Letter: State Senate keeping legislation movingLawmakers returned to the Capitol last Tuesday to resume hearings after a brief Easter break and meetings in their home districts. We worked long hours to meet the Friday deadline for committees to act favorably on bills in their house of origin.
By: Dist. 22 Sen. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, Worthington Daily Globe
Lawmakers returned to the Capitol last Tuesday to resume hearings after a brief Easter break and meetings in their home districts. We worked long hours to meet the Friday deadline for committees to act favorably on bills in their house of origin.
Joint House and Senate conference committees met throughout the week to continue the process of ironing out differences in budget bills. The omnibus Environment and Natural Resources Finance bill, which allocates dedicated Legacy Amendment dollars, was passed out of the Environment Committee. It will continue in other committees before being voted on by the entire Senate body.
Moving to modernize Minnesota elections: The Senate passed a bill on Thursday that will require Minnesota voters to show photo identification to vote. SF 509 will make voting quicker and easier, as well as increase public confidence in the process by requiring voters to present a state-issued photo identification card at the polling place. In addition to establishing a photo ID requirement, this bill explores election administration and integrity, establishes optional electronic roster systems for precincts, and creates a new chapter of law governing recounts.
Recent polls reveal 75 to 80 percent of Minnesota citizens want photo identification in order to vote in the state. The integrity of the entire election process hinges on two issues — verification of an individual’s identity and proof that the individual is voting in the precinct where they live. The public deserves to have confidence in the integrity of our election system. A similar bill was also passed in the House this week.
Taking the marriage question to voters: This week the Senate will consider a constitutional amendment that would give Minnesotans the opportunity to vote on the definition of marriage in the 2012 election. The proposed constitutional amendment asks voters to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman in Minnesota. This issue has repeatedly come up during past legislative sessions, but never conclusively answered.
The introduction of the issue and placement on the 2012 ballot allows a year of public discussion in communities statewide in order to be prepared to vote in next year’s general election, rather than allowing a small number of politicians or activist judges to decide the definition of marriage.