Senator John Marty (DFL 66) has introduced a bill to eliminate the Minnesota House of Representatives via Constitutional Amendment.
A single house legislature, known as unicameralism, was made popular in 1999 by Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. Making it the cornerstone of his legislative agenda, Ventura said, “a unicameral legislature that spends at least one year out of four cleaning old and intrusive laws off the books” is necessary. In his effort to promote legislation for a constitutional amendment on the 2000 ballot, Ventura toured the state of Minnesota.
During the height of the unicameral discussion, two organizations were formed: Minnesotans for a Single-House Legislature, which worked to increase public awareness about the benefits of a single body legislature, and Opponents of a Unicameral House (OUCH), which advocated maintaining two bodies and encouraged citizens to advocate for improvements to the current system. History is repeating itself in 2019 and with the help of Minnesotans who are paying attention, it will fail again.
A single body legislature is not the American way of governing and is more common in countries using a parliamentary system with a king as the formal head of a nation. According to Investopedia, countries using unicameral legislatures include:
Currently, all states in the U.S. with the exception of Nebraska, use the bicameral system consisting of two legislative bodies – House and Senate. The advantage of the bicameral system are:
- Provides for a balance of power using a system of checks and balances
- Prevention of abuses of power.
The bicameral system slows down the amount of legislation that government can pass against its citizens due to gridlock between the House and Senate. Democrats loathe gridlock. In an effort to avoid being labeled as an obstructionist, aisle-reaching republicans make deals to “get things done.”
The Democrats in Minnesota are on a mission to cram as many bills as possible through the legislature without the benefit of a committee hearing. The first vote on the House floor in Minnesota in January of 2019, was to adopt a House rule to change the legislative process. In the original process, House members draft a bill which is scrutinized on its path to becoming a law by various committees. The committee process is important; it’s where legislators gather for public input and testimony; it’s where amendments are offered to improve the legislation; it’s where house members have the opportunity to approve the bill for further action or to stop it.
Under the unicameral system, there will be no House of Representatives (which is the “People’s House”) acting as a barrier for bad legislation. All bills will be introduced and heard by the Senate, streamlining the process; making it easier to pass legislation. It seems very calculating that the first thing the Democrat majority of the House did was to quickly change their process, eliminating the critical step where the public’s voice is heard. Then, in less than a month, comes their unicameral push to eliminate the House itself, even further removing the citizens from their ability to influence the laws that will rule over them.
The old Democrat party is gone, folks. The radicals have taken over. Remember this when you head to the polls in 2020. It’s time to stand up for our system of government or it will be gone forever!