Saving Babies, Bathrooms, Religious Freedom, and More!
Minnesota Legislative Session 2015 Wrap-Up: What Happened?
We have a lot of updates for you! The 2015 Minnesota Legislative session officially ended on May 18th, and a lot did (and didn't) happen. See full update below.
Interestingly, the Minnesota Legislature is set to return for a special session at some yet-to-be-named date, where legislators and Governor Dayton will work to resolve unsettled issues, including the large Education omnibus bill. More on that at the end...
Congratulations to Rep. Abigail Whelan (Anoka, District 35A) for passing into LAW the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act!
Babies born after botched abortions will now, for the first time, have medical protections under the law in MN thanks to brand-new freshman Representative Abigail Whelan (Anoka, district 35A)!
Representative Whelan envisioned, authored, and passed into law the
Born Alive Infants Protection Act, a bill requiring medical care be
given to babies born from botched abortions, an extremely important prolife
piece of legislation. Rep. Whelan's bill was part of the larger Health and Human Services omnibus bill signed into law by Governor Dayton. This is an incredible accomplishment in our current
government structure, credited to the hand of God and Representative Whelan’s
prayerful and Spirit-led hard work.
Congratulations, and THANK YOU, Rep. Whelan!
Representative Abigail Whelan
...And What About the Bathrooms?
So many of you (thousands, to be more precise) have been helping us on the latest push from the LGBT lobby, transgender "rights," ever since the Minnesota State High School League passed their "transgender student athlete policy" last year despite overwhelming public opposition.
This year, you all joined with us in asking legislators to pass Representative Tim Miller's (Prinsburg, district 17A) and Senator David Brown's (Becker, district 15) Student Safety and Physical Privacy Act, the bill that would reverse MSHSL's "transgender student athlete policy" and require public schools to maintain bathrooms separated based on biological sex.
This bill has been on a wild ride this year!
- First, Rep. Miller and Sen. Brown led the way responding to you asking that your children's privacy and safety be protected by introducing the Student Safety and Physical Privacy Act.
- Then, St. Paul Public Schools passed a transgender policy, allowing students to select bathrooms based on "gender identity," joining Minneapolis Schools and the Minnesota State High School League in passing transgender policies.
- After that, MN Senate Republicans and DFL Senator Lyle Koenen (Clara City, district 17) tried to bring the Student Safety and Physical Privacy Act before the MN Senate for immediate consideration. DFL senators rejected it.
- Then, the MN House voted to pass the bathroom portion of the Student Safety and Physical Privacy Act as part of their larger Education omnibus bill!
- Then, sadly, the MN Senate voted against the bathroom portion of the Student Safety and Physical Privacy Act in their larger Education omnibus bill.
- Finally, since the House and Senate diagreed on the bathroom privacy provision, the Legislature formed a Conference Committee to decide on a final Education bill. Sadly, the bathroom provision was ultimately not included in the final Education omnibus bill, despite all your calls and emails.
- Governor Dayton vetoed the final Education omnibus bill anyway, so now the Governor and legislators are back to the drawing board on what will ultimately be included in their Education bill. No decision has been made yet.
Thank you for all your help and for shining the Light of Christ on this issue in MN! More will need to be done to protect our kids' privacy and safety since the Student Safety and Physical Privacy Act did not pass. Please stay tuned!
Protecting Religious Freedom
Just this month, Senator Paul Gazelka (Nisswa, district 9) introduced a bill that would protect individuals' and business owners' religious freedoms, honoring their right to decline to serve or participate in a same-sex wedding because of religious belief. Currently, under MN law, individuals and business owners can be punished with civil fines or even jail time for declining to serve a same-sex wedding.
Senator Gazelka hopes his bill will help his colleagues at the Legislature and same-sex marriage supporters understand that there must be a compromise and an honoring of constitutionally-granted religious freedom rights--every single small business owner in the wedding industry in MN should not be forced to participate in a same-sex wedding.
Thank you, Senator Gazelka!
Senator Paul Gazelka
Commission to Study the Practice of Commercial Surrogacy
GOP Representative Peggy Scott (Andover, district 35B) and DFL Senator Alice Johnson (Blaine, district 37) sponsored a bill that would require the MN Legislature to study commercial surrogacy and its impact upon women and children (and dozens more implications!) in a fair, nonpartisan way. These two women are as different politically as they can be, but both recognized that no meaningful study about the impacts of surrogacy on women and children had been done in Minnesota--and studying the issue is the least that can be done before attempting to legalize the practice.
MFC testified in favor of this bill in the MN House.
The bill passed all 3 of its committees in the MN House and was ultimately included in the House's State and Local Government larger omnibus bill. In the MN Senate, the bill passed 1 of its 3 committees but didn't have time to be heard in the other 2.
Ultimately, (and sadly for Minnesotans who deserve a close look taken at the practice of commercial surrogacy by their elected officials) the commercial surrogacy study was NOT included in the final State and Local Government omnibus bill passed in agreement by the House and Senate.
The practice of surrogacy is not going away, and MFC (with our allies!) will continue to work hard shedding light on this issue. Stay tuned!
Assisted Suicide Bill Comes to MN
(watch this amazing video destroying the arguments in favor of assisted suicide)
DFL Senator Chris Eaton (Brooklyn Center, district 40) introduced a bill this year to legalize assisted suicide in Minnesota.
Praise God, this bill received NO action by committees this year, but Senator Eaton with some of her colleagues vowed to hold hearings promoting the bill over the summer and fall, before the next legislative session.
Please stand with us to make sure this latest tentacle of the culture of death gains NO foothold in MN!
Student & Family Privacy in Public Schools
Representative Peggy Scott (left, Andover, district 35B) and Senator Mary Kiffmeyer (right, Big Lake, district 30) both introduced legislation that would require parents to be notified (and give consent) before their children are given intrusive surveys at school by anyone.
Types of surveys that would require parental consent include those asking students questions about sexual behavior and preferences, religious or political beliefs, whether or not homosexuality is ok, even family income--and more!
Shockingly, these types of surveys occur quite often in MN schools.
The legislation did not move forward this year, but we look forward to seeing progress next year.
Thank you, Senator Kiffmeyer and Representative Scott!
Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
Representative Peggy Scott
Stopping the MN Lottery from Predatory Online Gambling
Last year, MN lawmakers passed a law that would've stopped the MN Lottery from continuing their unilateral expansion into online gambling (the most addictive form of gambling), thereby futhering state-sponsored predatory gambling. The Lottery admitted they were targeting younger players (more vulnerable) with this move.
Sadly, Governor Dayton vetoed that bipartisan legislation.
This year, lawmakers passed the same provisions, and this time, Governor Dayton allowed them to become law without his signature!
Harmful Legislation That Was STOPPED This Year!
There were many harmful bills introduced this year that, praise God, did not move forward! Here's a few examples for you:
- Universal, free all-day preschool
When Governor Dayton and liberal legislators push for these types of bills, they not only cost the state around $400 Million, they also incentivize parents to turn over the raising of children during some of their most tender years to 3rd parties in government schools.
The solution isn't more school and bringing children into school younger and younger. Instead, we need to provide incentives for parents to care for their children at home before they are school-age, helping mold and shape them during those important years and providing them with a firm foundation.
For now, this bill hasn't cleared the Legislature, but Governor Dayton vetoed the Legislature's Education omnibus bill because universal preschool wasn't included. So, the debate isn't over, and the issue will force a "special session" at a soon-to-be-named date.
- Bill that would require "gender neutrality"
Since last year, some lawmakers have quietly been pushing for a "gender equality" amendment to the Minnesota Constitution under the guise of "equal rights for women."
In reality, the proposed amendment would erase all distinctions between men and women under the law. The consequences of this are staggering.
Thankfully, this bill did not move forward this year, but make no mistake--liberal legislators would like to see all distinctions between genders erased, making gender a "fluid" thing rather than a biological reality.
- A bill that would take away parents' and children's choices
Liberal MN senators are now pushing to limit healthcare choices for children and their parents.
Senator John Marty(Roseville, district 66) introduced a bill that would prohibit licensed mental health professionals from working with children who seek talk therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction.
Since when did liberal legislators decide that healthcare decisions shouldn't be "up to a patient and his/her doctor"?
Thankfully, this bill received NO traction this year.
- A bill requiring taxpayers to pay for transgender "hormone treatment" and "sex reassignment surgery"
Folks, this is basically a bill to force you to subsidize a man who wants to take estrogen (or potentially mutilate himself), or a woman who wants to take testosterone (or potentially mutilate herself).
This forces you to be a part of sending these men and women in need of true compassion down a dangerous and harmful path.
We don't need to go further into why this is an absolutely horrible idea, but if you'd like more info on the long-term effects (that we know of) for these types of "treatment," check out our webpage HERE or read some personal stories HERE.
Thankfully, again, this bill received ZERO traction this year.
Part of our ministry is to keep track of what's going on at the MN Capitol so that you can stay informed. Our mission is to nurture and defend families by restoring biblical truth in our culture.
One of the ways we do that is by advancing biblically-based pro-family policy throughout the state.
Will you consider a gift to our ministry today?