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.”