State rep: Doggie doo-doo a no-no at outdoor eateries

Rep. Tom Emmer
Rep. Tom Emmer

In the kind of discussion that could only crop up during long floor debates at the end of a legislative session, Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano, offered a bit of levity late Monday afternoon.

The House was struggling over Senate File 2876, named “Dangerous Dogs,” and ostensibly dealing with what is a dangerous dog, who can have one, when one should be turned over to animal control, penalties for owners of dogs gone wild and “destruction of dog in certain circumstances.” Gruesome stuff.

But along the way, a provision allowing for Minneapolis to pass an ordinance allowing dogs to dine al fresco with their owners crept into the bill. Emmer and a number of lawmakers wondered why the state needed a law that allowed for such an ordinance. But they also attacked what is certainly a trivial and goofy piece of vanity legislation while there’s a $1 billion budget deficit to deal with by Monday.

The debate raged on, prompting Emmer to wonder what happens when a Shih Tzu perhaps, uh, returns a meal on the sidewalk or in the dining area. Who’s going to clean it up, and how? “Do we drop it in a bag?” Emmer wondered. “Do we drop Kitty Litter on it?

Waves of laughter rolled through the House chambers, while Emmer stopped just short of spewing an old adage about where not to eat. “There’s a phrase,” he said. “I’m not going to say it, but some of you know what it is.” The House passed the bill 110 to 23.

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