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2020 Legislative Session Starts This Week
Jake Judd | Feb 9, 2020 AT 2:56 pm
Click to Enlarge Photo: Wikimedia Commons
(KNSI) – The 2020 Minnesota Legislature starts on Tuesday, and it’s a year to pass a bonding bill.
Republican Senator Jerry Relph from St. Cloud talked to KNSI News about what kind of projects he’ll support.
“What I look at is the regional impact of things and then the absolute needs of the person asking for the money. Right now, there were over 500 bonding request north of five billion dollars.”
He supports funds for the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex, the Becker Business Park to help attract a Google data center, and money to help Foley with its wastewater treatment.
The governor has proposed more than $2 billion in borrowing for public projects, and House Democrats are considering around $3 billion.
Senate Republicans are looking at a bonding bill between $750 million and a billion.
House Democrats have said they’re going to push for gun control laws.
Sen. Relph says he won’t support any attempts to limit second amendment rights.
“People who want to use firearms inappropriately will get a hold of them. And it is a fact that most felons who are not allowed to get out and possess a firearm still find a way to possess them.”
He thinks that prosecutors need to enforce the laws on the books now.
Relph believes bills for universal background checks, and so-called Red Flag laws are unfair.
“I think it’s fraught with danger. And I want to make something very clear here. I want to separate violence from mental illness because most people with mental illness are not violent.”
The lawmakers also say that the so-called 2nd amendment sanctuary counties cannot be allowed because it invites anarchy. Sherburne County was asked by some lawmakers to become a sanctuary county meaning that the county commission would instruct sheriff’s office not to enforce any state made laws that they feel violate the second amendment.
Many people also want to get to the bottom of the wasteful spending at the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The agency has been faced with scandals in the last few years over fraud in the state’s daycare reimbursement program, wasteful spending in its opioid treatment to the state’s tribes, and unauthorized purchases.
Relph says he takes newly appointed Commissioner Jodi Harpstead at her word that she’s working to make changes.
“First of all, I wouldn’t have taken that job for all the tea in China. She has a difficult job. She has stepped up and said, yes, I want to make a change. I want to do something here. I want to see us be a better department.”
He says the more than $30 billion program has to many responsibilities and has become too large.
“This thing has become so massive the left-hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. And that’s what the commissioner is trying to address by her structural changes, and I give her credit for that.”
He says if the agency can’t make changes to be more accountable to the taxpayer, then the Legislature has to step in.
Relph says he expects something to get passed on affordable and emergency insulin legislation and would support a voter ID bill.
Learn more about some of the Republican Senate’s top priorities, by clicking here.
"Relph believes bills for universal background checks, and so-called Red Flag laws are unfair."
Unfair? Try, UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
The exercise of fundamental rights cannot have tests applied to them (see: voting, literacy tests and poll taxes), and red flag laws ignore at least 5 amendments to the Constitution.
Fundamental rights cannot be suspended/denied without full due process of law; an adversarial hearing, the right to face accusers and cross-examine witnesses, the right to present evidence and witnesses in one's own behalf, BEFORE the right may be suspended/denied.
Any law that places the penalty before the trial is unconstitutional. Under that pretext, the state could execute accused murderers and hold the trials later.
While the right to life is the most critical of our fundamental rights, it is not the ONLY fundamental right, and in the eyes of the Constitution, they are all equal.
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
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