As the back-and-forth continues on the disappointment of the legislative session, a local lawmaker says Republicans did their best to advance distracted driving legislation this year.

Senator Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake) says he continued to push for two of his bills that aimed to make tougher penalties and implement education for distracted driving until the final hours of the session.

“The reason it was vetoed is because it was good legislation and there was a whole bunch of good stuff in these bills that were vetoed to play politics this election year. So, unfortunately, all the hard work we did, ya know, we have to reset and start over. I’m sure there was a few things in there that was partisan, but I would say 99-percent of it wasn’t.”

Senator Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake).

Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the Distracted Driving Language in Senate File 3646, which would prohibit the use of a cell phone by anyone operating a vehicle. Draheim also sought to increase the fine for a second offense of the law from 225-dollars to 300-dollars, with a 500-dollar fine for a third subsequent violation committed within a five-year timeframe.

“I have talked to the chair of transportation, who didn’t have a lot of time this year because we were dealing with MnLARS or the DMV issues. We spent about 100-million (dollars) on an didn’t really get anywhere and really didn’t have time to get into the distracted driving. He promised me we’d hear it next year for sure, so I will bring back my two bills.”

Draheim adds he’s in St. Paul to try to get things accomplished and solve problems to make Minnesota a better place to live.

“When you look at some of the local representatives and senators, some have pushed more bills than others. You know, I’m up there to try to attack the problem, have a bipartisan solution and move forward. I think the majority of all my bills are bipartisan supported heavily, because it’s about the problem, not about politics. You know, especially during an election year in the house, you have a lot of party politics going on instead of good policies.”

Earlier this year, over 1-thousand Minnesotans were cited for texting while driving during a statewide extra enforcement campaign that took place from April 10 through April 23.