Week 4: March 15, 2018

  • A Better Minnesota is Governor Dayton’s Legacy

    Governor Mark Dayton this week delivered his eighth and final State of the State address. His speech reminded us of the dire financial straits that the Pawlenty Administration left our state in, and the progress we’ve made since that time. Despite his predecessor’s terrible record of fiscal management, Governor Dayton has made great strides in his promise to build a better Minnesota. We are all better off thanks to his leadership during his eight years as our state’s top executive.


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    MNLARS delays and excuses

    For the better part of seven months, Republicans in the Minnesota legislature have held numerous public hearings and news conferences, written letters and opinion pieces, and even created their own websites to highlight problems with the Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS). But for all of their efforts to better-publicize the problems with MNLARS, they have done little to nothing to help fix those problems.

    Dayton delivers his final State of the State address

    Governor Mark Dayton gave his eighth and final State of the State address on March 14, outlining his accomplishments during his two terms as Minnesota’s governor.

    Bipartisan solution to help reduce gun violence

    A group of DFL and Republican senators held a press conference March 12 to announce an agreement to support criminal background checks and mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms. The first bill requires background checks for all firearm transfers, except those on a list of exclusions, such as transfers between close family members, temporary loans, or between law enforcement officers.

    Republican health care proposal puts state’s most vulnerable at risk

    Republican lawmakers held a press conference March 12 to promote a bill to make Medicaid health care access contingent on work requirements. Republicans claim this proposal will boost the state’s workforce and curb government spending. The problem is, more than two-thirds of Medicaid recipients, who do not have a disability, are already working.

    Veterans Day on the Hill

    Veterans groups rallied for a Veterans Day on the Hill this week, advocating for legislation that provides services and benefits for those willing to give everything for our state and country.

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    School safety bills lead education debate

    The school shooting in Parkland, Florida, brought the school safety issue front and center again across the country. Minnesota’s legislative session began six days after the shooting and there is no shortage of suggestions on how to keep our students safe this year.

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    Keeping cities and the community informed in the 3M settlement clean-up efforts

    Last month, 3M Company agreed to pay the state $850 million to settle a lawsuit in which the state alleged that 3M chemicals damaged the Twin Cities east metro area’s groundwater and natural resources.

    Bill to require legislative approval of Pollution Control Agency fee increases heads to the Senate floor

    On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill that requires legislative approval of certain Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) water-related fees.

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    Legislation to prevent elder abuse

    Bipartisan legislation was introduced this week that takes concrete steps to protect Minnesota seniors.

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    Saltwater aquaculture transportation

    A bill to regulate the transportation of saltwater aquatic life was heard in the Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Policy committee.

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    Automatic license plate readers

    The Senate Judiciary Committee heard a bill this week that gives law enforcement clear direction on how to report data they collect using automatic license plate readers (ALPRs).

    Exonerated persons loophole

    In 2017, the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a woman who served two years of a prison sentence for second degree manslaughter.

    Data privacy in criminal investigations

    A bill was introduced this week to protect families from having certain details about criminal investigations exposed.

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    MN.IT Elimination

    A bill to eliminate the state agency that handles information technology for state agencies passed its first committee this week.

    Omnibus Pension Bill

    The Omnibus Pension Bill passed the State Government Finance Committee this week and is heading to the full Finance Committee.

    Veterans Committee hears benefits bills

    The Senate Veterans Committee met this week to hear a series of bills, including two department bills and two bills aimed at improving benefit and services for our state’s veterans.