Gov. Mark Dayton Vetoed Kids

A powerful Op Ed in the Strib reiterates what I’ve been writing here about the governor’s veto of the Shared Parenting Bill: He was swayed by a small group of wealthy, powerful lawyers — lawyers who have a lot to gain by the standing law that forces judges to pick winners and losers. It’s really unconscionable what Dayton did.

In vetoing the bill that would have increased the minimum presumption of shared parenting following a divorce from 25 percent of the time to 35 percent (unless the court found a reason to restrict access), Gov. Mark Dayton may have been swayed by misinformation.

It’s extremely unfortunate that such an important bill, thoroughly researched and carefully analyzed for so many years, and so strongly supported by the majority of citizens in this state, could be obliterated by the stroke of a pen. The heavy lobbying and inside relationships of special-interest attorneys won out over the cries of children and the persistence of the parents. Citizens seeking justice through the courts have been told by judges to talk to the Legislature to change the law. The people did speak through their legislators, and the bipartisan bill passed 132-61.

There is mass public outcry for family court reform. Legislators often say they have persistently and consistently heard more complaints about family court than just about any other issue.

The current presumption of 25 percent parenting time reflects a glorified every-other-weekend and holiday schedule, with an extended summer vacation.

Current law requires a judge to pick one winner parent and one loser parent. This creates conflict.

Read the rest: Kids in the balance | StarTribune.com.


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