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< Round up the usual suspects | Main | When is a bill not a bill? >

Three bills signed. One vetoed. Just another day at the Capitol.

Posted at 3:44 PM on May 9, 2007 by Bob Collins

As understand it, it was a very routine day for the governor. He got up, kissed his wife, fed the dog, ushered the kids off to school, and vetoed a major spending bill... in this case, the omnibus higher education bill.

However, fear not MFLers, the governor showed you some love today, by signing three bills.

HF272 has been an MFL favorite. It passed a bunch of committees, and two chambers, went to conference committee, came out of conference committee and then got signed by the governor. This bill probably has the record for most number of points. The gov sends his love to Reps. Haws; Severson; Wardlow; Kalin; Urdahl; Olin; Marquart; Faust; Moe; Westrom; Benson; Ward; Olson; Wollschlager; Doty; Bigham; Tingelstad; Dettmer; Koenen; Dominguez; Otremba; Morrow; Lillie; Abeler; McFarlane. This is the bill that basically said, as I recall, that if you're in the military and they trust you with a weapon, the state will too, from a firearm safety requirement point of view.

SF124 (Sen. Pappas and M. Olson) . A real rip-snorter of a bill. It " County commissioners and officers vacancies filling modifications." Well, then.

SF646, ah yes. Well, if you've been following the MFL all season, you already know that this bill already has won the year's worst-written piece of legislation award. This is the bill that requires school districts to consider anti-bullying legislation, specifically via the Internet. Oh, here I go again. This got absolutely no debate in the Senate, but got considerable debate in the House. As expected, lawmakers asked, "hey, how do schools police what a student does in his own home?" Answer: "That's up to the schools to decide." Question: "Isn't this just the Legislature telling the school districts what to do?" Answer: "Oh no, the school districts just have to consider it. They could decide their policy is not to police the in-the-home activities of students." So now we're passing laws asking school board members to think about something.

The sad part of this legislation is the lawmakers get to go home, thinking they actually did something. And that's too bad, because bullying is a very serious problem, as so many legislators, including those opposed to the bill, attested. I was shocked by how many of them -- the majority of them, it seemed -- had stories from their children. But a piece of legislation that pretends to address a real problem, isn't much different from doing nothing. It just looks like they did something, which might have been the point in the first place. The governor must have been all vetoed out by the time this one came along. Oh, by the way, this will be used to suspend the very students it was designed to protect. Trust me on this.

MFL points to Sens. Moua; Torres Ray; Scheid; Saltzman; Limmer.