Sometimes opponents of the unicameral legislative system unwittingly offer the best arguments in favor of the one-house system.
Critics of the unicameral system recently noted that its point man, Gov. Jesse Ventura, benefited from the very system he hopes to bring down. They cite the tail end of the 1999 legislative session, during which certain Ventura proposals came late to the lawmakers. His $30 million request for technology projects was introduced after a conference committee had already agreed upon a spending package.
That's where the two-house system's conference committee came to Ventura's rescue. The bill was reworked for a proposal that had never been heard in the House or Senate and Ventura's technology projects were funded.
"Exactly," proponents of the one-house system must have said in unison when they heard that argument. Thirty million dollars worth of taxpayers' money was approved without public hearings. Thirty million dollars was spent without the knowledge of the majority of elected lawmakers. They had to be brought up to speed on the issue later by their colleagues on the conference committee
"The conference committees saved his (Ventura's) tomatoes," Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, DFL-Erskine, who opposes the unicameral system, said.
Maybe the governor's "tomatoes" shouldn't have been saved if they couldn't hold up to the scrutiny of public hearings and arguments before on the House and Senate floor.
The other argument that is heard is that a one-house legislative system will be the ruin of rural Minnesota. Outstate representation will decrease, they argue.
This argument doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Representation in a unicameral legislature will still be proportionate to an area's population. If a region is losing population it is going to lose representation in either legislative system.
The unicameral system would be an improvement to the current system. It would greatly increase accountability. Lawmakers should let citizens decide for themselves and put the question on the ballot this November.
Parents need to talk to their children about pregnancies
A newborn baby is expected to live after being left for nearly an hour and a half in a garbage bag stuffed in a trash can in a snowy alley recently in the Twin Cities.
The 15-year-old mother apparently put the baby in the bag after it was born earlier that day.
The girl hid the pregnancy from her family.
It's a shame for many reasons.
That the girl ... didn't choose to use birth control.
That the girl felt there was no one to turn to for help.
That with all the infertile couples seeking to adopt babies, that the child wasn't cared for and put up for adoption if it wasn't wanted.
We can't change that such an event took place, but we can try to prevent others.
And we as adults need to let our children know that they can, in fact talk to us about anything.
Communication on a regular basis can mean a lot.
-- Daily Globe of Worthington
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