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Jeers to Ritchie on Voter ID law

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It's been a good week for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar -- who saw several of her initiatives passed into law.

One involved legal drugs, and how to prevent shortages of critical prescriptions.

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The other involved illegal drugs, and how to tackle the serious problem of synthetic drugs.

The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act includes Klobuchar's drug shortage provisions to require early warning notification and give the FDA the tools it needs to stop shortages of critical drugs.

The bill also includes Klobuchar's medical devices provisions that would reduce regulatory burdens that unnecessarily delay new, life-saving medical devices from reaching the market without compromising consumer safety.

And Klobuchar's provisions banning dangerous synthetic drugs have also been signed into law.

A ban on synthetic substances such as 2C-E, which led to the death of a Minnesota teenager and hospitalized several others, were included in a larger bill called the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.

The legislation also includes provisions Klobuchar cosponsored banning harmful chemicals commonly found in bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

"In Minnesota and across the country, we are seeing more and more tragedies where synthetic drugs are taking lives and tearing apart families," Klobuchar said.

"Today's action means that this critical legislation to give law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on synthetic drugs is finally the law of the land."

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Jeers to Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie for playing games with the titles of GOP-backed Constitutional measures that will be on the ballot in November.

Republicans are rightfully angry that Ritchie threw out the titles they chose for the measures on gay marriage and voter ID.

The title chosen by the Legislature was: "Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman."

Ritchie rewrote the title to be: "Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples."

On the voter ID measure, Ritchie will require ballots to list "Changes to in-person and absentee voting and voter registration; provisional ballots." The Legislature-passed title is: "Photo identification required for voting."

Even if he is technically correct and has the authority to make the changes -- the issue is going to the state Supreme Court -- Ritchie should have deferred to the legislative process. The replacement titles he chose are more confusing.

We say let voters decide the issues on their merits, and both should be rejected.

We believe Shepard Smith of Fox News was right when he said Republicans are "on the wrong side of history" on the gay marriage debate.

And the voter ID law is completely unnecessary -- there's no evidence of election fraud in Minnesota. If approved, it will be expensive and will be the first election change in decades to actually make it much more difficult for Minnesota residents to vote.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The Minnesota Supreme Court will also weigh in on the voter ID measure later this month.

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