Posted at 11:16 AM on April 29, 2008 by Michael Marchio (3 Comments)
Your lawmakers in the House had another late session last night, with a bunch of interesting amendments coming up after I finished liveblogging their debate on the omnibus education bill.
Rep. Neva Walker's sex education amendment was approved, but not before it dipped into the "marriage" kerfuffle.
After Rep. Sondra Erickson added the word "marriage" to values that should be expressed by the curriculum, Rep. Walker incorporated her own amendment that added "committed relationships" to the values too.
Rep. Dan Severson said he saw a slippery slope.
"What is a committed relationship? Between a man and a woman? Between a dog and her owner? Between all of the other things that we're opening up here members?"
He then asked to delete the committed relationship provision.
"I represent the largest GLBT community, and I'm quite proud of that," Rep. Walker said. "Members, I will not hold you hostage, but while you guys debate this moving forward, I hope you don't forget district 51B, and the people I represent," she said.
Rep. Karen Clark was livid at how "committed relationship" was being interpreted by the member from Sauk Rapids.
"I hope we never, ever, ever, hear someone come forward again and say that what we're talking about is a relationship between a person and a dog. That is inappropriate Rep. Severson, and I would appreciate an apology. We've been through that on this floor before. I don't want that to overshadow my appreciation for what you tried to do with that Neva."
They also had an amendment offered by Rep. Paul Kohls that would require charter schools to fly the American flag. He said he raised it out of concern about the Tarek ibn Zayad Academy, the charter school that's been in the news a lot recently for whether it may have been offering religious instruction.
Rep. Abeler pointed out that "whole point of charter schools was to have some schools that are exempt from some rules, and maybe there would be some better way to do stuff, and they're supposed to be laboratories of experimentation." He said he respects the flag very much, but that he'd be voting no because he doesn't think that their mission to try new things will be assisted by making requirements to make them more like regular public schools. The amendment passed, 125-6.
Another amendment Rep. Kohls offered, that if a charter school is going to use state funds to accommodate a particular religious practice, such as installing foot baths for ritual washing, that it make funds available to other religions for their practices. It also passed, 109-21.
At the end of the night, the House also approved the omnibus liquor bill carried by Rep. Joe Atkins. In its final form, it included provisions for our beloved PedalPub, which allows farm wineries to make cognac and brandy, and the 4:00 a.m. bar closing for the Republican National Convention.
Over in the Senate, they approved a couple interesting bills off of General Orders. SF3223, the transportation policy bill that includes the primary offense seat belt law, carried by Sen. Steve Murphy, and the adoption records bill, SF3193, carried by Sen. Ann Rest,
A correction is in order for Rep. Dean Urdahl. Rep. Urdahl, not Rep. Eastlund, who channeled Moses on the floor during the omnibus agriculture and vets bill, saying "Let my dairy grow," For a correction straight from the source, Rep. Urdahl, in addition to points for the speech he made yesterday on the floor, gets a double-scoop of bonus points.
Damn, and I dropped Rep. Urdahl this week!
Posted by Aaron | April 29, 2008 10:13 PM
Michael - have you already calculated in Floor-a-Palooza speech points? I was excited to see Rep. Kohls, a pick-up for this week, involved with amendments and apparent "speeches" on the charter school legislation. But I didn't see any Palooza points for Kohls. So, just checking on whether they've been added in, or if none are forthcoming, if you can refresh us on how those types of floor discussions do get scored. Thanks! Great job all season long - and much appreciated, as it keeps it fun and interesting!
Posted by Wes Volkenant | April 29, 2008 11:45 PM
Hey Wes, I punched in their points on Tuesday afternoon, and you're right, Rep. Kohls did have a few amendments on the floor this Monday. Did you watch on TPT or stream it online? I'm curious how MFL members monitor their lawmakers. But Rep. Kohls did get 20 bonus points for his speeches, check his score. If it doesn't show up, email me and we can figure out why that is.
Posted by Michael Marchio | May 1, 2008 11:24 AM