It was quite the week last week at your State Capitol. We are in a full sprint to get this legislative session completed. This week also featured a couple groups some kids from Underwood and Fergus Falls. It is always good to have constituents and especially students, stop by for a visit.
This week the Finance Committee met a couple of times to go over a few bills. One of the bills that was being discussed was the DNR and PCA bill. These bills deal with regulations and rules that the departments are directed by the legislature to follow.
Another bill discussed in length was the Omnibus Game and Fish bill. That bill carries a few changes to current law, including increasing the minimum size before someone can take a muskie, and allowing people over the age of 60 the ability to hunt deer with a crossbow. This bill is still being worked on and will be on the floor of the senate soon.
The Capital Investment Committee finally released their bonding bill. I have to say,I am thoroughly disappointed in the bill. The split between greater Minnesota and the metro is becoming more prevalent in our legislation and spending. The St. Paul Senators are even on record thanking the chairman for his generosity in our committee, for all the projects in the metro.
Governor Dayton and the DFL majorities have horrible priorities. We in greater Minnesota are asking for money to help fill our potholes and fix our bridges. They want more money to fund projects like the new Senate Office Building ($93 million), museums in Minneapolis ($8.5 Million), and the Nicollet Mall ($20 Million). We need leaders in the Capitol that realize that there’s more to Minnesota than Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Hot Button Issues
Another issue recently was the Online Voter Registration bill. This bill, which has been in the works for months, was rushed to the floor this week. The bill that the DFL wanted to pass didn’t include many provisions that were agreed upon earlier in the week. When the bill was presented, the DFL proclaimed that all and every amendment would be rejected. Republicans including myself moved and voted for more safeguards for data privacy that was lacking in the current bill. With the rash of data breaches we have been having, we thought this would be appropriate. The DFL majority however (to protect Secretary of State Mark Ritchie from his lawsuit) held to their promise and rejected all and every amendment we offered leaving your private data at risk for potential identity fraud. With this rejection, one must wonder why the DFL wouldn’t want a safe and secured voter registration system.
Medical marijuana was brought in front of the entire body on Tuesday the 7th. I strongly opposed this bill and was very vocal against it. I understand that there are elements of Marijuana that have medical benefits. But until the FDA approves a non-smoking form of raw marijuana, I cannot support it.
The current legislation is nothing more than a stepping stone to recreational marijuana. This can be seen on the floor as I offered an amendment to prohibit the use of marijuana within 1000 feet of playgrounds, schools, and local swimming pools. That however was considered too extreme and rejected by the DFL author. I also offered to allow medical marijuana to be administered in pill or liquid form only, and that was also rejected.
The bill was unfortunately passed. The bill had bi-partisan support and opposition. The bill that was passed without support of Law Enforcement, County Attorney’s, American Medical Association, Minnesota Medical Association, Governor Dayton’s commissioners of (Public Safety, Health and Health and Human Services). I fully expect Governor Dayton to keep with his word and veto this bill if it is passed onto his desk.
Friends, I need to plainly say I am afraid of what marijuana could and would do to our state, if we move towards recreational use. This drug which has been approved in Colorado for recreational use is destroying their communities. Recently a 4th grader was caught selling his parents marijuana on the playground. I have attached the link below. I know most Minnesotans wouldn’t want this.
Thanks for taking the time to read my update. Feel free to contact my office at any time. I am available at 1-651-297-8063 or at Sen.Bill.Ingebrigtsen@senate.mn
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