The Time To Contact Your Lawmaker Is Now

Northstar Notes

If you can't make it to St. Paul, watch committee hearings online.

Published on: March 1, 2013

Taxes. Program cuts. Same-sex marriage.

Just when you thought things could not get any more contentious and partisan in St. Paul, another issue surfaces to redirect discussions.

Gov. Mark Dayton's State of the State address rounded up Republican traditionalists and gave them some focus about which to grouse. It also challenged some rural Democrat folks and forced them to take stands not along party lines.

Now comes the push to legalize same-sex marriage. After defeating a proposed constitutional ban in November, groups, such as Minnesotans United For All Families, and other folks are keeping the ball rolling for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The bipartisan legislation seeks to ensure that same-sex couples are treated equally under the law. It also seeks to protect religious freedom so that no church, religious association or clergy member is forced to violate their religious convictions.

The bipartisan support is not that surprising. What is interesting, however, is that the bill's co-sponsor is a northern Anoka County Republican.

Yes, in the northern Metro hinterlands of gun-loving Tea Partiers, there are some folks who truly believe "live and let live." They have been silent for decades, quietly voting left or right, depending on the current political scene.

Now, push comes to shove and these middle-of-the-road folks are saying, "Enough!"

Tune in anytime
I can't make it to the state Capitol for all these newsy committee meetings. You can be there, however, thanks to the Internet.

Specifically, you can watch committee meetings and other events of the Minnesota House of Representatives via live Internet video streaming of all television productions.

To view a schedule and to link in, visit www.house.leg.state.mn.us/htv/schedule.asp

And don't forget to let your lawmaker know how you feel about current discussions.