Quiz: Legislative proposals -- are they real? Submit your answers for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

Advocacy

Geno Fragnito, MNCPA director of government relations | June/July 2018 Footnote

Have you ever seen a media report about the Legislature and wondered, "What were they thinking?"                 

More than 8,500 bills were introduced during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions, so you're not alone. Some bills were introduced to address concerns raised by constituents, while some addressed changes needed in state government. Other bills addressed changes supported by advocacy groups, and then there were bills introduced to make a political statement. Legislation is also proposed to repeal outdated regulation or update existing laws.

A large majority of the proposals never make it through the committee process. The MNCPA government relations team spends time identifying bills related to the profession that might get a hearing, then works with legislators and staff to provide perspective from the CPA profession. Some may receive a hearing in a committee, while a smaller group will be passed through to the House or Senate floor for a full vote. Less than 3 percent make it to the governor's desk and are signed into law.

The intended purpose of introduced legislation is often very clear. But many times, after additional analysis, proposals are found to have unintended results. That's why every bill introduced is reviewed to identify the potential consequences the legislation may have on the CPA profession, the businesses you work for and the clients you represent.

Looking back at Capitol action in 2018, I thought it'd be fun to test your knowledge to see if you can identify real proposals introduced by legislators. Some are strange yet true, while others remain in the make-believe category (so far).
 

  1. Appropriating money for railroad quiet zones.
  2. Requiring the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to remove snow from forest roads.
  3. Creating a task force to study the impact migrating geese have on air quality in Minnesota.
  4. Declaring Minnesota a mining-friendly state.
  5. Prohibiting the import of Wisconsin ice blocks used in building ice castles in Minnesota.
  6. Allowing the use of hot air balloons to hunt.
  7. Appropriating money for a large brown bear and large cats exhibit at Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth.
  8. Prohibiting the feeding of bears by hand.
  9. Creating a fine for slow-moving vehicles driving in the left lane.
  10. Allowing the transfer of wine between commonly-owned liquor stores.
  11. Creating an official state policy that every person in Minnesota has the right to live free from the presence of Arie Luyendyk  Jr., the star of season 22 of "The Bachelor."
  12. Creating a statewide dangerous dogs database.
  13. Establishing a grant program for skateparks throughout Minnesota.
  14. Creating a task force to study the design of the state flag.
  15. Allowing guides for turkey hunting.
  16. Creating a new 14.5-percent fifth-tier income tax bracket.

Do you know bills from bull?

Email your answers to gr@mncpa.org by June 30 for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. One winner will be randomly selected (if there is a tie for most correct answers). The correct answers will be shared in the August Footnote.

 

Have questions?

Do you have questions or want to get involved in the legislative process?

Contact Geno Fragnito at 952-885-5550 or gfragnito@mncpa.org.