A conference committee will decide whether to strip the names of still-living former legislators from some laws.
A provision in the House state government bill would forbid the Legislature from naming laws or buildings after people who were still alive, says the Mesabi Daily News.
The Senate bill doesn’t include the language, so it’s unclear if the provision will survive the conference committee.
But the House bill would take former state Senator Bob Lessard’s name off the Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council, the body that handles the environmental sales tax that was constitutionally approved by voters last year.
It would also rename the Douglas J. Johnson Economic Trust Fund, which is an economic development fund named for the former state senator of Cook, and later Tower, who was a longtime chairman of the Senate Tax Commitee.
The bill’s author, Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, said it’s a good principle to name things as memorials, after people have died.
In some cases, Kahn said, the rule could avoid cost and embarrassment caused by scandals.
“There are some awful examples we can give,” she said. “The best one we could look at was the Blagojevich expressway in Chicago,” referring to the disgraced former Illinois governor.
Kahn, often the subject of derision, takes a hit on this from Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids.
“I think Phyllis Kahn ought to spend her energy doing something that’s more productive,” he said.