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Legislative Update (1-31-19)

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Neighbor,

I have mentioned in previous emails that we need to keep a close eye on anti-gun bills in the House because Democrats changed the committee structure in a way that bills can be manipulated and moved through the process with due notice provided to the public.

This hasn’t taken roost where guns are considered as of yet, but this week Exhibit A arose for why Second Amendment supporters need to be on watch. On a bill related to opioids, legislators, stakeholders, and the public in general had less than 24 hours from the time the bill was introduced to review the bill before it was taken up in a committee hearing this week.

Talk about a slap in the face to citizens and a complete disservice to our state. For as much as Democrats have used “transparency” as a buzzword, their actions tell a different story. Not only did they concoct a committee structure that’s just asking for abuse, but they also now have introduced a bill to do away with the Legislative Budget Office, which was established by Republicans to provide nonpartisan, accurate, and timely information as to how much a new law would cost taxpayers. The old system of having state agencies make these estimates brought politics into the process and the validity of dollar amounts often was questionable.

For Democrats to do away with the LBO once again would be a bad deal for taxpayers, who deserve to know what a new law will cost them.

On another subject, Legislation has been introduced in both the House and the Senate to legalize recreational use of marijuana. I do not support this because it is a bad idea that would bring damaging consequences to our society.

Today’s cannabis is far more potent from the stuff that was used decades ago and we need to acknowledge that fact. A recent article in a Hillsdale College publication the article explains that you can look at it as the difference between near-beer and a martini. These more powerful strains of are bringing with them a whole new set of health impacts that marijuana advocates are ignoring.

The Hillsdale piece shines a light on links between marijuana and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia – along with violence – revealed in numerous studies. I urge you to read the full article at this link. It certainly brings some points to the discussion that have been glossed over by those looking to legalize this drug and, hopefully, it causes people to think again about the damaging impacts legalizing pot could bring to even friends and family.

Look for more news from St. Paul soon. I will be back home this weekend to meet with constituents, including the Farm Bureau Forum at 9 a.m. this Saturday at the Embassy in Fosston. Hope to see you around.

-Steve

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