Now that the Minnesota Legislature is back in session, we're getting a fairly steady diet of proposed laws, most of which will never see the light of day. Here's a look at some of the more interesting bills lawmakers tossed in the hopper today.
TEACHER BASIC SKILLS
HF1770 requires teacher candidates to pass a basic skills exam in reading, writing, and math.
HF1779 authorizes the State Lottery to put slot machines at Canterbury Park and other racetracks with the money going to construction of stadiums for the Minnesota Vikings and Saint Paul Saints.
MY OTHER CAR IS A KIDNEY
HF1792 creates a special Anatomical Gift license plate. Money raised goes to a grant program to encourage organ donation.
LICENSE TO STEEL
HF1793 requires the use of American-made steel in any public works project.
SHHH! WE'RE SHOOTING HERE
HF1816 authorizes firearms dealers to possess and sell silencers to law enforcement and wildlife management agencies. Is this an issue? The bill cites "tactical emergency response operations include execution of high risk search and arrest warrants, incidents of terrorism, hostage rescue, and any other tactical deployments involving high risk circumstances."
THE EDUCATION BEFORE THE EDUCATION
It costs about $115 got get married in Minnesota. Under HF1818, a member of the armed forces would get $75 after completing "premarital education" within three months.
THE "S" WORD
Is it a bad sign that legislators are considering shutdown legislation? HF1834 would require that any state program generating revenue, has to keep operating in the event of a shutdown.
LAWMAKERS, DON'T DRIVE TO THE LEGISLATURE DRUNK
We'll bet you didn't know that under the Minnesota Constitution, members of the Legislature cannot be arrested during the session "and in going to or returning from the same" except for treason, felony and breach of the peace, HF1838 puts "driving while impaired" under "breach of the peace."
BIKE NIGHT LIGHTS
HF1873 would provide money to give bicycling lighting to bicyclists.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AMENDMENT REPEAL
HF1885 repeals the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, which will appear on the November ballot. This one is notable for who is not on the sponsor list.
HEALTH CARE FREEDOM
HF1898, which is one of several anti-health-care-law proposals, amends the Minnesota Constitution that prohibits anyone from being compelled to participate in a health care plan.
NO PLAY. NO PAY
HF1906 prevents legislators from getting paid during a government shutdown.
TESTING FOR WELFARE
This one has gone nowhere in past sessions and it's back again. HF1919 requires drug testing for welfare recipients.
So, how do we define revenue generating? Is it any area that has money coming in? Lots and lots of areas have money coming in. Licensing, MinnesotaCare, state parks, and child support all have money coming in. Even the rest stops have vending machines. Would all of these stay open? Would anything close?
I also love the testing for welfare recipients. Upon application, they have to use their own funds to pay for a drug test. The funds, that if they had, they probably wouldn't be applying for MFIP. And of course, if the reason they are applying for MFIP is that they just entered drug treatment, they won't be able to get MFIP for their kids because it will take a few days to get the drugs out of the system. Such a good idea.
And it is only MFIP. Why aren't we requiring MSA, another cash program, recipients from doing piss tests? How about those who receive financial aid dollars? Or unemployment benefits?
While he certainly had his detractors, the late Sir Winston Churchill did have many salient quotes. One of my favorites (and relevant today, IMHO) is:
"Democracy is the only form of government where the people get exactly what they deserve."
Kassie - "I also love the testing for welfare recipients..."
What do you think the likelihood is that we can require legislators to be tested for intelligence?
Re The education before the education marriage bill: A member of the armed forces who has seen combat is already somewhat prepared. And entering into wedded abyss er - bliss is a caveat emptor kinda thing.
How about a bill requiring that anyone who wants to have children be educated and licensed?
I can't wait for the debate on the organ donor license plates...people on waiting lists for transplants painted as murderous thugs just waiting to cause a fatal accident!
How did I just know that Kahn would be the author of HF 1873?
How about all the legislators who agree that MFIP recipients need to pay for their own drug test before receiving funds need to pay for their own drug test before receiving their paycheck?!