The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 22, 2013

Timing still legislative problem

One can appreciate the deliberative, legislative process in Minnesota. We can respect the hours and hours of time legislators put in debating important issues. But time management seems to be an issue whatever party reins. This year is no different.

We're not sure if its politics or if there are just too many things to get done, or if priorities fail to be set or people are just not talking enough. It could be all of the above. But several key issues important to the people of our state were left by the wayside in this year's legislative session.

The school bullying legislation and progress on transportation funding stand as two examples of this inability to get things done on issues extremely important to our state.

In both cases, government officials and staff spent hours, days, even weeks traversing the state gathering information on these critical issues. Task forces were established. Educated people and experts spent time developing policies in both of these areas. They took hundreds of pages of public testimony. They wrote extensive and thoughtful reports.

In essence, these volunteers and public servants did what they were asked. And when we didn't even come close to resolving some of these issues, some elected leaders blamed politics as usual. In the case of the bullying legislation, DFLers blamed Republicans who apparently said they planned a lengthy floor debate on the issue. DFLers punted, saying there wasn't enough time.

But there's never enough time. Never will be. The proper management of this issue should have been conducted far before the end of the session. There should have been a vote and floor debate far before the last day. The issue management either needs much improvement or someone has to take the politics out of it.

Text Only | Photo Reprints