Archive for the ‘St Paul’


Anti-Bullying Bill Discriminates Against Morality?!

According to this WCCO article, the Minnesota House has passed legislation which legislators hope will further limit bullying in schools. While this remains to be tested, there is a group of vocal opponents who believe this will discriminate against those students who believe homosexuality is amoral.

From the article:

The bill expands the definition of bullying to include harassment, intimidation and cyberbullying. But opponents like Republican Rep. Ron Kresha say local schools should come up with their own policies without state interference.

[...]

One of the biggest concerns from conservative critics is that a statewide bullying policy could impose views on homosexuality and other issues on to parents and students who don’t agree with those views.

Private schools accepting any state funds would be required to obey the new bullying law. At the Minnesota Catholic Conference in March, members called it an “Orwellian nightmare” that might require “re-education camps.”

They added that the bill discriminates against students who believe that same-sex relationships are morally wrong.

First off, re-education camps? ‘Orwellian nightmare’? You can’t make that stuff up. Gold prices just plummeted worldwide due to those two statements. Hilarious.

Now, as for the bill discriminating against those who believe same-sex marriage is morally wrong or that it would impose views of acceptance of homosexuality onto school children simply isn’t true. What it does do, however, is use the power provided to schools by the courts to impose limits on their free speech to keep them from expressing those views to others around them.

What do you think about this one? Do you think this is the government stepping too far to protect students? Do you see this as ‘Orwellian’ or requiring ‘re-education camps’? Do you think this limits the freedoms of students to express their displeasure about same-sex marriage or homosexuality? Whatever you have to say go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Should Prison Fence Be Functional and Beautiful?

According to this Savage Pacer article, the Governor is attempting to gain nearly $5.5 million in funding for a new fence at the Shakopee Women’s Prison. While the hedgerow that is currently separating inmates from residents has been surprisingly effective at stopping escapes, residents want a wrought iron design so that it looks good in their neighborhood, something which raises the potential price and limits the likelihood it will be approved in the bonding bill yet again.

From the article:

Politics in Minnesota is reporting that Gov. Mark Dayton has included $5.2 million for a security fence at the Shakopee women’s prison in his bonding bill proposal released Monday morning.

Like his predecessor Tim Pawlenty, Dayton has tried before to obtain funding for the controversial prison fence.
Although a top priority for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, it was ultimately left out of the final legislation that passed the Legislature, judged by some lawmakers as too expensive.

The fence’s estimated $5.4 million price tag is hefty due to the secondary interior invisible detection system, as well as the brick and wrought-iron design preferred by neighbors, some of which would prefer not to see a fence at all.

Shakopee’s Women’s Prison houses all five levels of inmates from minimum up through maximum security offenders. With a wide range of prisoners being housed there, one would think that neighboring residents would want the best barriers available regardless of their aesthetics. If the costs would come down with a less visually appealing fence but would offer the same or better protections, it’s surprising that the battle continues.

What about you? If you lived near a prison would you prefer looks over potential safety especially knowing that all 5 levels of offenders were housed within? Do you think that compared to the other items on the countless bonding bills passed over the years that a $5.5 million prison fence should be included over some others? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Super Bowl Sunday Liquor Sales Still Contested

According to this StarTribune article, Farmington’s Republican representative is pushing for a change to state law which would allow liquor sales on Super Bowl Sundays, something the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association continues to stand against. You know, because being open on Sunday instead of say, Tuesday is detrimental to their business model because so many people want to drink on Tuesdays compared to Sunday. However, the arguments are the same tired old ones but the tax dollar amounts are staggering, especially if the Vikings ever made it to the big game.

From the article:

The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association has effectively lobbied against broader Sunday sales with the same argument: Its member stores want one day off a week and the extra day open would merely spread six days of sales over a full week. Association lobbyist Joe Bagnoli said liquor stores feel the same way about Super Bowl Sunday.

“The Super Bowl is not a day that creeps up on people,” he said. “We’re virtually certain that if Sunday sales were allowed on Super Bowl Sunday, you’d just have much less sales” in the days leading up to the big game.

[...]

Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, has led the push to legalize Sunday sales in the House several times in the past decade. She said it’s an economic no-brainer, citing previous estimates that suggest an extra day of alcohol sales could generate between $3 million and $10 million in extra revenue for the state.

“If the Vikings were playing (in the Super Bowl), it would be $10 million” in one day, said Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska.

Should the state allow pressure from the lobbyists in this regard? Should they just ignore them and allow Sunday sales over their objections? Do you believe if the Vikings were in the Super Bowl that there would be a huge 10 million dollar day? Do you ever have the urge to buy liquor on a Tuesday? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Burnsville May Get Its Precious LGA?

According to this Burnsville Patch article under proposed legislation Moorhead Rep. Ben Lien (DFL-4A), some of the 107 cities which now are exempt from receiving Local Government Aid dollars from the state would again be receiving the money and the rest of the cities in the state that already do would see a more consistent dollar amount each year. The real question, however, is what governments like Burnsville will do with $86,000.

From the article:

It would also create a new formula that adjusts aid based on its “aid gap”—a product of how the formula determines “unmet need,” according to the House Research bill summary. For so-called “large cities” that have more than 10,000 people, including Burnsville, the formula considers three factors in determining need per capita:

    Jobs per capita,
    Percent of housing built before 1940 and
    Percent of housing built between 1940 and 1970.

LGA is intended to help cities with greater needs than they can reasonably expect to fund through property taxes. In most cases, the money goes into a city’s general fund, to be spent however city officials deem necessary.

While Burnsville has been lobbying against the loss of these dollars for years and the Mayor is more than likely literally jumping up and down for joy, do cities the size of Burnsville which have such important funding priorities as city monuments at their borders need $86,000 more dollars from the taxpayers to fill this ‘unmet need’ with dollars they just simply could not have raised through property taxes alone?

Do you think Minnesota’s redistribution plan is one which works well? Do you think Minnesota cities should collect their own taxes as they do in other parts of the country so that the issues cities have with LGA are eliminated (redistribution of wealth where the larger cities end up supporting rural areas)? When you read the Mayor is likely literally jumping for joy did you see, in your minds eye, Frau Farbissina doing so? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.