Portrait of three Minnesota gubernatorial candidates as lawmakers

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.

Sen. Tom Bakk
Sen. Tom Bakk

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.

Sen. John Marty
Sen. John Marty

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.

Rep. Paul Thissen
Rep. Paul Thissen

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.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 05/04/2009 - 02:45 pm.

    G.R., it looks like you’re not distinguishing between their top priorities as opposed to bills they signed on to, aside from noting that Bakk is the main one behind the senate’s tax bill. Which of his other bills are a priority for him? I know John Marty authored the Minnesota Health Plan. Consider looking into which bills they’ve authored and/or shepherded as opposed to just being one more supporter.

  2. Submitted by g.r. anderson jr. on 05/04/2009 - 09:22 pm.

    eric: thanks for the comment. i will note that i reviewed only bills in which the lawmakers cited were chief authors.

    and while your point is well taken, i was admittedly cherry-picking wide-ranging pieces of legislation.

    there will be more, of course, on all major legislation from these and others. -gr

  3. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 05/05/2009 - 08:18 am.

    Different faces but the same agenda: tax more and spend more.

  4. Submitted by joel clemmer on 05/05/2009 - 11:11 am.

    A previous Commenter noted the difference between legislators who sign on to a bill vs those who exercise leadership on the issue. In that regard, John Marty stands above the others by pushing a real solution to our number one problem: health care. His Minnesota Health Plan would provide comprehensive care to all Minnesotans for less cost than we now endure for a crumbling system. See http://mnhealthplan.org. Watch out for imitators!

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