Earlier in the session I inserted a legislative survey in this newspaper which asked for your input on certain topics that were likely to be debated at the Capitol this year. I was pleased with the response, and I knew you would be interested in the results.
About 80 percent of those surveyed said you would likely vote “yes” on a state constitutional amendment in the 2006 general election to dedicate all funds from the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax (MVST) to transportation (60 percent roads/40 percent transit) purposes. This proposed amendment will be on the ballot this fall.
When asked if you support raising the state gas tax to generate more money for transportation purposes, only 26 percent of you said “yes.” Approximately 74 percent of you said “no.”
The highest percentage -- 94 percent -- of respondents said, if legally feasible, they would support measures that would create a residency requirement for anyone seeking Minnesota welfare benefits. The House has approved legislation requiring applicants to General Assistance or Diversionary Work Program to reside in Minnesota for 90 days to receive full benefits.
An overwhelming 87 percent of those surveyed said they support proposals to require driver’s licenses to note immigration status, and 79 percent of you said Minnesotans should be required to provide photo identification as a requirement for voting. During this session, we made an executive order requiring that an immigrant’s visa status be printed on their driver’s license a state law. And legislation requiring voters to provide photo identification or sign an affidavit swearing to their identity before casting their ballot is moving through the House.
Only 34 percent of you said you would approve a water fee on households and businesses to fund a proposed $80 million state cleanup program aimed at improving Minnesota’s surface water quality. About 66 percent opposed the fee. Funding for Clean Water Legacy has been included in the House Bonding Bill and the Environment Finance Bill, but neither has been finalized.
Slightly more than half of those surveyed (58 percent) said Minnesota should abandon its “no fault” insurance laws to reduce auto insurance premiums. About 42 percent said the state should not abandon its “no fault” insurance laws.
About 87 percent said they support laws that would limit the power of state and local governments have to seize private property for public or other private use (known an eminent domain). Only 13 percent said they did not support such laws. The Minnesota House of Representatives has approved an eminent domain bill, and is working out a compromise version with the Senate.
Nearly 88 percent of you said that legislation providing consumers more protection against identity theft should be a high priority during the 2006 session. Only 12 percent said it should not. There are numerous identity theft bills making their way through the House.
Finally, about 61 percent of you indicated you would support a statewide smoking ban in bars and restaurants. A smoking ban has not been proposed this session in the House.
As your state representative, it is important for me to know where you stand so that I can weigh and articulate your beliefs as I represent you at the State Capitol. One of the best ways to gauge how the public feels on these topics is by completing my session survey. I will continue to review any additional surveys that you send in. Thanks to all who took the time to make their voices heard.