For clean-energy jobs, sky’s the limit

The following article by Mike Hughlett was posted on the StarTribune website October 16, 2017:

NOTE:  The Trump Administration is focusing on old energy as countries around the world are fast out pacing the U.S.A. on clean energy.

As wind and solar energy have grown, they’ve created a tide of jobs nationwide in fields from construction to manufacturing. Renewable energy jobs, most of which are in wind and solar, grew by 16 percent to around 6,200 in Minnesota from 2015 to 2016, according to a recent study by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, an industry-led nonprofit.

Gallery: Outside the nacelle of a Vestas wind turbine, 300 feet in the air, Will Osborn, left and Shane Keck serviced a wind sensor that was out of alignment while Chris Berg worked inside. Credit: GLEN STUBBE – STAR TRIBUNE

– Golden cornfields stretched out 24 stories below Will Osborn, the autumn landscape dotted with silos and farmhouses.

Of course, he didn’t have much time to gaze. Planted atop a wind turbine — one of a few dozen here — Osborn was diagnosing a weather sensor.

Osborn’s job, wind technician, is the fastest growing occupation in the nation. As utilities rapidly increase the amount of power they get from wind farms, workers willing and able to climb hundreds of feet to keep turbines running smoothly are in high demand. Students in wind power training programs in Minnesota are getting jobs as soon as they graduate or even before. Read More

DFL Chairman Statement on Disrespectful Comments about Minnesota Workers in New York Times

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement today in response to disparaging comments made about Minnesota workers in a recent New York Times Magazine story on mining:

“My brother, Trevor, is a hardworking carpenter. Every morning before the sun comes up, he wakes up, packs up his tools in his truck, and drives through Minnesota to a job site. He works long hours performing back-breaking work to put bread on his table for his family. When I read the disrespectful remarks made about workers in the New York Times article on mining, I immediately thought of Trevor.”

“These judgmental comments wrongfully disparage thousands of hard-working Minnesotans. There’s no question that the issue of mining in Northern Minnesota is a contentious one. But there’s no room in the debate for sharp-tongued attacks on Minnesotans who work hard every day to provide for their families and support our state’s economy.”

“As the campaign manager for the landmark Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment in 2008, I know firsthand how important it is to protect our natural resources for future generations. I also know that there are few people who value the environment more than the men and women who hunt, fish, and hike outside their homes on the Iron Range.”

“Here in Minnesota, we value civility. We treat each other with respect. We must keep this debate healthy, productive, and focused on the issue at hand. Because at the end of the day, we all want the same thing: a better life for our family and a brighter future for our state.”

125,000 Minnesota Kids Still Waiting for Republican-Controlled Congress to Save Their Health Coverage

Republican-Controlled Congress has not restored funding for a critical children’s health program after missing its Sept. 30 deadline

Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Chairman Ken Martin today called on Representatives Erik Paulsen, Jason Lewis, and Tom Emmer along with their colleagues in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to step up and take immediate action to fund a critical children’s health insurance program.

 “The health of 125,000 Minnesota kids hangs in the balance—and Republicans continue failing to take action,” DFL Chairman Martin said. “Amid their frantic efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans dropped the ball on funding a program that provides health coverage to millions of children across the country. They must make up for the time they wasted, do the right thing, and take immediate action to protect Minnesota kids.” Read More

October State Appointment Vacancies

Notice of Vacancies in State Boards, Councils and Committees

October 4, 2017 — The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State today released notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees that are accepting applications. Minnesotans are encouraged to apply and serve in demonstration of public service. The newest vacancies are listed below, and the full list of 366 vacancies can be found on our website Open Positions.

Applications may be submitted online, and must be submitted within 21 days of the “Publish Date” listed on our Open Positions page, to be assured of full consideration by the appointing authority. Appointing authorities may choose to review applications received by the Secretary of State after the 21 day application period.

See our new instructions on HOW TO APPLY at the end of the message. Read More

Dayton: Republican claims about my vetoes simply aren’t true

The following commentary by Gov. Mark Dayton was posted on the StarTribune website September 26, 2017:

I didn’t leave legislators cash-starved or try to destroy a coequal branch. I just want to revise a tax bill to keep the state on firm fiscal footing.

Ever since I vetoed some of the Minnesota Legislature’s funding for the next two years, Republican legislative leaders have been screaming that I am trying to abolish their branch of government. They sued me, claiming that I had acted unconstitutionally by denying them enough money to “survive” until next February’s legislative session, when they will be able to restore their full funding.

In the Legislature’s brief filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court just last week, they again swore that my vetoes had denied them enough money to operate until next February. In addition, a group of Republican legislators wrote in these pages last Friday that “ … the governor used his line-item veto power to eliminate funding for the Legislature, effectively abolishing the legislative branch.” Read More

DFL Chairman Martin on voter registration day a reminder to vote in odd-year elections

Tuesday, Sept. 26, is Voter Registration Day. This nationally recognized day was created to boost voter registration numbers and raise awareness about the importance of voting.

In Minnesota, we know voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. That’s why we have the highest voter turnout rate in the country. Yet even with this claim to fame, many of us still miss a key opportunity to have our voices heard: Odd-year elections.

Presidential and statewide elections take place on even-numbered years. These elections get a lot of attention and Minnesota voters generally head to the polls in droves. But elections that take place during odd-numbered years, often for municipal level positions, see lower turnout. Minnesota’s voter turnout for the 2016 election, when the presidential race was the top of the ticket, was 74.72 percent. In 2015, the last odd-year election, it was only 50.51 percent. Read More

September 15, 2017 Notice of Vacancies on State Boards, Councils and Committees

Notice of Vacancies in State Boards, Councils and Committees

September 15, 2017 — The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State today released notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees that are accepting applications. Minnesotans are encouraged to apply and serve in demonstration of public service. The newest vacancies are listed below, and the full list of 420 vacancies can be found on our website Open Positions.

Applications may be submitted online, and must be submitted within 21 days of the “Publish Date” listed on our Open Positions page, to be assured of full consideration by the appointing authority. Appointing authorities may choose to review applications received by the Secretary of State after the 21 day application period. Read More

Amazon HQ bid to be hush-hush affair

The following article by Brian Bakst was posted on the Minnesota Public Radio website September 8, 2017:

Minnesota’s pitch for the new Amazon.com headquarters will be “dynamic,” the state’s top economic development official said Friday. But don’t expect details of what’s on the table to be made public.

Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Shawntera Hardy met privately with DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and an executive from Greater MSP, a group that promotes business growth in the Twin Cities. They’re in the early stages of discussions about landing Amazon’s second North American headquarters. Read More

MN Supreme Court says Mark Dayton’s veto of legislative budget was constitutional

The following article by Rachel E. Stassen-Berger was posted on the Pioneer Press website September 8, 2017:

Credit: Steve Mullis, MPR

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Friday decided that Gov. Mark Dayton’s veto of the House and Senate budgets earlier this year was constitutional.

“We hold that the governor’s exercise of his line item veto authority … was constitutional,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea wrote. “This conclusion, however, does not end the matter.”

The justice wrote that the court does not believe it has the authority to order the Legislature funded, as did a previous district court, while the dispute goes on. Therefore it ordered Dayton, a Democrat, and the Republican Legislature back into talks with a mediator. Read More

Minnesota set for pivotal House battles

The following article by Ben Kamisar was posted on the Hill website September 7, 2017:

Credit: Greg Nash

Minnesota will be a pivotal battleground in the midterm fight for the House majority, featuring five of 2018’s most contentious races.

Rep. Tim Walz’s (D) decision to run for governor has created an open seat in the 1st District, while freshman Rep. Jason Lewis (R) will try to hold on to his swing seat.

Buoyed by President Trump’s strong performance in the state, Republicans plan to go on the offensive in two seats currently held by Reps. Rick Nolan (D) and Collin Peterson (D). But Democrats have their own plans in the state, aiming to win over well-educated suburban voters who could help them oust Rep. Erik Paulsen (R). Read More