After two undercover videos raised serious questions about potentially illegal practices going on at Planned Parenthood chapters in other parts of the country, 65 legislators signed a letter to the Governor asking him to investigate and make sure that these practices aren't happening here in Minnesota.
You don't have to be pro-life to be sickened by what these tapes reveal, or to have concerns about top Planned Parenthood officials admitting on tape to altering abortion procedures in order to keep baby organs in tact—something that is very much illegal under federal law. Furthermore, questions remain about whether Planned Parenthood is profiting from the tissue/organ donation program. Planned Parenthood disputes this notion, but a second tape this week showed a Planned Parenthood official who appeared to be haggling over the price—something you don't do if you're only being reimbursed. Reimbursements for tissue or organs donated for research are legal, but it is illegal to sell or profit from such a program.
Millions in federal and state tax dollars around the country go to Planned Parenthood, so taxpayers have a right to know and to expect that our government officials are investigating and putting a stop to these illegal practices. That's why I was shocked and outraged when Governor Dayton called the letter "grandstanding." Does he really think it's grandstanding for elected legislators to demand answers about something thousands of constituents across the state have expressed legitimate concerns about? It's unacceptable that Governor Dayton and Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith (a former Planned Parenthood executive) seem to have no interest in at least checking to make sure Planned Parenthood is complying with all state and federal laws.
I will continue to monitor this situation and explore what options are available to us next legislative session to make sure these questions are answered.
New Road Funding for Small Cities
Part of the budget that began on July 1 was a small cities road funding program. Under the 2016-2017 budget, small cities will for the first time ever receive state funding to fix their local roads. This is no substitute for a long-term transportation plan, but a good first step, and a way to help our small cities who are too often left behind in favor of road fixes in larger areas. We will continue working to pass a transportation plan next year that is truly comprehensive and doesn't hurt taxpayers with a massive gas tax increase. Here is a breakdown of the road funding for our district:
Have a great weekend,