On Tuesday, the House took up the omnibus energy bill. This proposal requires a 40% renewable energy standard by 2030 for investor-owned utility companies like Xcel Energy including a 4% solar mandate with a 10% solar mandate goal. The impact of this legislation means higher electric bills for all hard-working Minnesotans. This bill is so bad that it needed a carve-out for the Iron Range so that legislators from that area could support it! Much of this legislation imposes renewable energy standards at a time that renewable energy technology remains expensive and less efficient than current energy sources. These arbitrary renewable energy standards will make energy more costly and less reliable for everyone. Although the bill passed the House, I voted no.
Another bill that came up this week this was the so-called “bully bill” put forth by House Democrats. This proposal is a $50 million per biennium unfunded mandate on our schools and creates a “School Climate Center” to oversee compliance with statewide bullying policies. Students should never be bullied for any reason. I believe bullying is wrong. School is a place where students should feel safe and comfortable to learn without harassment or intimidation. However, this bill seeks to impose a one-size-fits-all solution to a very local problem. Each occurrence of bullying is unique to the individuals involved. School boards, school administrators, and teachers are best equipped to addresses bullying – not legislators in St. Paul. That’s why I voted against this unfunded mandate on our schools.
On Thursday, the House debated the redefinition of marriage. For many years, I have been a strong supporter of keeping the definition of marriage between one man and one woman. During the “Vote No” campaign over the 2012 election, the citizens of Minnesota were told that if they voted no on the marriage amendment, nothing would change. Well, we learned this week that simply wasn’t true. Proponents of changing the definition of marriage were successful in passing a gay marriage bill in the House. Now, the bill awaits action in the Senate. Minnesotans are clearly divided on this issue. With the May 20 adjournment deadline coming up, the House has yet to pass any finalized budget bill. Yet somehow, the DFL legislators found time to pass a gay marriage bill. I think the priorities of legislators in St. Paul need some reexamination.
I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with my family on Sunday to celebrate Mother’s Day. I hope all you moms have a wonderful Mother’s Day!
I am always interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Peggy.Scott@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-4231. You can also send me mail to my office address: 201 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.