Minnesota’s Republican Party is furious with Governor Mark Dayton over the decision to alter the names of two amendments being offered to the people of that state this November. When Governor Dayton vetoed the amendment symbolically, he gave carte blanche to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and State Attorney General Lori Swanson the right to change the name of the measure.
State Senator Mike Parry, Republican of Waseca, announced on Monday that this Friday the State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee will be holding hearings into the name changes on the amendments. Parry stated in a release that “In light of recent developments, the committee expects Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and State Attorney General Lori Swanson to explain their involvement surrounding the constitutional amendment questions on the November ballot.”
Parry has called the hearing as Minnesota faces a need for intervention with regards flooding in the north of the state. Severe flooding at the end of last month caused extensive damage.
Voters are set to weigh in on two proposed amendments this upcoming November. One would ban same-sex marriage in the state and the other would require a valid photo ID at the polls. Both were passed by the Republican majority in the Legislature, but vetoed symbolically by Dayton.
The lawmakers titled the marriage amendment “Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman,” but Dayton, Ritchie and Swanson changed it to “Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples.” The new title is closer to the intention of the amendment, according to LGBT rights advocates. The Voter Photo ID amendment was titled “Photo Identification Required for Voting,” but the title was changed to “Changes to in-person & absentee voting & voter registration; provisional ballots.”
While the hearings are set to occur, it has been noted by everyone but the Republicans that state law allows Ritchie to change the approved title if the amendment has been vetoed by the Governor.