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The Senate and the House may be approaching elections legislation differently, but both require bipartisan support.
(Published Mar 25, 2013)
The Legislature has now met two of its three self-imposed deadlines, and several elections bills are moving in both the House and the Senate.
The biggest of these are the elections omnibus bills, and they differ significantly. Sen. Katie Sieben (DFL-Newport) is authoring the Senate version and she has included many of the elections bills (both controversial and non-controversial) in the omnibus bill (SF 677). The bill includes the following:
Rep. Steve Simon (DFL-Hopkins) has opted for including many of the less controversial bills in his omnibus bill. He has also stated repeatedly that he prefers to have many, if not all, of the bills travel separately as well as the language being included in the omnibus bill. The House companion (HF 894) includes:
It has passed out of the Elections, State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs Committee and will now be heard in the Ways and Means Committee.
Some of the more controversial provisions included in the Senate companion but not included in the House companion are traveling individually. Early voting (HF 334) authored by Rep. Connie Bernardy (DFL-Fridley) passed out of State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs after initially being laid over for possible inclusion in a state government omnibus bill.
Changing the state primary from August to June (HF 687) is being carried by Rep. Simon and passed out of the Elections Committee and is now on the general register. Article 7 of HF 894 is proving to have bipartisan support and opposition. Rep. Simon has said during both hearings of his bill that he will remove that language if it will prevent bipartisan support of the bill in its entirety.
Gov. Dayton has said repeatedly that he will not sign into law any elections legislation that does not have bipartisan support. It is clear from the differences between the House and Senate omnibus bills that much is still unknown and left to be negotiated not only between the two chambers of the Legislature, but also the two parties.
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Contact Ann Lindstrom
(651) 281-1261 or (800) 925-1122
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