Rep. Rosenthal Update: February 17, 2017

Rep. Paul Rosenthal (49B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

Another busy week at the Capitol is behind us. Here’s an update on a few items that are under consideration at the Legislature:

GOVERNMENT REFORM

A package of bills has been introduced to increase transparency in state government. One measure would make the Legislature subject to the Minnesota Data Practices Act and our state’s open meeting laws. The Legislature has long exempted itself from these laws. Another bill aims to avoid end-of-session mayhem and confusion – witnessed in recent years – by requiring joint budget targets being adopted by the House and Senate in an open and transparent process weeks before the end of session. Budget targets guide decision making for each budget area, such as education.

Provisions of the bill include:

– Letters, emails and other communication and documents (but not individual constituent correspondence) will generally be available for public review;

– All legislative schedules will be public so citizens know who their representative is meeting;

– All meetings – including conference committees — will be open to all Minnesotans with sufficient advance notice to allow real public participation;

– Requirements for transparent information and open meetings will be enforced with real teeth.

This bill builds on the legislative reform package introduced last year.

SENIOR FRAUD BILL

My bipartisan bill to address financial fraud and exploitation against seniors received a hearing on Tuesday.  House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee members supported the bill on a voice vote and it advanced to the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee.  HF 879 now awaits a hearing in Chair Garofalo’s committee.

CONSTITUENTS VISIT

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to meet with nurses living in our district for Minnesota Nurses Day at the Capitol.  They were supporting safe staffing ratios of nurses to patients and I was grateful to learn more about their patient safety priorities.

As always, I appreciate hearing from you.  Please feel free to contact me on any issue of interest.

Sincerely,

Paul