Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
I want to thank everyone of all parties who attended their precinct caucuses. Your participation is what makes our representative republic democratic and responsible to its citizens. Thank you!
This week, the House passed and Senate re-passed a series of lawsuit reform bills designed to improve Minnesota's legal system, save taxpayers money, and encourage businesses to stay and grow in Minnesota. After receiving bipartisan support in passage of the bills, lawmakers and business owners urged Governor Dayton to give all four initiatives strong consideration to be signed into law. He immediately vetoed all four, calling the measures extreme and a special interest ploy.
The bills were to streamline the civil lawsuit process and save court costs while protecting individuals' important right to engage in legal action when wronged. Some of the reforms included: authorizing an earlier appeal on class action status, shortening of the statute of limitations for some civil actions to protect freshness of evidence and claims, setting a standard for when state law requires attorney fees be paid as part of a lawsuit, and aligning prejudgment interest rates with U.S. treasury-driven interest rates. The bills were supported by a wide cross section of business leaders, and by individual consumers and businesses.
Limiting government rulemaking to encourage jobs
Last week, we passed a bill in committee that would create a board to review government rules to determine their impact on small business, as well as revisit existing requirements and recommend changes to those laws to make them less burdensome for job creation. This week the same committee, Senate Jobs and Economic Growth, approved a bill to stop executive branch rule-making for two years to try to ease regulatory burden on businesses. Under the legislation, state agencies could not adopt any new rules unless to respond to an emergency, to facilitate commerce, or that were related to a federal law.
Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m., a Joint Convention of the House and Senate will receive Governor Mark Dayton's State of the State address. Fortunately, the governor will be able to say that the "state of the state" is much healthier this year, something that we can all embrace. But citizens will need to look back at the results of the session and see that the move from a $5.2 billion dollar short-fall a year ago to an $876 million surplus today was because of tough choices on the spending side of the budget, prioritizing needs, providing regulatory reform and allowing businesses the freedom to grow, rather than new taxes to support higher spending, a plan he offered. Gov. Dayton is expected to speak on his goals for this session: passage of a $775 bonding bill and a stadium bill, both of which are tied to his jobs agenda.