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Legislators vote no to ‘Asian’ carp

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ST. PAUL — Minnesota legislators have been trying to get rid of Asian carp for years and on Monday senators got rid of the “Asian” part of the name.

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On a split voice vote, senators approved dropping “Asian” from the invasive carp name.

“Words matter,” Senator John Hoffman, D-Champlin, said in urging the change. “We may not be able to stop others from using the terminology,” he said, but the state does not need to use the term “Asian.”

Senator Foung Hawj, D-St. Paul, said the state needs to do a better job of being sensitive.

The provision was included in a larger bill.

In other news from the Legislature:

WOMEN VET PLATES OK’D

Minnesota representatives Monday gave unanimous approval to establishing a vehicle license plate available to women military veterans.

With a 110-0 vote and no debate, the House answered requests made by women veterans in numerous legislative committee meetings during the past two months.

Rep. Jerry Newton, D-Coon Rapids, said that he has heard from many women veterans who say “they are tired of driving their cars” with veterans’ license plates, only to have people come up and tell them “thank your husband for his service to the country.” A similar bill awaits a Senate vote.

BEACH LIFEGUARD RULE

ST. PAUL — Lifeguards at government-run Minnesota beaches will be required to know CPR and otherwise be certified.

The House Monday voted 110-10 to require that beaches run by governments such as cities hire only certified lifeguards, if they have lifeguards. Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill Wednesday. The law does not require governments to hire lifeguards.

Some Republicans said the legislation could lead to more danger.

Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, called the bill: “A false sense of security of another law, another mandate, placed on our communities in the state of Minnesota.”

He said that he feared that many public entities would just post “swim at your own risk” signs rather than pay for lifeguards with proper training and certification.

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The Forum Communications News Service is the premier news wire service covering the Upper Midwest, stretching from the oilfields of western North Dakota to the plains of South Dakota and to the shores of eastern Minnesota. For more information about the services we offer or to discuss content subscriptions, please contact us.
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