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‘Un-session’ should look beyond agendas

Gov. Dayton and his staff, along with legislative leaders of both houses, will be meeting soon to set the agenda for the 2014 legislative session; which will begin Feb. 25.

Gov. Dayton has termed it the “un-session,” after a soft drink advertisement; as he hopes the focus will be to “undo” or “clean up” some laws that may no longer pertain to our citizens. Some may be cumbersome and may require a language revision. He stated that he would like to simplify and streamline state government; all good possibilities, in my opinion.

He may even look to clarify some tax laws that may be burdensome to individuals and to some businesses. However, he does not look to revise the two-year budget cycle that was passed in the 2013 session.

Staff has also requested input from citizens as to what they deem important. I have two issues dealing with individuals served by OPTIONS Center for Independent Living, which serves 12 northwest Minnesota counties:

- An anti-bullying law with some meaning. Minnesota’s current law is weak, ineffective, and rated the worst of the 50 states. In the 2013 session it fell by the wayside, as a trade-off for bonding. (Bricks and mortar vs. well-being and safety of children)

- At least a minimum wage for those employed in sheltered workshops. This is being discussed at the federal level; however as it now stands, people working in those environments are catamount to slave laborers.

Gov. Dayton said the session should be a short one, but hopefully it will not only address his proposed agenda, but will move forward on some issues germane to state residents.

John W. Johnson

Advocate/Trainer, OPTIONS CIL

Warren, Minn.