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Seat-belt bill goes to governor; Rochester rep gets credit

Kim Norton, a DFL state representative from Rochester, gets kudos for shepherding the primary seat-belt bill through the Legislature, says the Rochester Post Bulletin today.

Proponents have been trying for decades to pass the bill, but it took Norton’s efforts to make it happen. The bill’s Senate sponsor, Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, who’s been pushing the bill for 17 years, was asked by the newspaper why it finally passed this year.

“The difference was the author in the House was very aggressive and worked the bill hard and did a good job. Kim Norton was the difference,” he said.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty is expected to sign the bill, which will allow police officers to pull over a car if the driver or passengers are not wearing seat belts. Currently, officers can only issue a seat-belt ticket if the car was pulled over for another offense. The fine will be $25.

After Monday’s passage of the bill, Norton hugged supporters outside the House chamber. She said getting these sorts of bills passed is what matters as a lawmaker.

“When you can do something like this and you lose your next election, it’s OK because you know you’ve saved lives.”

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Betty Carlson on 05/19/2009 - 11:31 am.

    Will this be a driving violation reported to insurance companies or will it be a ticketable offence like broken tail light? Anyone know?

  2. Submitted by Richard Faust on 05/19/2009 - 01:58 pm.

    This pathetic piece of legislation is the latest blow to liberty. Does anyone remember the term “probable cause”? Ladies and gentlemen start your engines! Let the harassment begin! Why don’t we gather together this Memorial Day weekend and bury our state and federal constutions once, and for all. Let’s place checkpoints every few miles on our state’s roads so the authorities can check to see if our papers (I mean “seatbelts”) are in order (I mean “buckled”). Welcome to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and buckle up, or else!

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