End of Session Review: Sen. Ann Rest
Longtime DFL State Senator Ann Rest of New Hope says there was a lot lacking from the recent legislative session.
However, Rest does point to one victory: service dog legislation that becomes law on July first. It will be a crime to misrepresent your dog as a service dog.
It’s a change supported by Can-Do Canines, a service dog training nonprofit in New Hope.
“Even if your own pet is great for you, that pet is not trained to behave as a working dog in other situations like service dogs are,” said Rest. “Another issue with it is people taking their pets into a restaurant, for example, and make out to be service dogs. The proprietor lets them in because their owner said they were a service dog. Then let’s say that dog bites a customer. In the past, that customer could sue the owner of the restaurant rather than the owner of the dog.”
The new law would not hold the restaurant owner liable if he acted in good faith and believed the animal to be a service dogs.
Senator Rest also points to $2 million to help New Hope rebuild a 50-meter swimming pool. Money was also approved for flood control that will benefit Golden Valley, New Hope, and Crystal.
Did Not Pass: Railroad Protection and Transit Funding
But liability protection for BNSF Railroad in the proposed light rail corridor was not passed. That’s a sticking point for light rail. And Rest points out there was no funding for transit.
“Transit is part of a comprehensive transportation plan for our communities,” said Rest. “And to over and over again be denied the opportunity to build out our transportation systems is just outrageous.”
Rest also said the legislature lacked true compromise on taxes, guns, opioid treatment, and elder abuse.