Senate DFL Update: May 5, 2016

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STRONG: MN manufacturers optimistic about future, MPR News

COMMONSENSE: Rep. Giffords lobbies for gun safety in MN, Star Tribune

POSSIBLE: Amid some pessimism, a look at what the MNLeg could accomplish, MinnPost

UNITED?: Water issues mostly transcend partisanship in MN, MPR News

CLEAR: MN voters want confirmation hearing on Garland, Star Tribune

MNSURE: Controversy continues as DFL makes improvements to program, MPR News

INDUSTRY: MN wants for-profit college loans forgiven, Pioneer Press

NARCAN: MN firefighters start carrying drug to reverse opioid overdose, MPR News

ALBERTA: Wildfire evacuates town in oil sands region, New York Times

CRISIS: EU plans penalties on countries refusing their share of migrants, BBC News

75MILLION: Conflict endangers education of a quarter of the world’s children, Al Jazeera

Rep. Rosenthal Update: May 3, 2016


tn_49BDear Neighbors,

Three weeks remain in the 2016 session.  Last week, three major finance bills were debated in the full House of Representatives.  The following budget areas were condensed and rolled into three large bills: 1.Higher Education and E-12 Education;2. Agriculture, Environment and Jobs; and 3. Public Safety, Health and Human Services, and State Government Finance.  Although the House Majority’s approach to passing these bills this year was unconventional, the three “mega” bills passed and now await conference committees to compare the bill differences of the Senate and House versions. You can read about these proposals and others at the nonpartisan Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services website. Senate Majority Leader Bakk and House Speaker Daudt must first come to a compromise on establishing budget spending targets for each budget category before conference committee negotiations can begin. Read More

Sen. Latz Update: May 3, 2016


May 3, 2016

Hello Everyone,

With only three weeks until the 2016 Legislative Session adjourns, the Senate has presented a fiscally responsible supplemental budget, progressed paid family leave, and discussed many legislative matters in our short session.

The Senate bonding bill, released yesterday, contains significant investments ($1.5 billion) for our state. Some highlights for Senate District 46 include funding for Perspectives Inc.’s expansion design, the Douglas Drive/Highway 55 interchange, Plymouth Ice Arena renovations, Golden Valley flood mitigation, and Perpich Center asset preservation. On the other side of the Capitol, even the House majority has collectively over $3 billion in requests from members alone, so we know there are significant investment needs statewide. More news on this to come as we await the House’s formal proposal. Read More

Senate DFL Update: May 3, 2016

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INVEST: MN Senate bonding bill proposes $1.5 billion for state projects, Star Tribune

COUNSELORS: DFL pushes for student support in face of GOP opposition, MPR News

GAP: Five ideas, many championed by DFL legislators, to address racial inequality, Pioneer Press

STAKES: Daudt under pressure as GOP holds unsteady House majority, Star Tribune

MPCA: Pause declated on taconite mine permitting,MinnPost

MNLEG: Senate passes body camera bill after long discussion, MPR News

RANGE: Northern Minnesota hurting as extended downturn continues, Star Tribune

PHOTOS: Capitol renovation continues as House meets in construction zone, MPR News

REFUGEES: First attempts made at resettling climate change refugees in America, New York Times

ENDEAVOUR: Captain Cook’s Australia voyage ship may have been found, BBC News

ALEPPO: Another Syrian hospital attacked, Al Jazeera

Rep. Youakim Update: May 3, 2016


46BHello Everyone,

Last week on the House floor the three major omnibus policy and supplemental budget bills were debated. The Senate passed one large supplemental budget bill and separate policy omnibus bills. The House decided to roll policy and funding into three large bills. As I have said before, an omnibus bill is usually one large bill made up of individual bills that have gone through the committee process. In general, they are focused on one subject like education or health and human services. I like to think of them as “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly”, they contain some things you like, some things you do not like and some things that are merely political theater. The three omnibus bills that we heard on the House floor last week were more bad and ugly than good. The good provisions simply did not outweigh the bad. The bills will have to come back from conference committee with the Senate in much better shape before I can support them.

In Minnesota, we budget in two year cycles called a biennium. The first session in the biennium we set the budgets for the major areas of state government. Traditionally, the second year of the biennium (which we are in now) we look a policy issues and craft a bonding bill. This year is more complicated. Along with the policy and bonding bills to look at, we have a projected budget surplus that can be used for critical needs (roughly $900 million). And because the legislature could not reach agreement to pass a Tax bill or a comprehensive Transportation bill last year, during this short 10 ½ week session we also need to tackle all of these issues. It has become quite political. Read More

Rep. Erhardt Update: May 2, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

Last week, the House of Representatives passed three major finance bills.  Traditionally, an omnibus bill- a bill that is a compilation of prioritized ‘stand-alone’ bills heard in previous committee hearings, is dedicated to each finance subject category (ie: Education, Public Safety, Environment).  This year, the House Majority decided to condense all of these subject areas into three “super-sized” omnibus bills: 1. Agriculture, Environment and Jobs; 2. Public Safety, Health and Human Services, and State Government Finance; and 3. Higher Education and E-12 Education. Some felt this was an efficient and quick method to passing large bills, while others were disappointed that such differing subject areas and extensive content was rolled into three large bills.

The Transportation House and Senate Conference Committee met on Friday to do another overview of the differences within each body’s transportation bill.  With three weeks remaining in the session, compromise will be key to accomplish the goal of an equitable and long term transportation plan for Minnesota’s infrastructure.

Mail Attachment

Transportation Conference Committee hearing on April 29, 2016

It is an honor to represent you at the Capitol.


Ron Erhardt

State Representative

Statement from DFL Chairman on Senate DFL Caucus Bonding Bill

Ken Martin 2“Today the Senate DFL released their bonding bill. While Republicans claim to have Minnesota’s financial security as their top priority, it’s the DFL who are rising above political games and making fiscally responsible investments in our state.

“The bonding bills proposed by the Senate DFL Caucus and  Governor Dayton take advantage of stable and low interest rates and invest in Minnesota’s colleges and universities, transportation and water infrastructure, parks and public safety all while creating thousands of jobs. These investments are just a few of the projects that would extend the life cycle of our infrastructure, put Minnesotans back to work, and help build a better Minnesota for generations to come.

“Now it’s time for the Republicans to release their bonding bill. While GOP lawmakers keep using the bonding bill as a punchline, communities big and small throughout Minnesota are struggling and looking to their elected officials for relief.

“We’ve had enough of this gamesmanship.  It’s time for the GOP to stop toying with Minnesota’s future, and invest in communities, help build up our economy, and expand opportunity to all.”

May, 2016 Notice of Vacancies on State Boards, Councils and Committees


The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State today released the May 2016 notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees that are accepting applications, due May 24, 2016. Minnesotans are encouraged to apply and serve in demonstration of public service. The full list of vacancies is listed below and online.

Additionally, Minnesotans will now be able to find information and updates on new vacancies on Secretary of State Steve Simon’s official Facebook and Twitter pages. You can find those here:

Application forms are available online and must be submitted by May 24, 2016, to be assured of full consideration by the appointing authority. Appointing authorities may choose to review applications received by the Secretary of State after May 24.

See HOW TO APPLY at the end of the message. Read More