So far this legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed 10 bills that were written or inspired by the corporate front group ALEC–the same organization now facing national scrutiny for its shady tactics and misguided model legislation.
Instead of bowing to corporate pressure, Gov. Dayton stood tall and vetoed ALEC legislation that would have had Minnesota follow Florida’s lead on its “Shoot First” law, made it harder for consumers to hold corporations accountable if their products contained dangerous chemicals, and crippled our state’s budget.
When politicians stand up for us, we need to let them know we’re behind them. Sign our thank you card to Gov. Dayton for standing up to ALEC in Minnesota.
If you’re curious about the 10 ALEC bills Gov. Dayton has vetoed, check out the list below:
1. SF 1047: This legislation includes a number of ALEC Budget Reform Toolkit Recommendations, including an across-the-board state workforce reduction, zero-based budgeting, a gainsharing program, a Sunset Commission, and undermining collective bargaining.
2. SF 509: This legislation is modeled after ALEC’s Voter ID Act. Requiring eligible voters to produce photo identification at the polls is an unncessary hurdle to law-abiding citizens exercising their right to vote. It is a costly bill that has a number of unintended consequences, the most significant of which is that it could prevent many Minnesota seniors, students, the disabled and veterans from voting.
3. HF 264: The Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, or Cheeseburger Bill, would limit the ability of Minnesotans to hold food and beverage companies accountable when their products cause consumers to suffer from adverse health conditions due to weight gains. It is modeled after ALEC’s Commonsense Consumption Act.
4. SF 149: This bill makes it more difficult for citizens to pursue class action lawsuits against corporations because it delays evidence gathering until all appeals about the legitimacy of the class have been exhausted. This process could go on for years, meaning witnesses might forget the details of their testimony. This bill is modeled on recommendations from ALEC’s Tort Reform Boot Camp report.
5. SF 373: This bill reduces the statute of limitations for Minnesotans to file claims agains corporations frmo six to four years. This bill means that victims of corporate wrongdoing would potentially need to hastily file their claim to stay within the four year timeframe, even if they aren’t sure of the full extent of the harm they suffered. This bill is modeled on recommendations from ALEC’s Tort Reform Boot Camp report.
6. SF 429: This bill would discourage Minnesotans from going to court when they have been wronged and attorneys from taking cases to hold corporations accountable. As Common Cause MN points out, the reason behind attorney fees is that the damages awarded are typially small, so the consumer can’t afford an attorney and/or attorneys will only take cases in which they are compensated. This bill is modeled on recommendations from ALEC’s Tort Reform Boot Camp report.
7. SF 530: This bill limits corporate liability by regulating interest rates owed to consumers who win personal injury/wrongful death lawsuits. This bill would change the interest rate to 4%, which is much lower and would make corporations more likely to continue in court rather than pay awards. This bill is modeled on recommendations from ALEC’s Tort Reform Boot Camp report.
8. HF 1467: This bill–Minnesota’s proposed “Castle Doctrine”, or “Shoot First” bill–would have been even worse than the Florida law that recently received national attention for its role in Trayvon Martin’s death. It would mean no duty to retreat in a person’s home, and a great many other places such as your porch or garage. It is modeled after multiple ALEC bills, including the Emergency Powers Firearm Owner Protection Act, the Concealed Carry True Reciprocity Act and the Castle Doctrine Act.
9. SF 1236: This bill would have limited the legal liability of a company that buys or merges with another company that in any way dealt with asbestos. The legislation in Minnesota benefits only one corporation–Crown Cork and Seal. It has a vested interest in the legislation because it acquired a small company that installed asbestos. It is modeled after ALEC’s Successor Asbestos-Related Liability Fairness Act.
10. HF 1976: This legislation would require the state to run all newly hired employees through the E-Verify program, which checks work eligibility in the United States. E-Verify is a part of Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 immigration bill, which became ALEC’s No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants Act.
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