In the clamor to run for the state’s top elected position in 2010 — there are at least seven active candidates, not counting Gov. Tim Pawlenty himself — three of the hopefuls are currently doing your taxpayer work at the Capitol in St. Paul.
The question is: What kind of work? What pieces of legislation — and how many — have state Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Virginia, Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, and Rep. Paul Thissen DFL-Minneapolis, introduced? Do any of the efforts look more like campaign literature material than solid lawmaking?
We’ll go in alphabetical order.
• Bakk, as the chair of the Senate’s tax committee, is sort of a big deal in St. Paul these days. So it would make sense that he’s the chief author of the omnibus tax bill. But Bakk has been busy on other fronts, with chief authorship or co-authorship of 51 other bills. Among them are one crafting a loan program for first-time home buyers and another dealing with biomass fuel production.
• Marty, has been busy, too, attaching his name to 47 pieces of legislation. The senate’s Health, Housing and Family Security chair may have a bit of ADD, with bills ranging from tuberculosis treatment to car emissions regulation to legislation regarding caesarean section procedures.
• Thissen, over in the House, has signed on to 56 bills this year. Some are strictly local, such as a measure proposing to merge two City of Minneapolis pension funds. Another would regulate “plumbing practices and medical gas systems.” As for less esoteric issues, many of Thissen’s proposals deal with “modification” of existing laws.