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.