Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Week of January 14, 2007

On Tuesday, I received an introductory call from the Governor's new chief-of-staff, who is also a constituent. Session was about ten minutes. Sat in Environmental Finance (wetlands presentation) and Environmental Committees (Great Lakes Compact bill) today. Attended a press conference for the proposed renewable energy standard for which I am a co-author. In the evening, I had a meeting with other first-term DFL house members.

On Wednesday, the Governor gave the State of the State address. I thought there was a lot of vision there but the details, particularly on education, fell flat with many of us. We also wonder about how the Governor proposed to pay for the initiatives mentioned. More analysis later. I also attended the energy committee, where there was an in-depth discussion of the capacity for renewable energy and the related transmission lines required to produce 25% of our electricity from renewable sources. Attended caucus in the evening. Also attended a meeting on recycling at the MN Pollution Control Agency.

On Thursday, I attended the Environmental Finance Committee (Farm bill legislation and conservation in agriculture) and the Environment & Natural Resources Committee (overview of the MN Pollution Control Agency). Attended a meeting of first-term DFL House members. Met with the Tax Committee chair. Attended the short House floor session. In the evening, I spoke to the Lexington City Council. Sent out letters to the city councils of North Oaks and Lino Lakes asking for input for the session.

This week I have also been talking to House research and interested parties about ideas for two bills, one on compost and the other on scrap metal theft.

Visitors: lobbyist for Apple Computer & the Aggregate & Ready Mix Association about electronic waste and anti-theft ideas for scrap metal recycling; lobbyist for Parks & Trails Association of MN; lobbyist for MN Family Council about its positions (mostly conservative ideas that focus on family responsibilities plus a ban on gay marriage); lobbyist for Midwest Health Center for Women about a bill promoting family planning; editor for Politics in Minnesota about my entry in an upcoming directory entry; lobbyist for Rock-Tenn company talking about effort to build power plant at paper mill in St. Paul; Clean Water Action about Great Lakes Compact; MN Conservation Foundation about Great Lakes Compact

Constituent contacts: Shoreview resident about a newly formed organization called OneMN.org that advocates for African Latino Asian Native Americans (ALANA); Lino Lakes resident about issues affecting realtors; Shoreview resident advocating platform of the Children's Defense Fund-MN; Shoreview resident in favor of increased use of E-85 (yes, I know what it is); Lino Lakes resident asking for reinstatement of health and physical education as a high school graduation requirement

Non-constituent contacts (note: some of these folks have been leaving info with my assistant): Education Minnesota on its 2007 legislative priorities; Coalition of MN Cities; physical therapist about Consumer Access to Physical Therapy bill; MN Utility Investors; Metro Area Cities; Messerli & Kramer for Best Buy on electronic waste issues; SE MN resident about Lake Zumbro water quality; Sierra Club about legislative platform; Otter Tail Power Company; Capitol Hill Associates; Conservation Officers Association; MN State College Faculty member about higher education issues; Wilder Foundation about caring for the elderly meeting; Brewster MN resident about management of Heron Lake Watershed District; a MN resident (city unknown) against employee drug testing, credit checks, and pre-existing condition disclosure; a Lt. Colonel serving in Iraq wishing to see the 9/10 of a cent pricing gasoline abolished; Maple Grove resident promoting candidate for U of M regent position; Bloomington sixth grader about recycling issues; Avon resident about barriers to self-representing litigants

Invitations: House speaker soliciting nominees for state legislative commissions and boards; Met Council for annual program; MN Coalition Against Sexual Assault; MN Women's Consortium; City of North Oaks 50th Anniversary; Healthy Legacy (coalition on toxic chemical exposure); North Hennepin Community College Foundation; MN Bankers Association; ISAIAH; MN Commission Serving Deaf & Hard of Hearing; Rally for Youth Day; Teamsters; Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce; ISAIAH

Information sent from: Anoka County Integrated Solid Waste Department; MN Office of the Legislative Auditor about upcoming report on postemployment benefits for state employees; Century College; AARP-MN; MN State Arts Board; MN Women's Consortium; Guthrie Theater; MN Association of Townships; MN Beer Wholesalers Association (against changing liquor laws); Free to Choose Media promoting documentary on PBS on Milton Friedman; Wal-Mart Watch; Clear Way MN (pro-smoking ban); AFL-CIO on legislative platform; Heartland Institute's Environment & Climate News (pro-market outfit); MN Business Partnership on legislative platform; Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging; Service Employees International Union (SEIU) about a pending janitor strike; MN Taxpayers Association; League of MN Cities; Community Banking News & Views; North Suburban Tobacco Compliance Project/Ramsey Tobacco Coalition; MN Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America; Congregations Concerned for Children; Teamsters about opposition to restrictions on judicial system employees' off-duty political activities; Sustainable Farming Association of MN; Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District; MN Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience & Interior Design (they get the award for the wordiest association name); Greater MN Health Care Coalition; MN Administrators for Special Education; MN Hospital Association about deaths from medical errors; Metropolitan Council with a profile of its activities in district 53A; MN Licensed Beverage Association; Midwest Coca-Cola Bottling Company; MN Citizens for the Arts; MN Trucking Association; Mental Health Legislative Network; Mothers Against Drunk Driving; Mounds View School District; The American Jewish World/Center for Jewish Studies at the U of M