Monday, January 1, 2007

Week of December 31, 2006

Still awaiting a working phone at the Capitol as of Friday afternoon. Got my House laptop on Friday afternoon and that's working!

The legislature was sworn in on Wednesday, January 3rd. It was a very exciting process, although the space was pretty tight! You can also watch on-line at using Windows Media Player.

I attended the MN Chamber of Commerce legislative priorities dinner Thursday evening. I sat as a guest of Waste Management, although by law I paid for my own ticket.

On Friday, I attended a meeting for legislators of the Association of Metropolitan School Districts; a meeting of the Anoka County legislative delegation in Blaine; and met with Senator Rummel and a group of students from Oak Grove High School in North Oaks.

Constituent contacts: A 14-year old Shoreview resident called about his interest in tackling the problem of climate change. Also received an e-mail from a North Oaks resident on the same issue. Three high schools students in a civil liberties class (at Mounds View?) asked about my views on a proposed Vikings stadium and about curbing childhood obesity. A doctor in Shoreview asked for support for a comprehensive smoking ban. A Shoreview resident e-mailed to ask for support of a Downtown East location for a Vikings stadium. A Shoreview resident asked that I support continued support of our nation's efforts in Iraq. A Shoreview resident asked if I support a "tax and spend" agenda and asked how much money I get from the "education lobby." A Shoreview resident and a Lino Lakes resident asked for support of early childhood programs.

Non-constituent contacts: A Stillwater resident suggested a solution for dedicated outdoor funding on the sale taxes; a member of the MN Enlisted Retirees Association from Milaca e-mailed about exempting Minnesota's retired veterans from state taxes.

Invitations: A lobbyist for Lindquist & Vennum invited me to the MN Chamber of Commerce event on January 4th. (I was already going.) Also received invitations for events from U of M Humphrey Institute on a transportation session for legislators; MN CPAs; IBEW (electricians' union); Ramsey County League of Local Governments; MN Trial Lawyers Association for "Law School for Legislators" training session; MN General Crime Victim Coalition for the Third Annual General Crime Victims Day on the Hill

Lobbyist visits: Ted Grindal; Joan Archer from MN Beverage Association; lobbyist for MN Seasonal Property Owners Association; Bob Johnson, who represents Mpls police. (If you leave your office door open, people pop in!)

Media: I was quoted on MPR in a story about metal theft. MPR also has a Minnesota Fantasy Legislature site where regular folks set up teams of six legislators who earn points for their legislative action. I got picked by one team captain for the "Maroon Team."

I was also quoted in the Press Publications but there was an error in the quote about transportation that I wanted to correct. The article gives the impression that I support park and rides, busways, or rail along 694 between 35E and 35W. In fact, I support an additional lane of car traffice on this route, but support the idea of transit in the Rush Line Corridor along Highway 61.

Bills: One of the bills I'd like to work on is requiring scrap metal businesses to record ID of people who bring in scrap metal. Meth addicts are stealing copper all over the country to feed their habit. A lobbyist for the Aggregate and Ready Mix Association contacted me about the issue. I also met this week with House colleagues and staff from the MPCA about possible electronic waste recycling legislation.

Letters of introduction/background info sent: MN Military Museum at Camp Ripley; MN Association of School Administrators; MN Social Service Association; U of M Humphrey Institute summarizing an immigration conference; MN Catholic Conference; U of M Institute for Renewable Energy and Environment; Midwest Health Center for Women; Messerli & Kramer (a lobbying firm); Como Park Zoo and Conservatory; American Institute of Architects-MN; Astellas Pharma US; Health Partners; Ready 4 K; Office of Legislative Auditor about recent report on nonprofit grants from the state; Corporation for National and Community Service