Happy Friday! I think we all deserve a weekend after the return of winter. The good news is, we’re Minnesotans and can handle a little February snow or cold. Hang in there, spring will be here before you know it (I hope)!
On Monday, we passed a bill to legalize Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota. I understand and respect the arguments against this bill, but I tend to side more with government getting out of the way of a free market. Consumers want to buy beer, wine, or liquor on Sundays, and stores should have the option to be open. We’re not forcing any store to be open if they don’t want, it’s their choice. But I’ve heard from residents throughout the district who feel as I do, that this is a common sense, consumer-friendly bill. We’ll soon see if the bill passes the Senate so we can get it to the governor’s desk.
I have concerns with yesterday’s passage of a bill to make Minnesota compliant with the federal REAL ID law. My concern is that the uses for the Real ID could expand at the order of the Secretary of Homeland Security, an unelected and therefore, unaccountable cabinet member. I am pleased that Minnesotans will have a choice of whether or not to get a Real ID compliant driver's license or a non-compliant driver’s license like we have now. The House language would also prohibit Gov. Dayton from allowing the Department of Public Safety to rule-make to allow driver's licenses for undocumented people. It wasn’t an easy vote for me, but I voted yes because I think it’s important for Minnesotans to be able to board an airplane or visit their sons or daughters on a military base after the 2018 deadline.
Yesterday, we also passed a bill to prevent Minnesota from discriminating against Israeli companies. The bill bars the state from engaging in contracts with any company or organization who boycotts Israel. Minnesotans don’t want their hard-earned tax dollars going to fund discrimination. I was happy to see a wide bipartisan vote of 98-28 to pass this bill.
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Have a great weekend!