Welcome to CD3 DFL

cd3_smallWe’re the volunteer organization of the DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) covering Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District. The map of the area is to the left. Our district covers:

Brooklyn Park
Bloomington
Champlin
Chanhassan
Chaska
Coon Rapids
Corcoran
Dahlgren
Dayton
Deephaven
Eden Prairie
Edina
Excelsior
Greenfield
Greenwood
Independence
Laketown
Long Lake
Loretto
Maple Plain
Maple Grove
Medicine Lake
Medina
Minnetonka
Minnetonka Beach
Minnetrista
Mound
Orono
Osseo
Plymouth
Plymouth
Rogers
Shorewood
Spring Park
St. Bonifacius
Tonka Bay
Victoria, and
Wayzata.

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House GOP tries to have it both ways on HHS bill

House Republicans have unveiled a health and human services omnibus bill with a $1 billion cut in spending in programs serving seniors and our state’s most vulnerable citizens.

This is a far cry from the outrage Republicans displayed in 2013 when DFLers, faced with a $627 million budget deficit, cut $150 million from the health and human services budget.

They cannot have it both ways – criticizing DFLers for making cuts to balance a budget deficit while they are cutting $1 billion at a time when the state has a $1.9 billion budget surplus.

Highlights from the 2013 House floor debate include:

“Folks, this bill that we have before us is cutting health and human services by $150 million. Where are the priorities? How are we protecting the vulnerable citizens in this state when we’re adding 130 FTEs and sacrificing 150 million in cuts to our most vulnerable population.”  -Sarah Anderson (9:05:58)

“We’ve had a long debate here today, but I have to tell you, I am stunned. Democrats are proposing one of the largest tax increases in this state’s history, and in the same breath, have the nerve to cut funding for our most vulnerable Minnesotans. There is no excuse.” – Kurt Daudt (9:06:40)

“An improved budget outlook. Three billion dollars in new taxes and fees. Increased spending in every budget area. And this is the one area that Democrats are shortchanging. This is irresponsible, and I urge a no vote.”- Kurt Daudt (09:09:25)

News articles from 2013 include:

DFL’s plan to cut health, human services spending comes as surprise, MPR

Republican Rep. Jim Abeler of Anoka said he was shocked when he saw the budget target. Abeler chaired the House Health and Human Services Committee when the Republicans were in charge. He said he never thought Democrats would raise taxes and yet cut the human services budget.

“They’re raising billions of dollars and putting it everywhere like to the courts and environment, and those are wonderful,” Abeler said, “but there’s only one part of government where people could die and that’s in our area where the people with disabilities and health care and rural hospitals. I was just really surprised. Nobody saw that coming.”

 Proposed $150 million health cuts surprise, anger lawmakers, Capitol Chatter

Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, said she does not have a problem with cuts, but this area actually needs increased funding.

Franson said, especially in greater Minnesota, hospitals and nursing homes are having trouble keeping good employees because of the pay and some people are not getting the care they need. “They are really struggling,” she said.

GOP legislators call for more spending on nursing homes, MinnPost

Rosen maintains the DFL just needs to rethink funding goals. “I think that they have so many wants and so many interests groups banging on their doors, they have lost their priority and they lost their focus, which is seniors, the vulnerable, and children.”

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What does the House GOP tax bill do?

Paul ThissenHouse DFL Leader Paul Thissen said the Republican budget leaves behind kids, working families, and greater Minnesota in order to help corporate special interests get further ahead.

“The Republicans have made a choice that tax breaks for corporations and special interests are more important than educating our kids or investing in Minnesota’s future,” said House DFL Leader Paul Thissen. “These are the wrong choices for a better future for Minnesota. With a $2 billion surplus and growing economy, we should embrace this chance to create more opportunity for all Minnesotans to get ahead.

Despite a $2 billion surplus, the Republican budget plan would result in teacher layoffs, wage cuts for working Minnesotans, higher tuition, and more expensive health care coverage.

The biggest reason Minnesotans are being left behind is that Republicans are focused on a massive tax giveaway that favors corporate special interests. The largest permanent tax break in the Republican plan seeks to eliminate the statewide business property tax for all corporations and businesses. When fully phased-out, this amounts to $5 billion in corporate and business tax breaks over the next eight years.

“There’s no question the biggest long-term winner in the Republican budget is big corporations that would get billions in tax breaks,” said Thissen. “These tax cuts are incredibly short-sighted. Not only would our schools and students be shortchanged this year, they would likely pay the price down the road because the Republican plan is a recipe for budget deficits in the future.” 

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In the Know: April 20, 2015

Events today

  • 9:30 a.m. – US Attorney Andy Luger and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton will hold a news conference to announce a Terrorism Task Force Operation.
  • 9:30 a.m. – House GOP leaders will release their tax bill. State Office Building Room 181.
  • 10 a.m. – House DFL Leaders will join Minnesotans that are being left behind by the Republican budget plan for a press conference in State Office Building Room 181. House DFL Leader Paul Thissen and deputy leaders will be joined by a teacher from Centennial High School, a server from Willmar, a MinnesotaCare enrollee from Fountain, and other Minnesotans who are being left behind by the Republican budget.
  • 11 a.m. – The Minnesota House of Representatives meets in session.
  • 11 a.m. – The Minnesota Senate meets in session.
  • Noon – The House Tax Committee will begin hearings on the Republicans’ tax bill.
  • 12:30 p.m. – The House Health and Human Services Committee will take public testimony on Omnibus Health and Human Services Finance bill (HF1638). Major reforms proposed in the bill address low medical reimbursement rates and workforce shortages in the health care industry. Provisions vary in the bill from tweaking MNsure’s board and operations to eliminating the program altogether.
  • Lt. Gov. Smith will provide remarks at the American Competitiveness Exchange conference. 

Event Wednesday

  • April 22 – The Lakes Area Progressive Caucus is in the formation stages of a group and input is needed.  Those interested are encouraged to attend a meeting at the Perham Public Library from 2-4 p.m.
  • April 22 – Sen. Franken will host his fifth annual competition to determine which member of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation makes the best hot dish.

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What’s happening at the State Capitol

52BAs we move toward the end of this year’s legislative session, ere are the top issues summed up in one sentence by Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights):

SCHOOL FUNDING. The current House Republican proposal provides less than a 1 percent increase in general aid to schools while Senate DFLers are at slightly more than 1 percent, roughly one-third of what the Governor is seeking.

 COLLEGE TUITION. A two-year freeze of tuition could be in jeopardy if the higher education funding bill proposed by House Republicans is approved; Gov. Dayton and Senate DFLers are looking to extend the tuition freeze for two more years.

 TRANSPORTATION. House Republicans figured out a way to fund transportation projects without a gas tax increase, relying on $767 in shifts and borrowing, which stands in stark contrast to the DFL Senate and Governor, who are looking for additional, dedicated funding.

BUFFERS. Some in the agricultural community have pushed back – hard – on the Governor’s proposal to require 50-foot buffers to protect streams from polluted runoff.

MINNESOTACARE. 100,000 working Minnesotans currently paying for health insurance through MinnesotaCare will have to find health insurance through MNsure under a plan released by Rep. Matt Dean (R-Dellwood), Chair of the House Health Finance Committee. (In a separate bill, Rep. Dean proposes to abolish MNsure).

LANDFILLS. For the first time ever, the House Environment Committee voted to raid the state’s Closed Landfill Fund, which is designed to have funds available in the future if/when closed landfills leak, and spend the funds on other projects.

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In the Know: April 17, 2015

Events today

  • Gov. Dayton will speak by phone with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about the state and federal responses to avian flu in Minnesota.
  • Gov. Dayton and Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman will meet with Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.
  • 9 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will participate in a trout fishing clinic, Whitewater State Park, 19041 Highway 74, Altura.
  • 10 a.m. – The Minnesota House of Representatives meets in session.
  • 10:15 a.m. (ET) – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair, Ray Buckley, will hold a press conference in Nashua on the sidelines of the NHGOP’s #FITN Republican Leadership Summit to highlight the damaging impact the Republican 2016 presidential hopefuls would have on the middle class and hardworking families in the Granite State and across the country. Wasserman Schultz and Buckley will discuss the GOP field and its steadfast commitment to tired Republican policies that move the country backwards: opposing increasing the minimum wage and equal pay legislation, promoting policies that benefit the wealthiest few at the expense of the middle class, and turning back the clock on women’s health and LGBT equality. Courtyard Marriot, 2200 Southwood Dr., Nashua, NH.
  • 11 a.m. – The Minnesota Senate meets in session.
  • 11 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Smith will hold a media availability before going fishing on Whitewater River. Whitewater State Park, 19041 Highway 74, Altura.
  • 1:20 p.m. – Lt. Gov. Smith will tour the Trout Run Conservation Area and discuss the efforts Trout Unlimited and others are making to conserve a natural trout habitat, 10452-10598 Troy Valley Drive, St. Charles.
  • 2 p.m. – Sen. Susan Kent will host a press conference and take a tour of Tubman Center East, a domestic violence shelter in her district. Senator Kent is the Senate author of the bi-partisan funding bill for Crime Victims Services; funding to support victims of violent crime has been cut by 40 percent since 2001.
  • 2:15 p.m. – Lt. Gov. Smith will tour the Oakenwald Bed and Breakfast and discuss the importance of tourism in southeast Minnesota, 218 Winona Street Southeast, Chatfield.
  • 3:15 p.m. – Lt. Gov. Smith will visit Adourn Boutique and talk about small business development, 218 Main St. S., Chatfield.
  • 6 p.m. – “Wisconsin Rising” filmmaker Sam Mayfield will be on hand for a screening of his film at the Bell Museum, 10 Church St. SE, Minneapolis. The event, part of Labor Movie Night, is free and open to the public.

Events Saturday

  • 10 a.m. – DFL African American Caucus meeting. Northeast Library, 2200 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis.
  • 2 p.m. – CD 2 DFL education forum featuring Sen. Greg Clausen, Sen. Kevin Dahle, Rep. David Bly, Quentin WalthunOcama, co-president of the MYDFL, and a representative from Education Minnesota, Eagan/Apple Valley/ Rosemount Schools.

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In the Know: April 16, 2015

Events today

  • 8 a.m. – TakeAction Minnesota and Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (MN NOC) will lead a rally on the lawn of the State Capitol calling on the Minnesota legislature to pass voting rights restoration legislation this session. Over 47,000 Minnesotans are being denied their right to vote due to being on probation or parole and bills introduced in both the House and Senate this session enjoy broad bipartisan support.
  • 10 a.m. – DEED will announce the state’s unemployment rate and employment figures for March 2015.
  • 11 a.m. – The Minnesota Senate meets in session.
  • Noon – Rally for transportation on the lawn in front of the State Capitol. Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators will speak.
  • Noon – Gov. Dayton will provide remarks at the Minnesota Wild Playoff Pep Rally at Rice Park.
  • image0013:30 p.m. – The Minnesota House meets in session.
  • 6 p.m. – Gov. Dayton will attend Mayor Chris Coleman’s “State of the City” address at the Ordway.

Save the date

  • April 18 – DFL African American Caucus meeting. 10 a.m., Northeast Library, 2200 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis.
  • April 19 – DFL Environmental Caucus planning meeting. 2 – 4 p.m., Burnhaven Library, 1101 West County Rd. 42, Burnsville.
  • May 16 – First membership meeting of the DFL Environmental Caucus. 1 – 4 p.m., Maplewood Library, 3025 Southlawn Drive, Maplewood. 

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In the Know: April 15, 2015

Events today

  • 8:30 a.m. – The Minnesota Senate meets in session.
  • 9 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will tour Grede Foundries, Inc. in St. Cloud, which recently announced a $17.5 million expansion, 5200 Foundry Circle, St. Cloud.
  • 10 a.m. – The Minnesota House of Representatives meets in session.
  • 1 p.m. – Gov. Dayton will hold a media availability in the Governor’s Press Briefing Room.
  • 1:30 p.m. – On a day where tens of thousands of low wage workers are taking action across the country, airport employees and supporters will take action at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to demand $15 and Union rights at MSP…The action comes just one week after a new report, Waiting for Takeoff, highlighted poverty facing East African communities in Minnesota and how the MSP airport, the largest place of employment for these communities, could make positive steps towards ending this crisis by raising wages for sub-contracted workers. It also comes on the heels of Governor Dayton calling for higher wages at the airport, stating that the airport can afford to pay workers a decent wage. 
  • 4 p.m. – Gov. Dayton will host the University of Minnesota Women’s Hockey Team at the Governor’s Residence to honor their championship victory.
  • 4:30 p.m. – In a march led by Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Centro de Trabajadores Unido en Lucha, Minnesotans for a Fair Economy and 15 NOW Minnesota, striking fast food workers will join university faculty, staff, and students, along with airport workers, retail workers, home healthcare workers, and retail janitors. Across a wide range of sectors, workers are organizing for dignity in the workplace to help close Minneapolis’ worst-in-the-nation racial equity gaps. Workers are calling on employers and the Minneapolis City Council to implement workers’ rights protections including earned sick and safe time, fair scheduling, and an end to wage theft for all workers in Minneapolis in addition to exploring a range of options for raising the minimum wage.

Event tomorrow

  • April 16 – Rally for transportation, noon, lawn in front of the State Capitol. Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators will speak.

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Save the date

  • April 18 – DFL African American Caucus meeting. 10 a.m., Northeast Library, 2200 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis.
  • April 19 – DFL Environmental Caucus planning meeting. 2 – 4 p.m., Burnhaven Library, 1101 West County Rd. 42, Burnsville.
  • May 16 – First membership meeting of the DFL Environmental Caucus. 1 – 4 p.m., Maplewood Library, 3025 Southlawn Drive, Maplewood.

Events you won’t want to miss

2015 session

House says state employee count should be 36,211, Pioneer Press

2016 election

When will they run? A timeline for 2016, The Hill

Hillary Clinton, opening 2016 campaign in Iowa, wants to be ‘champion’ of struggling families, Star Tribune

Rep. John Kline DFL opponent Angie Craig raises $200K in two weeks, Star Tribune

DFL leaders hope Clinton campaign boosts Democratic women, MPR

Congressional fundraising reports stream in, MPR

Hillary’s folksy, populist reentry, Politico

Rubio embodies American Dream, but would deny it to others, CNN

DFL leaders think Clinton’s presence on ballot will help women candidates, MinnPost

Agriculture

Dayton’s buffers bill wrongly characterized as rigid, Star Tribune

Budget (state)

Gov. Dayton has a point about surpluses, Pioneer Press

Congressional delegation

Kline

John Kline votes against family leave, MN Political Roundtable

Education (early)

Gov. Dayton, Republicans at odds over pre-K programs, WCCO

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton reiterates Pre-K priority at Legislature, Star Tribune

Republicans want preschool scholarships, not universal pre-K, MPR

Minnesota ranks near bottom for enrollment in preschool programs, Fox 9

Education (higher)

University of Minnesota Medical School allocated $30M in Senate higher education omnibus bill, Star Tribune

Minnesota legislators offer some tuition relief, no across-the-board freezes, Grand Forks Herald

Why we should support Dayton’s budget, U of M Daily

Education (K-12)             

House education bill includes reform, small funding boost, preschool grants, Star Tribune

Elections

House GOP plan would wipe out campaign spending limits, WCCO

Elections matter, secretary of state tells the Willmar Area League of Women Voters, West Central Tribune 

Labor

Apply now for Minnesota Union Leadership Program, Workday Minnesota

Minnesota Farmers Union looking forward to special community meetings for women’s leadership starting this Saturday.

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) is hosting several community leadership meetings focusing on women’s leadership on several Saturdays through the spring of 2015.

Women from all across Minnesota will get together with other women leaders in their communities to build connections and network with other to help strengthen their leadership and drive in their communities.

Women have always been an integral part of the farm and these meetings will help to build on their strengths as well as help them meet other women who are as motivated as they are in their own communities.

The meetings will be held on Saturday afternoons all around the state. The first meeting will be at Lone Star Grill in St Peter, MN April 18, 2015 from 11a.m. – 1 p.m.

The schedule of the other meetings is as follows:

April 25, 2015                     1 p.m.— 3 p.m.                 Hinterland Vineyards, Clara City
May 2, 2015                        11 a.m.— 1 p.m.               4 Daughters Vineyard, Spring Valley
May 9, 2015                        11 a.m.— 1 p.m.               Black and White Café, Little Falls
May 16, 2015                      11 am—1 pm                    Big Wood Center, Fergus Falls

The full schedule can be found on our website as well at www.mfu.org.  If you would like to speak with anyone before, during or after the conference, contact MFU Public Affairs Director, Amanda Valencia at 651.288.4063.

Today in history

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Legislature

Stassen-Berger: Legislature’s mandated studies useful, but not all used as intended, Pioneer Press

Major League Soccer

United FC asks for tax relief on privately financed stadium, Pioneer Press

Soccer franchise leaders approach Capitol for stadium help, WCCO

Minnesota legislators say ‘modest’ MLS deal facing long odds, Star Tribune

Should the new soccer stadium be built with help from the state? MPR

Dayton ‘delighted’ Minnesota MLS team wants no stadium money, Fargo Forum

Dayton ramps up campaign for expansive preschool initiative, KARE

Mining

McCollum bill would restrict mining in BWCA watershed, Pioneer Press

McCollum seeks ban on new mines in much of northeastern Minnesota, MinnPost

Minnesota Senate Office Building

New Minnesota Senate Office Building on time and on budget, Pioneer Press

New Senate building on the rise next to Minnesota Capitol, but cost still a controversy, Star Tribune

Dayton: Soccer backers want break on construction, property taxes, Star Tribune

MLS team seeks $3M in tax breaks to build Mpls. Stadium, MPR

Taxes

5 things to know about Tax Day: Getting refunds, audits, grappling with health care law, Star Tribune

President Obama’s budget helps working families make ends meet. This is an essential part of middle-class economics — the idea that the economy works best when it’s working for everyone.

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Transportation

Met Council promises light-rail fare skipping will be addressed, Pioneer Press

Met Council: House roads bill will force bus cutbacks, MPR

Minnesota transportation bill tweaked, adding money for rail safety, Grand Forks Herald

The MN House GOP revolving credit card in transportation, mnpACT!

Voices for Racial Justice

Voices for Racial Justice offers equity agenda for Minnesota, Minnesota Budget Project

  • Creating healthier work-life balance by supporting earned sick and safe time for workers currently forced to choose between earning a paycheck and taking care of themselves and their families. Currently, 41 percent of Minnesota’s workforce does not have earned sick time, including about half of people of color in our workforce.
  • Expanding health coverage to undocumented immigrants. Currently undocumented Minnesotans cannot access support through MNsure, often forcing them to resort to care in emergency rooms with high out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Allowing Minnesotans to obtain driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status — making safe, lawful driving an option for all residents.
  • Supporting Minnesota’s councils of color as critical voices for equity in public policy and important connectors to communities of color. Voices for Racial Justice supports the councils continuing as separate entities and having sufficient funding in order to be successful building bridges between their communities and state policymaking.

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DFL Chair Ken Martin on Equal Pay Day

Ken_Martin“On Equal Pay Day it is important to recognize the pay gap between men and women, and remind us of how we impede our own success when we refuse to compensate equal work with equal pay. In Minnesota, women make just 80 cents for every $1 earned by a man. For the average woman, that is a loss in compensation of more than $430,000 over her working lifetime for her, her family and our economy.

“Minnesota has always had a high percentage of women in the workforce, many who are the primary or sole breadwinner for their families. With this in mind, in 2014, Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators passed the ‘Women’s Economic Security Act.’ The Act is aimed at leveling the workforce playing field.

“Equal Pay Day is reminder that even though we’ve made gains for Minnesota women and their families, there is more work to do. Lawmakers must keep women’s economic security at the forefront of their work because when women succeed, Minnesota succeeds.”

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