For 12 years family lawyers who line their pockets on the current system of custody and the domestic violence industry have successfully thwarted bills in the Minnesota Legislature that would create a presumption of equally-shared parenting post-divorce.
Well, they’re at it again. Molly Olson’s organization the Center for Parental Responsibility has a good bill before the House Judiciary Committee. The only problem is that the chairman of the committee won’t allow it to be voted on. And time is running out. If the bill isn’t voted out of committee by this Friday, it’s dead for yet another year.
So I’d like to encourage everyone to contact the committee and demand that the bill be approved and sent to the House for a vote. The bill is House File 322. Here’s the totality of Olson’s most recent message on the matter. She includes all relevant names and contact information. Please do what you can to make sure this bill gets a fair hearing.
Joint Physical Custody/Equal Shared Parenting
House Judiciary Hearing URGENT UPDATE
o Only 4 days left before deadline and still no hearing for vote in House Judiciary
o Call or email House Judiciary Committee TODAY (contact info below)
o Also email House Majority Leader (Matt Dean) and Speaker (Kurt Zellers)
REMINDER: we are a 100% volunteer organization – there is no one paid to be working on our behalf – our progress is directly related to how many people like YOU take time to be part of the process.
HF322 – Joint Physical Custody and Equal Shared Parenting
SF1168 – Joint Physical Custody and Equal Shared Parenting
URGENT – YOUR HELP NEEDED TODAY — Your phone calls, voicemails, and emails ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE – but TODAY IS URGENT … we need the House Judiciary to hear the bill and vote THIS WEEK to meet the deadline, and so far we are not on the agenda. Call and email all House Judiciary Members TODAY and ask them to hear the bill THIS WEEK. See legislators contact info below.
· TODAY call and email all House Judiciary Members (see list below) and House Leadership
· MAKE IT SHORT: In 500 words or less, explain why you care about the issue, why change is needed, how you and your kids were negatively affected by current law, how JPC/ESP will help, and ask them to ask Rep Smith to take a committee VOTE on the bill THIS WEEK – before the end of next week deadline – because the kids deserve change NOW – every year that goes by 50,000 more children in MN are negatively affected with the status quo. Remind them JPC/ESP IS in the best interest of children and the majority of research is on the side of this bill.
· INCLUDE in EMAIL: Ask them how you want them to vote on HF322. Give your full name, address, email, and phone number in the email. Provide to them a short quote and a link to any key research – see CPR website for articles or you”re your own (under ISSUE: Joint Custody).
· KEY: don’t show anger in your email, it will hurt the cause. You only feed into the negative stereotype. Sadness and disappointment are good to specify. Don’t name names or blast judges. You can speak in general terms and still be specific. It’s OK to name the county of your case.
· QUESTIONS: If you have questions or have an idea how you want to help the cause, email JPCeffort@cpr-mn.org
· GET OTHERS TO DO THE SAME: See below “forward to a friend’ and email this to others you know who can also call and email.
This is what has happened this year:
· House Civil Law – Informational Hearing (no vote) – Jan 26 2011
· House Civil Law – Introduce Bill and Public Hearing – Feb 8 2011 (tabled until bill revised)
· House Civil Law – Introduce Amended Bill (after input from stakeholders and influencers) – April 11 2011 (bill passes)
· House Judiciary – Public Hearing (no vote/most members not in attendance) – April 27 2011 (bill tabled)
o Bill now stuck in House Judiciary Committee unless the Committee Chair will hear the bill for a vote.
o Rep Steve Smith has not put HF322 on the committee agenda for a vote this week
o If it”s not heard this week for a vote, the bill is dead in the House
o If it”s not heard this week for a vote, the bill will NOT go to the House floor for a vote this year and it will be delayed until next year
o Rep Smith is giving deference to our opposition
· Senate Judiciary (Rep Warren Limmer) has made a final decision no family law bills will be heard in Senate this year.
o Your calls have made a difference – he has been bombarded. This will support the effort over the summer to ensure the debate continues to make progress in between sessions and make it a priority next session.
The biggest reason the bill is not making progress? Special Interest Groups!
o MN Bar Association – Family Law Section
o MN AAML (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers)
o Domestic Violence Industry
What are their objections: They want to leave it to judges to decided based on the “best interest of children;’ they want to treat every case like every dad is a dangerous abuser, they claim parents in “conflict’ can”t cooperate, they rely on bias research from Australia researcher claiming JPC doesn”t work (they forget to tell legislators that research focusing on DV cases), and more bogus objections just to plant “uncertainty and doubt’ in the minds of the committee. The lawyer groups and the DV groups are their to protect their agencies NOT your kids.
House Judiciary Committee Contact Information
HOUSE JUDICIARY REPUBLICANS (10) – we believe 9 of these will vote yes. Rep Smith is the only no republican vote at this time.
Steve Smith (R)? Mound
651-296-9188 ?E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron Shimanski (R)?Silver Lake
651-296-1534 ?E-mail: email@example.com
Diane Anderson (R)? ?Eagan
651-296-3533 ?E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Cornish (R)? Good Thunder
651-296-4240 ?E-mail: email@example.com
Glenn Gruenhagen (R)? Glencoe
651-296-4229 ?E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Kriesel (R)? Cottage Grove
651-296-4342 ?E-mail: email@example.com
Pat Mazorol (R)? Bloomington
651-296-7803 ?E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Schomacker (R)?Luverne
651-296-5505 ?E-mail: email@example.com
Bruce Vogel (R)? Willmar
651-296-6206 ?E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Wardlow (R)? Eagan
651-296-4128 ?E-mail: email@example.com
HOUSE JUDICIARY DEMOCRATS (7) So far we thought 3 of these were voting yes for HF322, but that seems to be changing and they seem to be voting in a pack against the bill – contact them –especially if you are a democrat or know these people or live in their district, make an appeal.
Sheldon Johnson (DFL)? ?St Paul
651-296-4201 ?E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bobby Joe Champion (DFL)? ?Minneapolis
651-296-8659 ?E-mail: email@example.com
Debra Hilstrom (DFL)? ?Brooklyn Center
651-296-3709 ?E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Laine (DFL)? Columbia Heights
651-296-4331 ?E-mail: email@example.com
John Lesch (DFL)? St Paul
651-296-4224 ?E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tina Liebling (DFL)? Rochester
651-296-0573 ?E-mail: email@example.com
Carly Melin (DFL)? Hibbing
651-296-0172 ?E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
o Ask them to insist Rep Smith hear the bill THIS YEAR!
o Let them know it appears there is a majority YES vote on HF322 in House Judiciary.
o Let them know this bill has been worked on for 12 years.
o Let them know it”s a bill “by the people and for the people’ and the opposition is the special interest attorney groups who are mischaracterizing the bill and making false claims about it.
Please forward this email to others who you think might/should be interested (see “forward to a friend” below). Email not just non-custodial parents, but second spouses, grandparents, affected aunts and uncles, adult children of divorce, and others.