Senate GOP Rejects Hayden Amendment to Reduce Spending
Today, the State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee in the Senate heard the voter ID constitutional amendment proposal. Before voting against the proposal that ultimately passed on a party-line vote, Senator Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis) stood up for the LGBT community and Minnesota taxpayers in introducing an amendment to the proposal that would have struck the anti-marriage constitutional amendment from the ballot this fall.
Hayden asserted that aside from being “the right thing to do” because “our constitution should be used to expand our freedoms, not restrict them,” removing the amendment from the ballot also would be fiscally responsible. Placing constitutional amendments on the ballot costs taxpayers money and the state could offset the cost of the voter ID amendment by removing the anti-marriage amendment from the ballot.
He added, “At a time when we need to be exercising fiscal restraint, we should not be spending taxpayer money on unnecessary constitutional amendments – especially those that are overreaching and infringe on our rights.”
Hayden encouraged his colleagues to be “good stewards of taxpayer dollars” and while his amendment was supported by all DFL senators, every GOP member voted against reducing spending of taxpayer money.
A vocal opponent of the voter ID amendment for its potential to disenfranchise thousands of eligible Minnesota voters and eliminate same-day registration and absentee balloting, Hayden agreed with Senator Patricia Torres-Ray (DFL-Minneapolis) that additional hearings should be held so that the public and lawmakers could have more time to learn about the amendment’s consequences. Committee Chair Mike Parry (R-Waseca) implied that voters and lawmakers will not know all of the details of the amendment until it is passed into law.