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Become a CD3 DFL Officer or Director

We will elect 5 officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Outreach Officer, Secretary, Treasurer) and 1 director at this year’s CD3 DFL convention, which will be held April 15, 2015.

Please help us make a difference in the suburbs by screening for one of these positions on Monday, April 6, 2015, Study Room 105 of the Maple Grove Public Library, 8001 Main Street N, Maple Grove, MN 55369.

To make a date to screen, click here and fill out the screening questionnaire. For more information, or if April 6th is impossible for you, please contact phill@sprynet.com or katnelacc@comcast.net

Republicans Kill Bipartisan Student Debt Relief Proposal

Today, in the House Committee in Higher Education Policy and Finance, Republican members of the committee voted down a student debt relief proposal authored by Rep. Jon Applebaum (DFL-Minnetonka) that would have provided significant debt relief to Minnesotans across the state. HF 1716 would provide relief of up to $5,000 per year in the form of a refundable tax credit on student loan debt. Rep. Applebaum’s bill represented significant steps in making higher education more affordable and accessible to Minnesotans. The bill is coauthored by Rep. Bud Nornes (R-Fergus Falls) the Chair of the Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee, which voted it down.

Rep. Applebaum released the following statement:

“Minnesota college students and graduates across our state are struggling under a mountain of debt.  It’s an issue that demands our attention at the state legislature.  I am disappointed that my Republicans colleagues chose to vote down the bill and shut down the conversation about how best to provide relief to all Minnesotans who are struggling with significant college debt.

This is a matter of priorities. And with a $1.9 billion surplus it would be extremely unfortunate if we weren’t able to make serious progress on college affordability on behalf of Minnesota college students and graduates.”

Rep. Applebaum’s High-Achiever Grant and Refundable Student Loan Tax Credit Bills to be Heard Tomorrow

44b_jon_applebaumTomorrow, Rep. Jon Applebaum (DFL-Minnetonka) will have two major initiatives heard in the House Committee on Higher Education Policy and Finance. Rep. Applebaum will be joined by students and young professionals who would benefit greatly by the tax credits and grants provided under his legislation. The first bill, HF 820, would fund all tuition and fees not covered by other grants and scholarships for high-achieving Minnesota students. The second bill on the agenda, HF 1716, would provide relief of up to $5,000 per year in the form of a refundable tax credit on student loan debt. Rep. Applebaum’s two bills represent significant steps in making higher education more affordable and accessible to Minnesotans.

“With the fourth highest average rate of student debt in the country[i], and enormous costs associated with attending four year institutions, it’s necessary for Minnesota to make post-high school options more affordable, while encouraging more young people to stay in Minnesota,” said Rep. Applebaum.

Who: Rep. Jon Applebaum

What: Hearing on HF 1716 and HF 820

Where: House Committee on Higher Education Policy and Finance (Room 5 State Office Building)

When: Wednesday, March 18 at 2:45 PM

[i] http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/07/05/states-most-student-debt/12025459/

DFL’s number one interest: Building an even Better Minnesota

By Ken Martin, chairman, Minnesota DFL

There is an old saying that a hypocrite is someone who conveniently forgets their faults to point out someone else’s. Republican Minority Leader Sen. David Hann’s editorial last week exposed his blind spot when it comes to the behaviors of his own GOP Senators.

If Sen. Hann believes it necessary to review the actions of parties and individuals when discussing legislative matters then it is just as fair to review the record of the Republicans in Minnesota:

  • This past year, Republican Sen. Sean Nienow defaulted on a $613,000 federal government loan and was relieved of $840,000 of debt by the taxpayers when he filed for bankruptcy.  Ironically—at the same time—the senator from Cambridge was attacking government for spending too much money and not living within its means.
  • The Republican Party of Minnesota is now in a public spat with some of its vendors, as detailed by a Star Tribune article, for not paying its bills from the 2014 campaign. This is a party that is still over $1,500,000 in debt—but just this week announced a $150,000 advertising campaign telling legislators how to do their job. So much for the party of fiscal responsibility. 
  • In 2012 Senate Republican members were fined for printing campaign literature at taxpayer expense when they used the State Capitol Printing Presses for their campaign literature. Later that year they were video recorded running campaign door knocks out of their taxpayer funded state senate office—during the workday.
  • The Senate Republican sex scandal of 2012, which ousted the sitting majority leader, eventually cost the taxpayers of Minnesota $400,000.
  • Republicans have so little regard for fundamental fairness, they’ve even tried to buy votes for endorsement. In a Star Tribune story from December, 2014 Sen. Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen, while seeking higher office, was caught trying to buy the support of challengers.
    In his attempt to keep the light off of Republican legislators’ misdeeds and his party’s fiscal mismanagement, Sen. Hann is also hoping to draw attention away from the fact that Republicans lack a plan for economic prosperity. The public would benefit more from hearing the Senate minority leader’s plans to provide an educated workforce for the jobs employers need filled and to keep the state’s budget structurally sound to ensure the state continues to lead the nation in economic growth?
    While Republican leaders struggle to convince Minnesotans they can give back the budget surplus, provide schools and nursing homes more money and that fixing our deteriorating roads and bridges isn’t necessary, the DFL will continue its work to build even better Minnesota. Minnesota is leading the country in economic growth, and we have more people working at higher wages than any other time in state history.
    Thanks to DFL leaders’ honest state budget, we’ve moved from reacting to budget deficits to being able to lay the foundation for continued economic growth by investing a budget surplus. The DFL’s work this session will build on last session’s successes for children and families, including:
  • Passing universal voluntary all-day kindergarten for all children regardless of family income, saving families an average of $2,500 a year.
  • Raising the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour for the first time in nine years, giving more than 325,000 Minnesotans an increase.
  • Halting tuition hikes at the U of M and MnSCU schools by freezing tuition for more than 100,000 students.
    It is disappointing that Sen. Hann and other Republicans don’t understand when campaigning ends and governing begins. Sen. Hann tries really hard to make this leap but he should not get away with ignoring the facts of the accusations or neglect his own Party’s actions.
    Voters can count on hearing Sen. Hann’s battle cry of corruption for the next 20 months. Luckily for Minnesota on Election Day, citizens will have the final say and will determine if an improved economy, investments in education and safe and efficient roads for all are more important than the destructive rhetoric of politicians like Sen. Hann. 

Rep. Applebaum Introduces Refundable Student Loan Tax Credit

44b_jon_applebaumOn March 10, 2015, Rep. Jon Applebaum (DFL-Minnetonka) introduced HF1716, a bold legislative effort that will provide significant tax relief for all Minnesotans carrying student loan debt.  Under this bill, taxpayers are entitled to receive up to $5,000 in the form of a refundable tax credit based on the total of principal and interest payments made on their student loans.  The refundable student loan debt tax credit will apply to payments made on student loans at any postsecondary institution eligible for state student aid, in addition to any postsecondary institution that participates in the federal Pell Grant program.

“Student loan debt holds our economy back and is perhaps the greatest burden facing students, working families, and young professionals in Minnesota,” remarked Rep. Applebaum.  He continued, “With the fourth highest average rate of student debt in the country[1], it’s necessary for Minnesota to make post-secondary options more affordable.  This bill provides much needed relief for all Minnesota taxpayers carrying student loan debt, while encouraging those with such burdens to call Minnesota home and be a part of our tax base.”

The refundable student loan tax credit established by HF1716 already has bipartisan support with Higher Education Committee Chairman Bud Nornes signed on, in addition to a Senate author in Katie Sieben.  HF1716 is the second major higher education initiative Rep. Applebaum has introduced.  The first, HF 820, would provide academic grants covering all tuition and fees not covered by current grant and scholarships to high-achieving Minnesota high school students who enroll in a state public or MnSCU institution.  Both initiatives represent considerable steps in making Minnesota a national leader in post-high school affordability.

Rep. Applebaum encourages constituents to contact him with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas. Rep. Applebaum can be reached by phone at 651-296-9934 or by email at rep.jon.applebaum@house.mn. Constituents can also visit Rep. Applebaum’s legislative page and sign up for email updates.

[1] http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/07/05/states-most-student-debt/12025459/

Statement from Ken Martin

“Just 10 days ago the Speaker of the Minnesota House, Kurt Daudt, the highest ranking Republican elected official in the State of Minnesota, laid out hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending for things like tax cuts, transportation infrastructure, nursing home funding, and K-12 higher education spending. And while his math didn’t quite add up, the fact of the matter is that there hasn’t been a single bill introduced by Republican House members to cut spending this year. Clearly, Speaker Daudt and House Republicans agree with DFLers that we should use this surplus to invest in the critical unmet needs facing Minnesotans throughout the state. 

“Now today the Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota is calling on the legislature to send every surplus dollar back to Minnesota residents in the form of a $350 per person check.  Not only is this shortsighted, it ignores recent history that proves that the Ventura rebates helped create the financial difficulties we faced during the early 2000s. If we do as Chairman Downey is suggesting and return every dollar of the surplus to Minnesotans we will not be able to make the investments in Minnesota that even Speaker Daudt and House Republicans agree need to be met – like repairing our roads and bridges and investing in our education system throughout the state. Read more

Questions support of medical device tax repeal

“Being able to signify or distinguish between who lost their job because a competitor came up with a better product or their marketing campaign didn’t work as opposed to who lost their job because of some tax increase is a little hard to measure.” Read more

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