Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus: Senator Rasmusson successfully amends bills moving through the committee process

Despite being in the minority party, Senator Jordan Rasmusson (R-Fergus Falls) has been successful in amending bills as they move through the committee process. This includes Rasmusson’s proposals to amend legislation that would create a mandated paid family and leave program, legalize recreational marijuana in Minnesota, and hurt local agriculture companies.

This session, the Senate majority is pushing legislation that would require Minnesota businesses to provide a paid family and medical leave benefit to employees. Under this legislation, a massive state-managed program would oversee this benefit and the funding would be through a new costly payroll tax for all employees and employers.

“A mandated government-managed paid family and medical leave program would be detrimental to our Minnesota small businesses,” Rasmusson said. “Instead of creating a new bureaucracy and new state mandate, I believe that a free-market approach would be the best way to expand access to this benefit and give employers and employees the flexibility to structure benefits to meet their needs.”

After working with the business community, Rasmusson successfully introduced an amendment in the Human Services Committee to require an independent third party to conduct an actuarial study to ensure the financial soundness of the paid family and medical leave program. In the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, a Rasmusson amendment to put in place an annual 1.2% premium cap was also adopted. This will help protect both employers and employees from excessive cost increases.

“Senator Rasmusson continues to listen to our employers in Otter Tail County and throughout the District on the Mandated Paid Leave legislation,” Lisa Workmanpresident of the Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, said. “In addition to listening, he acts on requests to make the proposals less burdensome on employers by offering amendments worth merit. He understands the costs of being in business and he has heard, loud and clear, that many employers are critically challenged with having enough employees to keep their doors open for business. He’s been an advocate for our employers and their employees and a champion for free enterprise.”

Additionally, as legislation to legalize recreational marijuana moved through the Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, Rasmusson successfully offered an amendment to require warning labels on cannabis products. The warning must read, “Cannabis can harm your health, and your baby’s health if you are pregnant.”

Rasmusson’s amendment to require cannabis store hours to match liquor store hours was also adopted. This includes language noting that these stores must be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day and observe limited hours on Christmas Eve.

“The proposal to legalize recreational marijuana is too broad and lacks many important safeguards,” Rasmusson said. To ensure consumers are aware of the health issues that can result, I successfully introduced language to require warning labels, like those on cigarette packages, to be affixed to all cannabis products. My language to amend the hours of cannabis stores was also accepted. Before this change, these stores could be open later than liquor stores.” 

“We applaud Senator Rasmusson’s amendments to the marijuana legalization bill because they wisely leverage the best practices and lessons learned from our experiences with Big Tobacco and alcohol,” Ryan E. Hamilton, government affairs director at Minnesota Catholic Conference, said. “The amendments will apply proven best practices to mitigate the inevitable harm that retail cannabis products will do to individuals and communities.”

Finally, Rasmusson also amended legislation that seeks to require manufacturers to make diagnostic information and spare parts available “to any independent repair provider or to the owner of digital electronic equipment.” ...


Continue reading the full article from the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus.

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