To the editor:
Provisions I authored are included in bills which have passed the House this session and more of my legislation is advancing through the committee process.
One key piece of legislation I successfully offered is known as the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act. It asserts states’ rights and says Minnesota will not participate in the new federal health care program.
We deem it unconstitutional for the federal government to mandate citizen participation in this program, which requires Americans to purchase a product and imposes penalties on those who do not. This kind of federal intrusion oversteps the boundaries established in the U.S. Constitution and leaves the door open to further infringements upon our freedoms.
This is not a partisan debate. It is a matter of choosing our course: Do we want Minnesota to operate in sovereignty, deciding what’s best for us? Or do we want nameless, faceless bureaucrats in Washington dictating what we must do? The choice is clear to me.
Another bill I’ve authored would create a prison gardening program. It recently received bipartisan approval from a panel pertaining to public safety and crime prevention.
Prison gardens would have multiple benefits. Inmates would consume the products they grow, saving our state thousands – or even millions – of dollars on food costs for our correctional facilities. Surplus food would be donated to local food shelves or other charities, which have been struggling to meet increased demand in recent years.
Furthermore, gardening would be good for an inmate’s work ethic, teach horticulture skills and help lower violence by increasing productivity and reducing idle time. This all would help to achieve one of the biggest benefits of all: reducing recidivism.
Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen