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Monday, March 12, 2007

Minnesota House of Legislative Horrors - Part 1

Here is some of the latest lunacy going on in the Minnesota House, courtesy of the DFL some of you put in control last November.

The proposed legislation you are about to read about is for real. The names of the idiot DFLers responsible for it have not been changed so as to motivate you to vote these morons out of office.


Protect us from Deadly Glass Containers
Rep. Andy Welti (DFL-Plainview) wants to impose severe criminal penalties if you “carry, use, or possess” a glass container on a watercraft or along Minnesota’s public waters. You could get 270 days in jail if you have a picnic on the lake and bring glass bottles of ketchup, mustard, and relish. If you have a six-pack of Perrier in your environmentally sensitive canoe, you would face 540 days behind bars, because under the precise language of the bill each bottle would be a separate offense. If you bring a jar of cold cream when you go sunbathing, you could do 90 days in the slammer for that misdemeanor. Rep. Welti later said he introduced the bill as an anti-littering proposal, but his bill outlaws mere “possession” of the deadly glass containers. (House File 522).

Of course, people can't litter with plastic containers.

Maybe there should be a 10 day waiting period so the government can run a background check to certify that you can handle a glass container. Or perhaps a "Concealed Catsup" permit process (and it had better have a "shall issue" provision).

"What are you in for?"
"Criminal possession of ketchup!"

Frequent Pooper Relief Act
Or, as Right Hook earlier dubbed it, "The Defecation Proclamation". You could face a $100 fine if your retail establishment has a private john and you do not allow the holder of a state issued Frequent Pooper Card to use it on demand. Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul), Rep. Kate Knuth (DFL-New Brighton), as well as several other scatalogicians propose to fine businesses and employees $100 if they do not let a customer use the head if they have a “medical condition that requires immediate access to a toilet facility.” This could apply to your residential bathroom if you are having a yard sale or running a daycare center, because the bill is so vague. (House File 1015).

If you're a worker in a retail establishment be on the lookout for undercover compliance checks. You can't always tell if a person has really "gotta go" or if they are a state potty-narc. In any case make sure you use "earth friendly" products to clean up any mess the Frequent Pooper leaves behind.

Codification of Your Right to Bathroom Breaks
Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) wants the state to require written policies for employees of meatpackers to provide “adequate time for necessary bathroom breaks.” The bill would also create a “Meat-Packers’ Bill of Rights,” calling for written job descriptions and written salary descriptions. The bill would also create a state bureaucracy to guarantee these rights. (House File 643).

The Jack Lalanne Act
Rep. Bev Scalze (DFL-Little Canada) wants to authorize cities to provide their city employees with “staff, equipment, and facilities” for “preventive health and employee recognition services.” (House File 905).

...and who is liable if the out of shape office worker keels over with a coronary?

Shakedown of Homeowners fbo Renters
Rep. Scott Kranz (DFL-Blaine) wants to raise taxes on homeowners’ deeds by 66%(!). The proceeds (after the state extracts some administrative costs) will be used to subsidize the rents of non-homeowners and to build houses or rental units for other people. (House File 939) .

How about taxing the per-diem of your pals in the Senate at about 80% and using it to "buy down" the taxes on deeds?

Two Days Leave for the Current Main Squeeze
Rep. Joe Mullery (DFL-Minneapolis) wants to give up to two days of paid leave each year for “significant others” who live in a household with a child to attend school meetings or deal with student-related meetings. (House File 744).

Lots of people would "deal with" student related meetings by taking the day off and getting in a round or two of golf.

Just to Make Sure You Get It Right
Rep. Carolyn Laine (DFL-Columbia Heights) would require government investigators to visit every new mother in the hospital or at home to inquire whether they new about all the requirements of a new mother and all the programs that government offers on such topics as WIC, child abuse, and immunizations. (House File 595).

"Requirements" of a new mother????? What ever happened to the cheap, efficient method of hospitals showing "how-to-do-it" videos on closed circuit TV (the ones that are almost as comical as watching the Legislature on taxpayer-subsidized TV)?

Bureaucracy Propagation Act
Rep. Bernie Lieder (DFL-Crookston) wants to take the pressure off the Legislature to get its work done by allowing all state agencies to keep going even if the Legislature does not approve funding for them. (House File 534)

Keep the Tax Spigot Flowing Act
Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis) wants to preserve all spending on all programs if the Legislature does not pass a specific law to continue, modify, or end each program. (House File 66).

Keep the Tax Spigot Flowing Act - Part Deux
Rep, Loren Solberg (D-Grand Rapids) wants to include inflation in projections for spending programs, which would assume that these programs would expand even if future legislatures did not expand benefits. (House File 68).

Legislative Sandbagging Encouragement
The Phyllis Kahn and the Democrats want to eliminate the cap for legislators’ expenses during special sessions. (HF 227).

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

Immigrants Trump Native-Borns
Rep. Cy Thao (DFL-St. Paul) wants courts to give job preferences to immigrants over citizens when awarding contracts for translators and interpreters. (House File 46).

Do immigrants have better English skills than American-born citizens who speak foreign languages? How about just giving the job to the applicant who demonstrates they are most qualified?

Fight for "Environmental Justice" for All
Rep. Joe Mullery (DFL-Minneapolis) wants to create a board to provide "environmental justice," which means the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and income in the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws and policies. (House File 205).

...and what are the qualifications to sit on this board?

And You Thought Communism was Dead
Rep. Tom Rukavina (the original "Tommie the Commie") (DFL-Virginia) wants to raise the minimum wage by 50% and put annual increases on auto-pilot with indexing based on urban pay scales, even if the unemployment rate suddenly skyrockets. (House File 456).

And You Thought the Soviet Union was History
Rep. Bill Hilty (DFL-Finlayson) wants to change business laws to create “socially responsible corporations,” into which the Attorney General may intervene for failure to meet social goals. (House File 404)

Alternate Livestock Style
Rep. David Bly (DFL-Northfield) wants you to pay $125,000 to provide research on what “alternative livestock” could eat grass in Minnesota. (House File 845).

...but wouldn't that would leave less grass for bureaucrats to smoke (or is there some other reason for goofball legislation like this)?

What's $108 Million Between Friends?
The City of St. Paul took out huge state loans to build the Xcel Energy Center and the adjoining RiverCentre convention complex. Now, the city wants to spend money on other things, instead of making its promised payments on the bonds. Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul) wants the Legislature to forgive the rest of the $65 million owed to the state on the Xcel arena and the $43 million owed to the state on the convention center. (House Files 859 and 860).

The Dr. Ruth Act
Rep. Neva Walker (DFL-Minneapolis) would authorize school districts to provide Students in K-12 with “age-appropriate materials that address varied societal views on sexuality, sexual behaviors, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, in an age-appropriate manner.” The bill would require such instruction for grades 7-12. (House File 615).

Now when your Kindergartener bursts in your bedroom at an inappropriate time they can tell that you're "doing it" all wrong... and just what is "age appropriate" sex-ed for Kindergarteners?

Supply and Demand (not to mention the Constitution) be Damned
Rep. Joe Mullery (DFL-Minneapolis) wants judges to decide what is an “unconscionable” price for any good or service during an “abnormal market disruption” and impose fines of up to $35,000 for each sale at whatever might later be found to be an “unconscionable” price. (House File 740).

Do liberals know what an ex-post facto law is? Maybe we can drag the Legislature in front of the board for gouging us to the tune of over $2 Billion over what the state needed to run.

Tax Them and They Will Leave
Remember those television ads for the insurance company with whales? When California imposed tax increases on companies with business in other states, Pacific Mutual moved its whales, employees, and tax base from the West Coast to Omaha. Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis) wants to chase more Minnesota jobs out of the state. He wants to impose similar tax increases on large employers in order to provide child care subsidies to almost every family in the state. The subsidies would be paid to every family with income of less than 75% of the state median income (almost every family with pre-school children), and pay for it with more taxes on large employers (House File 912).

Remember Control Data, Tonka, Cray Computers, and Honeywell? Jobs can and do leave unfriendly places. Why donesn't the state just require employers to pay workers 10% more than the average wage (hey, with the creative math the DFL has demonstrated in interpreting the "miniscule" surplus is too small to be significant they could figure out how to do it!).

High Tech Bullying Will Cease - Or Else!
Rep. Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center) wants to require all school districts to adopt written policies against all bullying or intimidation of any students, including all forms of “intimidation and bullying in all forms, including, but not limited to, electronic forms and forms involving Internet use.” (House File 504).

A written policy! That would have certainly intimidated the thugs at Columbine. Why limit this to just school districts? Make it for the general population and watch some of the contributors to this blog start posting their favorite recipes instead of electronically bullying our courageous public servants. Proposals like this make me wonder if most legislators were beat up on a regular basis in their Junior High days.

Why Lawmakers Need to be Tested for Drug Use
Rep. Tom Huntley (DFL-Duluth) proposes that the legislature may pass a state law that would allow terminal patients or people with chronic pain to grow and use “medical marijuana.” But the bill moving forward goes far beyond that. If you can convince a doctor that you have “severe” but not chronic pain, you could get a state license to grow 12 large plants, have a smokable stash, and keep an unlimited amount of remnants from prior plants. Even better, if federal agents seize your weed, the state will reimburse you for more than your costs; taxpayers would cover the street value of your grass. (House File 655).

Maybe the state can cut a deal with Canada to contain costs.

It All Depends on how you define "Smoking"
Rep. Tom Huntley is the Chief Author of a bill to legalize the smoking of marijuana (House File 655), he is also the Chief Author of the smoking ban bill for tobacco. (House File 305).

And people wonder why they call it (or in this case, him) Dope!

Tax the Good Looking
Rep. Phyllis "Mother Bates" Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis) wants to apply the sales tax to services involving cosmetic surgery “which does not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease.” (House File 1027)

C'mon Phyllis! You've already convinced us that you haven't had any work done.

Some People Just Belong in the Slow Class
Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-Minneapolis) wants to raise the age of eligibility to 23 for students to continue in the “graduation incentives program” to finish high school. (House File 987).

Freshmen (or is it "Freshpeople"?) looking for someone "more mature" to go to prom with will love this!


Having second thoughts about "teaching those Republicans a lesson" yet?

More to come...I can only endure so much stupidity at one sitting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why you consider that keeping the bureaucracy going without a budget is a bad thing. To me, having no growth in the state budget is a GREAT idea, for as long as it can last, and removing the giant club that the DFL wields by threatening a government shutdown is even better.

J. Ewing

3/10/2007 1:04 PM  
Blogger Daria said...

The proposal keeps "all state agencies" running. This just feeds the beast. Wouldn't it be better to force legislators to go on record to re-authorize spending? It may not be a bad idea to have a real shutdown instead of the phony one we had last time so people will realize just how many government programs we can live without.

3/10/2007 2:15 PM  

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