Some may question why government moves so slowly and deliberately. Well, a big part of the reason is to avoid making mistakes. We almost made one this week as HF 2854 moved through the process and made its way to the House floor for action on Wednesday. The legislation was the “unsession bill” from the Department of Commerce. As you may have noticed, “unsession” has been a theme during this session as various departments get rid of unneeded and out-dated statutes.
Among the provisions in this particular unsession bill was language that would have eliminated a provision containing the enforcement statutes for the blending of ethanol and other biofuels. Evidently, someone in the Commerce Department thought this particular provision was duplicative and therefore not needed. Turns out, that wasn’t the case, and if this particular provision had been taken off the books as part of the Commerce “unsession bill,” the result would have been no enforcement of the blending requirements for fuels sold in Minnesota.
It took several committee stops and finally action on the House floor to add the required language back. I don’t think there was any attempt to actually strip the enforcement provision from statute, but it took quite a while before the mistake was corrected. In fact, it took two amendments on the House floor to make the change, as the first was written addressing a non-existing statute.