As many of you may already know, the Minnesota house passed the proposed gestational carrier legislation 86-46 on Monday. It went through without any hostile amendment by the opposition, and there is no marriage requirement. The house version was accepted by the senate yesterday, so all the bill needs is the Governor's signature to become law. Unfortunately, the Governor may still veto it.
The legislation is one of two bills that Republican Representative Kathy Tingelstad carried, and the Governor is still mad at her about her vote to override his veto on the transportation bill. Insider theory is that he may only give her one of her two bills, and the other bill (adoption birth record access) had more bipartisan support and is less controversial. The Governor also wants to be McCain's vice presidential running mate, so he is trying to look VERY conservative in all of his state duties. Some knowledgeable people at the capitol think the Governor will veto the gestational carrier bill, and we will have to start over next year. We need as much support as possible in the form of calls and letters to the Governor's office to maximize the chance that he will sign the bill (or, perhaps, at least let it go into effect without his signature).
The Governor is already against alternative families, so common wisdom from the house and senate authors of the bill is that we need LOTS of general, neutral support for the bill without drawing attention to the single/alternative families aspect. There is now a provision in the bill that allows the Department of Human Services to obtain reimbursement from intended parents who use surrogates on state funded medical assistance benefits for the pregnancy and delivery costs of having their children, AND the bill promotes substantial judicial economy by removing many uncontested surrogacy cases from the already overcrowded court system (that is funded at ~90% of its actual operating budget and is loudly complaining that it is overworked and under funded). These two positive fiscal effects may be the firmest basis to get the Governor's attention and support, not to mention the general overall benefit that the law will have for the 160,000+ Minnesotans struggling with various fertility obstacles. The bill is fair, sensible, and necessary. (I have attached a copy of the current amended version of the bill to this e-mail for review, if necessary.)
Please contact the Governor in support of the legislation at this time, but keep it short, keep it positive, and keep it focused on the less controversial benefits of the legislation. The opposition will now try to sabotage the bill in the Governor's office, so we need to be more vocal than they are!!! Because the Governor is "running" for the vice presidency slot on the McCain ticket, e-mails from people on a national basis referencing the positive effects of this legislation and their consideration of his signature of the bill as a factor in their likelihood to support that ticket may also be helpful. So, forward this on to anyone you know who will support us in any place in the country! In that way, we may still successfully get the bill enacted into law. The Governor and his health law policy person's e-mails are firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Thanks in advance for your continuing support and effort!
Steven H. Snyder, Esq.
Steven H. Snyder & Associates
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Every Email Counts
I am generally not a very political person, but this one hits close to my heart! If you have time to spare, please send our Governor an email this week! With rumors of Governor Pawlenty possibly running as the VP on McCain's Presidential ticket, this will soon take on national importance too!