Sen. Jerry Newton Update: March 24, 2017

Real ID

The Real ID issue is becoming increasingly more frustrating.  A clean Real ID bill has not been brought forward for a vote.  Instead, we have been given the choice to vote for a Real ID card that is linked to (or against) a drivers’ license for undocumented residents.  Additionally, the House version of the bill has dealt with other issues involving guns. These are important matters, but all I want to see is a Real ID bill that is not unnecessarily complicated with other matters;  they can be dealt with in separate legislation.  We have been promised that Senate leadership will be bringing forward a new or revised Real ID bill in the near future, but I have no indication of when that will be or how the legislation will be worded – or potentially further complicated. (more…)

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Rep. Erin Koegel Update: March 24, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

Last Tuesday was Disability Day at the Capitol, which gave those Minnesotans with disabilities and their caregivers an opportunity to share stories with legislators. Specifically, they were advocating for increased wages for those who work in home and community based settings to reduce turnover among those in these positions and make sure adequate care is able to be provided. These folks work incredibly hard, and I’m committed to making sure they can continue to enable all Minnesotans to live with dignity.


This week, the Republican Majority introduced their budget targets for the next two years for each of the finance committees in the Minnesota House. These determine how much is able to be invested in areas such as education, health care, and transportation as well as how much of the state budget taxes the form of tax cuts, and which ones. (more…)

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Rep. Erin Koegel Update: March 16, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

In an update a few weeks back I mentioned my efforts to help direct resources to the Anoka-Hennepin Secondary Technical Education Program (STEP) for a fabrication lab. This week, I had the opportunity to present the legislation accomplishing this to the House Education Finance Committee. This was particularly exciting as it was my first presentation of a bill before a committee.

Presenting HF 550 with Mike Hilber, an instructor at STEP (more…)

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Rep. Erin Koegel Update: March 10, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

Thus far, 2,327 bills have been introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives. With work constitutionally required to wrap up by May 22 and only so many hours in a day, a structure of deadlines is necessary in order to help narrow the field of bills under consideration, and guide us toward a productive, on-time end of session. This Friday marks the first of three committee deadlines.

The first deadline is for committees to act favorably on bills in the house of origin; meaning a bill must be heard in either the House or Senate to continue its legislative journey. The second on March 17 is for committees to act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other house; meaning the bills that survived the first deadline must be heard in the other body. The third and final deadline is on March 31, and is for committees to act favorably on major finance bills. (more…)

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Rep. Erin Koegel Update: March 3, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

I recently had the chance to meet with a large group of students from Blaine High School. The students showed a remarkable level of interest in both the issues we are considering at the Legislature as well as the political process in general. In fact, I think many of them will run for office down the road.

Budget Forecast

Minnesota Management and Budget announced the February Economic Forecast this week projecting a state surplus of $1.65 billion. Additionally, the forecast highlighted our state’s low unemployment and a stable budget.

While Minnesota’s economy is performing well, we should always be looking for ways to improve. This surplus is an opportunity to reinvest in every Minnesotan in all corners of the state – through strong public schools, affordable, quality health care, lower college tuition and access to job training opportunities. (more…)

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Sen. Jerry Newton Update: March 3, 2017

Sunday Sales

Minnesota is one of only 12 states that prohibits Sunday liquor sales. The states that border Minnesota—Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota—all allow retail sales of alcohol on Sundays.  Over 65 percent of residents of Senate District 37 support Sunday sales.

Over the course of the last several legislative sessions, legislators have attempted to remove the ban on Sunday sales through a variety of measures. This year is the first year the Legislature has seen this issue as a stand-alone bill. (more…)

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Rep. Koegel Update: February 23, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday I got to visit with students from Anoka-Hennepin Regional High School. They were extremely engaging, and I enjoyed hearing their priorities, while getting to share some of my experiences so far at the Legislature. I’m proud to be the chief author of HF 550 which would finance equipment and software for a fabrication lab as part of the school’s technical education program. School districts across the state should look to this program as an example of innovative ways to provide students potential career paths.

(more…)

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Rep. Koegel Update: February 15, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

Work continues at the Capitol with committee meetings and floor sessions. I’m also continuing to meet with members of the community who are visiting the Capitol. Today, folks from the local YMCA stopped by for a meeting.

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been appointed to the Board of Directors of ServeMinnesota. ServeMinnesota is the state’s Commission on National and Community Service and oversees the state’s AmeriCorps programs. AmeriCorps is a federal program that offers people of all ages an opportunity to do a year or two of national service in our local communities. I’m a former AmeriCorps member myself, having served in the True North AmeriCorps program. (more…)

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Sen. Newton Update: February 14, 2017

Minnesota’s School Counselor Crisis: We Can Do Better

The school counselors at Coon Rapids High School have had a rough year. They have had one student crisis after another, without adequate time to simply advise, listen and help prepare all students for a successful future. These school counselors shared their stories with me recently to help illustrate a long-standing and embarrassing statistic: Minnesota’s school counselor ratio sits at 748 students to every one counselor. Little wonder then, why most students never get the opportunity to sit down with them and discuss their future.

(more…)

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Rep. Koegel Update: February 9, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

The first month of the Minnesota Legislative session is behind us. A full schedule of committee hearings are taking place, and we are starting to consider more and more bills on the House floor. When I’m not in committee or on the House floor, much of my time is spent visiting with community members about issues important to them.

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with members of the Coon Rapids Fire Department for Fire Service Day at the Capitol. They shared with me their legislative priorities including grade separations at railroad crossings – particularly those at Hanson Blvd. and Foley Blvd., prohibiting the use of certain cancer causing chemicals in flame retardants, and incentive programs to help recruit more professional and volunteer firefighters. (more…)

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