Oh Goody! I get to VETO another one!
During my visit to the Dark Tower ....errr......I mean the State Capitol for an introductory hearing of HF208, my heart began to pound as DFL Representative Clark Johnson introduced HF230. This egregious bill would give our governor, Mark Dayton, ultimate control of proposed amendments to the Minnesota Constitution. Together with HF103, a bill authored by DFL Representatives Kim Norton and Phyllis Kahn, our State Constitution will be significantly altered. What could possibly go wrong? After all, Governor Dayton loves puppies, kids, hot dogs and apple pie.
Let's take a closer look at HF208 and HF103, which seek to amend the Minnesota Constitution, Article IX, Section 1, forever changing the amendment process and opening the door to activist agendas.
HF103 will increase the votes needed in the legislature from a simple majority to a 2/3 majority to put the proposed amendment on the ballot. Voters can ratify the amendment with a simple majority once it's on the ballot.
HF230 is highly questionable because Representative Johnson has inserted the words, "by law" into line 1:11 of the bill. Simple legislation could then open the door to an activist agenda, corrupting the amendment process by injecting lawmakers and the Governor into what was once a constitutional process.
HF230 also gives the Governor, and future governors, the power to veto constitutional amendments before they reach the voters for approval. The legislature can propose an amendment with a simple majority but will require a 2/3 majority to override the Governor's veto.
The purpose of the State Constitution is to provide a stable, overarching framework to guide laws and governance of the people of Minnesota. Should the whims of the Governor set the bar for the process to amend the constitution? The power and authority needs to remain in the hands of the people. Both of these bills need to be stopped or the balance of power will shift away from you and into the hands of the Governor and future governors.
To provide testimony AGAINST HF103 and HF230, please contact Committee Administrator: Amanda Tinsley at 651-297-8134