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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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News from Representative Erickson 05-10-2013

Friday, May 10, 2013
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is hard to believe, but we only have ten days remaining here at the legislature before our constitutional mandated end-of-session date of May 20th.
I'm disappointed to say that with so little time remaining, we still have yet to see a single budget bill, or even a budget target agreement from Democrat leaders and the Governor.
Despite promising an open and honest budget process, the public's ability to weigh in and give input on the final budget agreement will be extremely limited. Even if budget targets are announced tomorrow, we won't be able to see the any budget bills until Monday at the earliest, giving the public just one week to dissect and offer input on what is to be the largest budget in the history of the state.
Simply put I don't think this is good government. Democrats are having their dessert before dinner, passing minimum wage increases, legalizing gay marriage, and pursuing an unwanted forced unionization of childcare workers before even coming to an agreement on the budget. We were sent to Saint Paul to address a $627 million dollar budget gap, and it seems Democrats have lost focus and gotten sidetracked, and are having a difficult time prioritizing what matters.
Energy Bill
Despite bipartisan opposition, Democrats passed the Omnibus Energy bill on Wednesday, imposing on Minnesota new energy standards and mandates that will drive up energy costs for hardworking Minnesotans across the state. It was a long and oftentimes contentious debate, with members of both sides of the aisle expressing concern about the impacts of the proposed legislation.
I was troubled by one of the amendments on the floor to the bill that essentially exempted about 35% of Minnesota from the new mandates. Legislation that we pass needs to be good for all Minnesotans; it shouldn't take special exemptions and carve outs in order to be able to pass a bill.
Marriage Debate
Yesterday the House debated and ultimately passed a bill to legalize same sex marriage. We had a long but very respectful debate, with members listening intently throughout. I appreciated the decorum and respect shown by those on both sides of the issue.
I heard from many constituents, and thank everyone for their comments and input. In November, our district voted overwhelmingly to define marriage as between one man and one woman in our state's constitution. I voted "no" on the bill to redefine marriage.
Please stop over to my Facebook page and "like" it for more updates from Saint Paul.
Have a great weekend,
Sondra Erickson
State Representative, District 15A
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