MN Governor Vetoes ALEC-Dictated Tort Reform Bills

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via The Uptake -- January 15, 2012: Gov. Dayton Castigates GOP "Gut and Cut" Policies to Protect the 2 Percent

If there's any lesson Democrats should have learned this time around, it's the importance of turnout for gubernatorial races. Thank God we still have some Democratic governors to stand up to the kind of crap ALEC has peddled around the rest of the country:

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Gov. Mark Dayton Friday vetoed four lawsuit liability limit bills, after branding them "partisan political ploys" by the Republican majority in the state legislature.

"The real impact would be to reduce the rights of law abiding citizens and businesses to seek justice from the wrongdoing of others," Gov. Dayton told reporters at the Capitol.

The four pieces of legislation were designed to lower the exposure of businesses to legal actions by consumers, including shortening the statute of limitations, capping interest rates on some judgments and requiring legal fees to be proportionate to the actual amounts paid.

Dayton said the ideas had been rejected by a task force appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, and that most of the bills were cookie cutter legislation proposed in several states by a conservative action group.

He also pointed to statistics showing that the number of actual tort cases in Minnesota's civil courts has fallen 40 percent since 1997, and that such lawsuits make up only three percent of the Minnesota court system's case load.

"So exactly who did the Republicans in the legislature listen to?" Dayton asked, as he held up a thick document.

"Three of the four bills come right from this manual. Tort Reform Boot Camp, published by the American Legislative exchange council, or ALEC."

The organization often holds seminars for conservative state legislators across the nation, and provides model legislation that reflects a public policy agenda.

"It is an extremely conservative group funded largely by large corporations, big business associations, insurance companies and very wealthy individuals," Dayton remarked.


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