Wednesday, February 1, 2012

MORE ALEC in MInnesota

Unfortunately for Minnesota - those nasty ALEC critters are crawling out the mopboards and doing all types of nasty this year.

Minnesota is being screwed by the ALEC GOP!

I've already written a tremendous amount about what happened in Wisconsin and now - really - all I have to do is a cut and paste of my old blog entries about what is happening in Minnesota.

We know more about ALEC now - but history is still important.

What happened in Wisconsin - is now in Minnesota.

Minnesota must squash these nasty little Koch-roach ALEC members.

Why is this "old, but still valid" entry important?
Well NOW Minnesota ALEC legislators want this "ACT"

But they want to attach it permanently to our state constitution.

My entry from March 26, 2011 -
Valid then - A little dated, but still valid now

I'm taking a look back at things we missed that he [Walker] has done for the State of Wisconsin.
Found a really sick one - that I'll write about tomorrow - another one written by ALEC.

Here's Wisconsin Act Nine
Act 9
January 2011 Special Session   Date of enactment: February 22, 2011
Assembly Bill 5   Date of publication*: March 8, 2011
AN ACT to create 13.085 of the statutes; relating to: requiring a supermajority for passage of tax increase legislation.13.085 Bills increasing certain tax rates. (1) Except as provided in sub. (2), no house of the legislature may pass a bill that increases the rate of the state sales tax or that increases any of the rates of the income tax or franchise tax unless the bill is approved by two-thirds of those members present and voting.

  (2) Subsection (1) shall not apply if the legislature passes a joint resolution requiring a statewide advisory referendum on the question of whether the legislature should authorize the tax increase provided in the bill and a majority of voters voting at the referendum vote to approve the tax increase.

Why would Walker want this Act?

Here is an excerpt from the ALEC report named
 “Crisis in State Spending: A guide for Legislators” published in 2002.
Super-majority requirements are based on the premise
that tax increases fuel excessive government spending. 
Therefore, to more effectively control the budgetary process,
the ability to raise taxes or enact new taxes
should be made as politically difficult as possible,

Well… evidently there’s an “ALEC agenda” surrounding the topic of raising taxes.
- sales taxes, incomes taxes, franchise taxes -
I wonder what taxes they don’t want raised?

What can I say???
This is what happens when our legislators are sitting at the table with private sector companies – writing “model legislation” on taxation.
It speaks for itself.

I’d love to see all of the “ALEC Model Legislation” on taxation, and read them in their entirety…
   but ALEC’s “Model Legislation” is not available for public review or comment.
   Their “model legislation” in its entirety is on the password protected “members only” webpage.

Don't you see how inherently wrong this is?
This is WRONG!
The ALEC concept of government is WRONG!
This is NOT democracy!

As citizens we should not be paying legislators to participate in ALEC “educational” sessions with Coors, Koch, AT&T  , Wal-Mart and other private sector companies, sitting around the table drafting, deliberating and approving model legislation for our states and our country -  “model legislation” such as the “Supermajority Act”.

Please request the elimination of any and all state and federal funding for state or federal legislators to belong to ALEC, to attend ALEC events and to buy products or publications sold by ALEC.
End of my entry from March 26, 2011 -
Valid then - A little dated, but still valid now.

The legislature has been busy introducing constitutional amendments that would place significant constraints on the state budgeting process. Many financial experts point out that placing these strict limits in the state constitution would have serious long-term economic consequences. By restricting the use of available resources, amendments like these would slow down Minnesota’s recovery from a recession and prevent lawmakers from making investments that will keep the state competitive. Bond rating agencies frown on these kinds of restrictions, so the state would also likely face higher borrowing costs for infrastructure projects.

The Minnesota Budget Project supports preserving the ability of a simple majority of lawmakers to determine the overall size of the state budget and to manage available resources. Therefore, we oppose any amendment to Minnesota’s Constitution that would require a supermajority vote to raise taxes or use reserve funds, or would restrict lawmakers from using available resources. Amendments such as these would damage Minnesota’s economic future by sharply limiting policymakers’ flexibility to respond to changing demographics and emerging needs. Lawmakers would find it harder to reach agreement, leading to an increase in legislative gridlock and the use of more budget gimmicks.

Issue Overview
Experience from other states demonstrates that constitutional amendments limiting budget decisions don't deliver on their promises, and they come with dangerous consequences.

Instead of passing laws and waiting to see if Gov. Mark Dayton vetoes them, Republicans are looking at opportunities to end-run the legislative process by instead changing the Minnesota Constitution. You already know about the marriage amendment, which will be put to voters in November. Among amendments also likely to be considered are ones to limit the Legislature's ability to tax and spend, a voter ID mandate at the polls and amendments on unions and gun rights.

But there has been discussion about a dozen more potential amendments, including a ban on state shutdowns, freedom of choice in health care and changing the way judges are elected.

It's not brand new; there have been 211 such attempts since the beginning of the state's history. But there seems to be an impetus now because Republicans control both houses for the first time in 38 years and would like to cement their programs in place in case that doesn't last.

Constitutional amendments are a VERY dangerous thing – and ALWAYS politically motivated.

By the Way:
The Super Majority Act was enacted at the Federal level
– tell me folks,  how well is that working for the 99%?

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