Rep. Erin Koegel Update: August 9, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you and your family continue to enjoy summer as it flies by us. This weekend, the highly anticipated Grand Opening of the Minnesota State Capitol will take place in St. Paul. Over the course of the three day celebration – from Friday, August 11 through Sunday, August 13 – there will be something for everyone. The agenda includes musical performances, a Kid Zone, Capitol tours, discussion panels, a Prince dance party, a craft beer tasting, and fireworks. Nearly all the events are absolutely free to attend.

Following a four-year restoration, the Capitol reopened to the public earlier this year, and the work is stunning. Art was restored with breathtaking detail, repairs were made to the marble exterior and the Quadriga (golden horses on the roof), accessibility has been improved to allow all Minnesotans to enjoy the building, many public spaces were expanded, and safety, energy, and technology upgrades were added. Our State Capitol is truly “the People’s House” and the wonderful work to restore it to its former glory deserves to be celebrated. I hope you can attend the festivities this weekend. More information, including a full schedule of events can be found online here. Read More

Sen. Jerry Newton Update: August 9, 2017

I hope you’re enjoying your summer and are looking forward to the Minnesota State Fair!

I’ve spent the first week in August at two conferences with other legislators from around the country.  First, 128 state legislators from 36 states came together as the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) in Cambridge, MA.  The goal is to bring Democrats and Republicans together to work on policy solutions to combat climate change, remove toxins from drinking water and consumer products, and conserve water. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined us as a partner in launching a database that will help state legislators learn from each other’s successes.

Then, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) met in Boston.  Hundreds of legislators from the United States and Canada have come together to discuss policy solutions to challenges that all states and provinces face in health care, criminal justice, and other areas. Read More

Rep Erin Koegel Update: June 29, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

I hope summer is treating you and your family well. Here is an update from the State Capitol.

Home Improvement Assistance

If you are looking to address health, safety, or accessibility concerns in your home, help may be available from Anoka County. The county administers a pair of home improvement loan programs at 0% interest with deferred payments for residents under certain income amounts. The Minnesota Housing Home Rehabilitation Loan Program and Anoka County Community Development Block Grant Home Rehabilitation Loan Program are available for owner-occupied single-family detached homes, duplexes, condominium units, town homes or manufactured homes. For more information, visit AnokaCounty.us/cd or call 763-324-4650. Read More

Sen. Jerry Newton Update: June 12, 2017

STORM DAMAGE UPDATE

I hope everyone stayed safe in the storm this weekend.  I know that some people experienced damage to their homes, property or automobiles from high winds and hail.  The Department of Labor and Industry sent out a Press Release today reminding people to be careful when hiring a contractor to fix storm damage.  You can find the release here.

The cities of Blaine and Coon Rapids also have some good information on their websites about cleanup and hiring contractors. You can follow these links for information about Blaine or Coon Rapids. Read More

Rep. Erin Koegel Update: June 12, 2017, Storm Damage Tips

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

We continue to see and feel the impact of this weekend’s powerful storms in our community. Homes have gone without power, trees have been toppled, and property has been severely damaged due to the wind, hail, and rain. I suspect the images of enormous amounts of hail accumulating on our streets will remain memorable for quite some time.

Now, many are moving forward with assessments of the damage and looking ahead to repairs. In order to minimize the headaches this event has presented, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has some helpful tips for those affected by the storm: Read More

Sen. Jerry Newton Update: June 1, 2017

Friends and Neighbors,

As you may have seen in the media, it has been a busy couple of weeks in St. Paul.  All major budget bills passed the House and Senate in the last week of session.  A 3-day special session was necessary for this to happen, however.

Governor Dayton has signed all the budget bills into law.  In some last-minute scuffling, he line-item vetoed all funding for the Legislature. He was angry that Republicans placed an unseen provision in the State Government bill which forced him to sign the Tax bill. A link to the Governor’s letter explaining his line item veto is here.  I am hopeful this will all be settled in the next few weeks.  Although, there may be another short special session to get everything resolved. Read More

Rep. Erin Koegel Update: May 25, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

We are in the middle of a special legislative session to finish up the state budget which began at 12:01 a.m. Monday night. Work was supposed to be finished by 7 a.m. yesterday, but some major legislation took a long time to be drafted. In fact, the proposed Health and Human Services bill was only finished this afternoon. This special session follows the Monday midnight deadline by when the regular legislative session was constitutionally required to end.

While we’re considering budget bills to fund important investments in our schools, health care, transportation and other values we all have a responsibility to take care of, some troubling measures are moving forward as well. Some of these are quite detrimental to working families. Read More

Rep. Erin Koegel Update: May 19, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

Monday at midnight is the deadline for the Legislature to adjourn for the year, and a great deal of work remains before us. Other than funding for state agriculture programs, legislative leaders in the House and Senate majorities and Gov. Mark Dayton have yet to agree on a two-year state budget.

In an effort to end the impasse, Wednesday night Gov. Dayton put forth what could have been the linchpin to bring the session to conclusion: an offer to meet the legislative leaders half way. After including critical funding for our courts system and needed investments in cybersecurity protection, the Governor proposed that the surplus would be split right in half. The Governor would target his half toward values such as education, health care, and public safety, while GOP legislative leaders would be able to target their half toward tax cuts and road funding, their top two priorities. For Gov. Dayton, this represents a significant compromise, moving more than $1.5 billion away from his initial budget proposal. Read More

Rep. Erin Koegel Update: May 11, 2017

Rep. Erin Koegel (37A) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

I hope this email finds you well, and you are able to take advantage of this wonderful weather with your friends and family. Here at the State Capitol, the pace is picking up as we head toward adjournment on May 22, and I wanted to give you an update.

Negotiations on an agreement for a two-year state budget between Gov. Dayton and the House and Senate majorities appeared to be on track earlier this week. In a spirit of compromise, the Governor had issued a series of proposals trying to move more toward the middle. Unfortunately, rather than returning a compromise offer of their own, the legislative majority chose to move ahead with votes on their own, very partisan budget bills. It is extremely disappointing that rather than doing the hard work to find common ground, they chose to walk away from the table. Read More

Sen. Jerry Newton Update: May 5, 2017

Budget Negotiations Tense From the Start
With just over two weeks left to negotiate a more than $40 billion budget for the next two years, there is a wide gulf between House and Senate Republicans and DFLers. Caucus leaders from both parties met behind closed doors with Governor Dayton this week to outline a framework to begin budget negotiations.

Before numbers can be agreed to, Governor Dayton has made it clear Republicans must remove the more than 600 policy provisions currently in the budget bills. These provisions run the gamut from halting any future light rail projects to limiting the department of agriculture from governing the use of harmful pesticides to eliminating 40-years’ worth of campaign finance reforms. Read More