2012 Legislative Report

The 2012 session presented Minnesota’s Labor movement with even more challenges. The right-wing on the GOP majority attacked working people with a vengeance.

Fortunately, our work in the 2010 election paid off. Governor Mark Dayton, the first Labor-endorsed Governor in more than two decades, stood firm and protected middle class families from reckless anti-labor policy proposals.

While Governor Dayton vetoed dangerous legislation, it was up to Minnesota’s union members to keep the unfair, unsafe, and unnecessary “Right to Work” constitutional amendment off the November ballot. Through proper planning, coordinated strategy, and countless hours of work, we were successful in keeping the amendment off the ballot.

The session concluded with a few bright spots, which included a $500 million jobs and infrastructure bill and construction of a job-creating “peoples stadium” in downtown Minneapolis. While it was a challenging session, Minnesota’s union members proudly stood up for all Minnesotans and stopped what could have been a disaster.

This Legislative Report includes:

Tables showing key 2012 votes: Grids showing whether legislators supported or opposed working families with their votes. The numbered columns in the tables correspond to the numbered votes for the appropriate legislative body. NEW: Vote description page reference—to more easily find the corresponding vote description for the votes on the grids. (pgs. 4-8)

Descriptions of key votes: Numbered explanations of votes taken in the Senate and the House that include the action voted on (motion,amendment, passage, etc.), together with the Minnesota AFL-CIO’s position, the vote outcome and vote totals. (pgs. 9-13)

Definitions of right and wrong vote: A legislator’s vote is recorded as “Right” (R) supporting the Minnesota AFL-CIO position or “Wrong” (W) - opposing the Minnesota AFL-CIO position. If the legislator was absent or did not vote, “Not Voting” (NV) is recorded.

Lifetime Voting Records: The Minnesota AFL-CIO Lifetime Voting Records of current members of the House and Senate are included on the House and Senate grids in the far right column. Only actual “R” or “W” votes are counted in calculating the percentage.

Notes on how votes are selected: Votes have been selected for their accuracy as a gauge of legislators’ views. For this reason, unanimous or wide margin votes are avoided, unless there are no other significant votes available on an important issue. The legislature often makes critical decisions about the content of legislation through votes on amendments or procedural motions. These votes frequently reveal a legislator’s true position on an issue more clearly than lopsided votes on a bill’s passage.