Minnesota Government Update - April 29, 2011

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In the midst of nearly around the clock work on policy and budget bills, the Legislature nonetheless took up two highly controversial bills this past week. Here’s an overview of the week that was and the forecast for next week --

Constitutional Amendment on Marriage

Three Republican Senators introduced a constitutional amendment that would allow Minnesotans the opportunity to vote on the definition of marriage in the 2012 election. Senators Limmer (R-Maple Grove), Hann (R-Eden Prairie), and Gazelka (R-Brainerd) want to ask voters to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman in Minnesota. In a hearing on Friday that allowed one hour for proponent testimony, one hour for opponent testimony, and one hour for committee discussion, many religious and community leaders took the opportunity to voice their opinion on the issue. Senator Hann stated in a press release, “I believe that it is best to let the people decide rather than a small group of legislators in St. Paul. By putting this definition of marriage on the ballot, we can ensure that this decision will accurately reflect the values that Minnesotans believe in.”

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