2019 Report on the Minnesota Legislature Released

St. Paul, MN, October 22, 2019 — Legislative Evaluation Assembly of Minnesota (LEA) has completed its evaluation of the 2019 Minnesota legislature’s performance. In its report, released today, the LEA criticizes the growing role of “omnibus” bills derived through non-transparent, unaccountable legislative processes.  “Good lawmaking requires an open and accountable process,” says LEA president Don Lee. “Minnesota’s constitution requires each bill to embrace one subject, a requirement flouted in 2019. The house speaker and senate majority leader met with the governor behind closed doors to make deals, which they expected to be rubber-stamped by legislators without amendment or debate. The result was over 2100 pages of legislation and nearly all of the biennial budget contained in 13 ‘omnibus’ bills, passed in a one-day special session.” Fifteen House floor votes and fourteen Senate floor votes, chosen to illustrate important principles and issues in lawmaking, are summarized in the 2019 LEA Report. […]

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First, do no harm policymakers.

In my last post, I notably left out family members of distracted-driving crash victims in my list of groups who would benefit from the bill to ban nearly all handheld cellphone use while driving. Merely holding a phone while driving is almost never determined to be the cause of a crash. Perhaps the family members gain some emotional solace from helping to pass a law they think will make things better, but, sadly, nothing in this proposed ban can undo the accidents that have occurred.

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