Statement by DFL State Chairman Ken Martin
This legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL legislators kept their promises and gave Minnesota a two-year balanced budget that invests in the middle class.
The DFL accomplished this work with little or no help from Republicans who refused to offer their own ideas on how to balance the state budget and invest in our state, when it came to DFL proposals, most Republicans stood in the way of progress and just said ‘no.’
For further discussion of the 2013 legislative session, see
Capitol Report Host Julie Bartkey's interviews of Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, Senate Minority Leader David Hanh, and Professor Larry Jacobs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Steven Dornfeld's near end of session article in MinnPost: "Both DFLers and Republicans will go home happy after session is over" and
Eric Pusey's article in the Twin Cities Daily Planet: "Legislative Progress after a Decade of Regression."
Minnesota has taken a major step forward in increasing the use of solar energy by mandating that investor ownedutilities generate 1.5 percent of their electricity from solar energy by 2020. The original 2013 Clean Energy and Jobs Act, sponsored by Senator Chris Eaton and Representative Will Morgan, included a mandate for 10% solar generated electricity by 2030. The legislature was willing to get started on solar energy, but not set an extended mandate. The original bill required a gradual increase in MN's solar energy with the larger increases taking place during the last years of the mandate. The bill that was finally passed will result in a 30 to 40 fold increase in MN's solar generated electricity from the current 13 Megawatts to 450 Megawatts by 2020. It is expected to generate 1,500 new jobs in Minnesota.
The 2013 Solar Energy Jobs Act was rolled into the Energy Omnibus Bill 2013. The bill requires at least a tenth of the new solar energy to come from solar installations of up to 20 kilowatts, a residential size installation, and it allows for community solar projects in which individuals could invest and then have their utility bills reduced.
For further details on the bill see:
Minnesota's new solar law: Looking beyond percentages by Dan Haugen at Midwestern Energy news.
A Great Leap Forward on Solar Energy: Solar Bill Will Expand Solar Access by More than 30 Fold Increase by 2020 by Rob Sargent and Samantha Chadwick
Big Gains in Clean Energy and Efficiency this Year by Ross Abbey at Fresh Energy
Over 200 people attended the Jackie Stevenson Dinner May 19 at the UFCW Local 653 Hall & Banquet Center. The dinner was sponsored by the Third Congressional District in remembrance of long time activist Jackie Stevenson as well as Linda Scheid, Senator and Representative for Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, and State DFL Constitution Committee Chair and CD3 Associate Chair Rick Nelson. The following awards were given to people who have continued their outstanding work in the DFL.
The Jackie Stevenson Award
Someone who is the consummate volunteer. Active in lots of activities, comes up with ideas, involves and engages others. Always there. Always willing.
Jackie's daughter Leslee Tejada (center) and former DFL State Chair Rick Stafford (right) presented the award to Georgiana Ruzich, longtime Chair of Congressional District 3, tireless supporter of DFL Candidates, and DFL Senior Caucus Board Member. Georgiana commented, “The inspiration Jackie gave me and so many others to fight the good fight and never give up goes a long way. I was just lucky enough to walk in her shadow for a while."
The Linda Scheid Award
A local legislator who works hard for all of us. Leads on issues, speaks out on policy discussions and listens to constituents.
Barb Benson received the award for Representative John Benson from DFL State Chair Ken Marten. Barb Benson noted, “John says we can still feel Jackie in our lives. She understood that the secret in success in politics is that science of addition not subtraction; everyone has a place and need to contribute their talents. The promise of what America means will not be real unless we keep up the fight for all people.”
The Rick Nelson Award
Someone who makes the trains run on time. Not the face of the party nor the lead of an activity but the one behind the scenes who works hard for all of us.
Mike Rothman, MN Commerce Commissioner, longtime Chair of the DFL Constitution Committee, State DFL Finance Chair, and Chair of many DFL State Conventions, received the award from Kathy Nelson. Mike stated, “Rick Nelson was one of my dearest friends and mentors. I remember watching Rick and John French run a state convention and thinking, ‘wow, I hope I can do that someday.' "
Congratulations to the award winners whose longtime service to the DFL is much appreciated by everyone.
Senator Al Franken was recently named chairman of the Energy Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He plans to use the position to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Together with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat from New Hampshire, Senator Franken urged his colleagues to take the scientific evidence of global climate change seriously and to develop and pass legislation which will slow and reverse it
What does our Party stand for?
Being part of the Minnesota DFL
means carrying forward a strong legacy
of creating opportunity, fighting for equality,
building up our communities and
working to improve life for all Minnesotans.
Watch our video, above, to hear more from real DFLers.
The “working poor” ... are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else.
Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
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