Letter to Governor Dayton: Please Veto Guilty by Association Bill

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The Honorable Mark Dayton

Governor of Minnesota

75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.

Saint Paul, MN 55155


May 22, 2018


Dear Governor Dayton,

We are writing to respectfully request your veto of Senate File 3463, a bill that could make Minnesotans “guilty by association” when peacefully exercising their first amendment rights.

Senate File 3463 seeks to chill dissent and free speech by imposing “vicarious liability” to citizens and organizations who attend or support a protest where critical infrastructure is damaged. The language for this bill comes directly from the corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). As you have pointed out frequently in the last few days, too much legislation this session has catered to large corporate interests and left regular Minnesotans out in the cold. We urge you to use your veto power to prevent that in this case.

The bill uses excessively broad language in creating penalties to anyone who “recruits, trains, aids, advises, hires, counsels…” while applying those penalties in a narrow and politically motivated manner only at selectively-defined “critical infrastructure” sites. Opposition to this legislation has been broad and included organizations working for free speech and civil liberty, Native American rights, environmental organizations, and unions, including the AFL-CIO. 

In short, Minnesotans of all backgrounds recognize that this legislation is a dangerous attack on a vibrant democracy to further corporate interests.  Thank you for your Administration’s work to remove this language from the Omnibus Finance Bill. We ask that you protect Minnesotans and free speech by vetoing SF 3463.


Steve Morse

Minnesota Environmental Partnership

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