He thinks it should be repealed, not changed. “As a responsible parent…I do not feel I should ask some authority…what’s good for my child,” he says.

But Senator Rita Days of St. Louis says the flaw in Green’s argument is the phrase “responsible parent. She says the law cannot assume all parents are responsible and do look out for the best interests of their children.

The process of passing this bill does not allow Green to turn it into a repeal measure. But he promises he’ll make that effort next year—and he appears to have at least some support in the Senate for that.

This bill has been sent back to the House to consider senate changes.

Listen to the debate on the bill 13:46 mp3