LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM
REP. CAL BAHR - DISTRICT 31-B
Friday, March 13, 2020
We are a week away from the House cutoff for bills to make it to the final round of committees and possibly becoming law so it would normally be busy at the capitol. Still, as I am sure you know, the Corona Virus (COVID-19) has made this session anything but ordinary. There is already economic disruption as we wait for the full impact of the disease to make it to Minnesota. Legislative leaders met with the Governor, and there will be an attempt to pass bills that will get us across the finish line and out of St. Paul in record time. While I applaud the effort to prioritize legislation that isn't just partisan pandering, I am concerned that if we rush bills on to the floor, we will get a lot of bad laws that skipped the vetting process.
I am also concerned that "emergency bills" that give the government more power and spend the surplus carelessly will pass because of the fear and hurry surrounding this crisis. Rest assured, I will oppose any permanent expansion of government power in the name of a temporary crisis. I will also oppose handing out your hard-earned money without accountability.
On Thursday, in the Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee, I argued against provisions in the expanding the Governor's power in a Peacetime Emergency emergency. Currently, after 30 days, the Governor is supposed to ask the Legislature for an extension. The bill author suggested that perhaps legislators might be afraid to come back after 30 days if the epidemic was still going on. Here is my response.
Watch the video here.