Rep. Jon Applebaum (HD44B) Update: December 8, 2017

Rep. Jon Applebaum (44B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

I’d like to start off by hoping everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, with good times surrounded by family, friends and plenty of food.  I also wanted to share some very exciting personal news: my wife Kate and I are expecting our first child this April.  Since I work for you, I thought you may like to know!

As for updates from the State Capitol:

Budget Forecast

Earlier this week Minnesota Management and Budget announced the November Economic Forecast, which provides a preliminary financial outlook for the next legislative session. Unfortunately, the news wasn’t good, with a projected budget deficit standing at $302 million, when taking into account legislative funding not yet appropriated. As things stand now, this could balloon to $586 million in just over a year and a half. Read More

Rep. Jon Applebaum Update: May 3, 2017

 

Rep. Jon Applebaum (44B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

There are just under three weeks left in the legislative session before our constitutionally required date of adjournment, May 22. This is a pivotal stage of the session that will determine whether or not we will finish on time and produce results that improve opportunities for all Minnesotans. For my part, I’m committed to passing a state budget that prioritizes the things that make our state such a wonderful place to live: world class schools, quality health care, jobs that support families and a transportation system we can depend upon. Indeed, the state budget represents a clear question of priorities, and I believe that given our $1.65 billion budget surplus, we should be able to collaborate on compromises we can all be proud of. Read More

Calling for Mayor Slavik of Plymouth to voice support and safety for immigrants

The following letter to the editor was posted in the Plymouth Sun-Sailor March 9, 2017:

Plymouth is home to many different groups of immigrants – Russian, Indian, Somali, and many, many more. Plymouth is home to the Northwest Islamic Center.

At the same time, hate crimes are on the rise (USA Today website). February 23rd a gay couple was attacked and told “You live in Trump country now” (Miami Herald.com). Mosques have been vandalized, Jewish Centers have been threatened, swastikas have been etched on cars in Lakeville, Minnesota. Schools such as Maple Grove High school are battling racism. A Kansas man recently shot two Indian men, killing one, while yelling “Get out of my country”. (NY Times). The list goes on, even in the Twin Cities.

Now, more than ever, we need our communities to come together. Many mayors across the nation, including Mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges, have publically expressed concern over the hate, support for members of the community, and statements of solidarity.

But we have not heard from Mayor Kelly Slavik of Plymouth.

K. Anderson

Representative Sarah Anderson and conflicts of interest

The following letter to the editor was submitted to the Star Tribune March, 2017:

I want to call out Representative Sarah Anderson (district 44A). In her capacity as Chair of the State Government Finance Committee, she is blocking the Minnesota House of Representatives from hearing Bill HR 246 (author:  Schultz). This bill establishes an independent commission for redistricting. If we have an independent commission (versus currently having the legislators themselves set district boundaries), conflicts of interest are avoided. We need this to be done in a non partisan manner. This would not only avoid conflicts of interest but would save the taxpayers millions (Common Cause Minnesota), and would set the stage for less polarization and extremes in our political representatives. (Minnesota Citizens for Clean Elections). Our legislators did not seem to want to have conflicts of interest with their pay schedule, but seem to tolerate the conflict of interest in drawing district lines in their favor. Call Sarah Anderson and ask her why she will not let the House hear a bill to prevent this!

K. Anderson

Rep. Applebaum Update: February 24, 2017

The State Capitol is becoming a very busy place at this stage of the legislative session. Right now, the committee process is where much of the work is taking place; as the first deadline by which bills must be through the committee process and set for floor action is just two weeks from today.

Several times each day, however, I have the privilege of meeting with constituents from the community visiting the Capitol. In the photo above, I got to spend some time with members of the Hopkins Legislative Action Coalition and Hopkins School Board. The photo below was taken just outside the House chamber, along with members of the Wayzata Legislative Action Coalition and Wayzata School Board. If you ever are able to make it to St. Paul this session, please make sure you stop by my office and say hello! Read More

Sarah Anderson wants Congressional gerrymandering to our Legislature

Country’s most gerrymandered district, Washington Post

Representative Sarah Anderson, like many politicians on the trail, plays up her bi-partisan credentials when it is convenient for her to win in a district composed of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. She does this because she knows regular voters, regardless of political ideology, prioritize fairness, efficiency and results. Most people in 44A aren’t too far to the right or too far to the left. Instead they are middle-of-the-road voters who want to ensure government works and represents the voters, not the politicians.

Now, most voters in House District 44A would agree political polarization is one of the big reasons we see gridlock with extreme districts gerrymandered to protect politicians in power rather than serve the interests of the people. Most voters, if given the chance, would work to fix this problem. Read More

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.”