It was another busy week at the Capitol last week with two major floor debates. Last Monday, the House debated the rules which govern how the House operates. The most controversial part of these rules was the proposal to require all amendments be filed 24 hours before the bill is up for possible debate. This rule inherently puts members of the minority caucus at a disadvantage because the majority caucus makes the decisions as to what bills come to the floor and when they are debated. Essentially, this rule silences members of the minority caucus. It’s also a poor standard to set for policy. If a member is not on a committee where a piece of legislation has been heard, his or her only opportunity to attempt to improve the legislation is when it arrives on the House floor. Restricting a member’s ability to amend legislation makes for both bad politics and bad policy. I’m disappointed that the DFL majority pushed this rule through the House.
On Thursday, we had a debate over state employee contract agreements. While I believe our state employees are hard-working people, I became concerned about these contracts when a DFL committee chairman told committee members that they were supposed to “rubber stamp” these contracts and pass them on to the next committee for approval. I did not run for the House to be a rubber stamp. Given the fact that most workers are seeing a reduction in their take home pay, I did not think it was fair to ask taxpayers to give state employees a two percent pay increase. Our state employees do good work, but we also need to be cognizant of what our taxpayers can afford.
TOWN HALL MEETINGS
I’m excited to announce that I will be having two town hall meetings in the upcoming weeks. The first one will be this Saturday, February 23, at 10:00 a.m. at West 40 Restaurant (906 1st St. W, Park Rapids). The second one will be Saturday, March 9, at 12:30 p.m. at Palace Café (111 E Main St, Frazee). I’m eager to hear your concerns and what I can do to help you.
As always, I can be reached via email at email@example.com. To contact me by phone, call (651) 296-9918. Mail can be sent to Rep. Steve Green, 231 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155. Please feel free to share this update with friends and family and encourage them to sign up for my email updates by clicking here and putting in your contact information.
Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.