Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Week of January 21, 2007

The week got off to a slow start because my five-year old was running a high fever on Monday and early Tuesday, and my wife is out of town. Managed to make arrangements with my in-laws so that I could attend session on Monday (short session!) and my last committee (Environment) on Tuesday afternoon.

Submitted my first bill on Monday, which would prohibit the disposal of non-compostable yard waste bags in the Twin Cities area. I got 12 co-authors on it, including a couple of Republicans. It is now HF347. I'm pleased to say that the Anoka County Watchdog, Mr. Harold Hamilton, mentioned it as a "bill to jeer" in his weekly e-mail. Mr. Hamilton was a contributor in 2006 to a Fund for a Conservative Majority, which sent out a smear mailing on me during the last week of the election campaign, so I'm not surprised for the attention. I'm working on another bill to help prevent scrap metal theft in MN--more later!

Attended a meeting of the Mounds View School Board on Tuesday evening with other legislators, as well as with a fairly large group of parents from Neighbors United afterwards.

I was back on schedule on Wednesday, with the Energy Committee (presentations by utilities) and a caucus meeting in the afternoon. Attended a luncheon with the MN Outdoor Heritage Alliance.

Thursday included attending the Environmental Finance Committee (Legislative Citizens Committee on MN Resources--money spent from lottery proceeds on the environment), a short floor session, about nine different meetings (see visitors), and the Environment & Natural Resources Committee. This last committee included a report by the Office of the Legislative Auditor Friday included a meeting about electronic waste.

Constituent contacts: Circle Pines resident about upcoming legislation affecting consulting engineers; Circle Pines resident against a proposed dog and cat breeders act; Shoreview resident supporting the Wine with Dinner proposal; Lino Lakes resident supporting Governor's proposal to exempt military pay and pensions from income tax; Shoreview resident against a Vikings stadium, for education funding, for light rail funding, and for a smoking ban; Circle Pines resident supporting a proposed dog and cat breeders act (SF121); constituent? high school student asking my position on a renewable energy standard (I support); City of Lexington and Lexington Fire Department against the recommendation of the Office of the Legislative Auditor to require volunteer fire companies to invest pensions with the State Board of Investment; Shoreview AARP member inviting me to an event for that group; a Shoreview resident and a North Oaks resident asking me to attend a joint meeting of legislators on Tuesday on climate change; Shoreview resident about MN Board of Medical Practices; Shoreview resident expressing views on about ten different topics; City of Blaine Economic Development Office; Shoreview resident supporting a smoking ban; Lino Lakes resident against a smoking ban; North Oaks resident asking about health coverage for pre-existing conditions; Shoreview resident supporting funding for the arts; Circle Pines resident and school counselor seeking appointment

Non-constituent contacts: Anonymous Minnesotan asking for a halt to the use of the MN National Guard in Iraq; Eagan resident seeking legislation to allow photovoltaic arrays on houses where local covenants might prohibit them; MN Environmental Initiative; Park Rapids resident against a smoking ban; about ten Duluth area residents against HF59 that would allow ATVs on the North Shore Trail; MN Environmental Initiative

Visitors: North Oaks resident supporting a bill on behalf of physical therapists; lobbyist for MN Environmental Partnership; lobbyist for Clean Water Action; lobbyist for Fresh Energy; lobbyists from MN Transportation Alliance; representative of MN Conservation Officers Association; lobbyist for Metro Area Cities; three patients of a cancer clinic concerned about the MN Medical Practices Board; meeting with the Governor's Chief of Staff (a constituent); government relations staff of MN Rural Electric Association; government relations staff for Xcel Energy; constituent of Lino Lakes who represented the Postal Credit Union on Credit Union Day at the Capitol; lobbyists for TV manufacturers on electronic waste bill; representatives of MN State Arts Board

Invitations: Association of Recycling Managers for a legislative breakfast; MN Lavender Bar Foundation; MN Chippewa Tribe; MN Zoo; U of M Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences; Springbrook Nature Center; Twin Cities Public TV/Blue Cross Blue Shield; E-Democracy National Project; Land Stewardship Project

Information sent: Office of the Legislative Auditor released several reports, including on pensions for volunteer firefighters, human services administration, Departments of Finance and Employee Relations; and post-employment benefits for public employees; MN Private College Council; North Metro Realtors Association; MN Wheat Board; U of M Center for Transportation Studies; Council for Exceptional Children; Mt. Zion Temple in St. Paul; League of MN Cities; MN State High School League; MN State Lottery; Farm Bureau; MN Coalition for Battered Women; City of Blaine; U of M Academic Health Center; Legislative Reference Library; MN Department of Education; MN Central Labor Union Council of AFL-CIO; Take Action MN; Lake Zumbro Forever, Inc.; AAA Minnesota/Iowa in support of a booster seat law; MN Inter-County Association; City of Circle Pines; MN Women's Press; MN DNR Conservation Volunteer magazine; MN Pollution Control Agency's Annual 2006 Pollution Report; Clean Water Action Alliance; Education MN; Anoka County Sheriff's office on regional forensic crime laboratory; MN League of Women Voters