Monday, November 19, 2007

Week of November 18, 2007

Schedule: On Monday, November 19th, I met with another House member and a House researcher on a recycling issue. On Tuesday, November 20th, I met with a KSTP reporter about the bill I authored to combat metal theft.

Visitors: Shoreview residents about possible 2008 legislative agenda on health care, transportation, and education

Constituent contacts: Shoreview resident asking "when are you representatives going to protect honest citizens instead of illegal's, criminals and your corrupt buddies" (I'm wondering if news about the Secretary of State's recent admission about using official data for fundraising is the source of this contact); Lino Lakes resident promoting tax cuts for economic growth

New Law Working! KSTP-TV did a story on November 20th on how the new law that I wrote to combat metal theft is working. Hooray! A link to the story is at Burglaries in the 4th precinct in North Minneapolis (mostly copper wire and pipe theft) have dropped by 75 percent! Authorities in Hugo now tell me that they are making some progress with a scrap metal dealer who was buying a lot of stolen metal in that community. The new law also include tougher penalties if someone tampers with electrical transmission equipment, like copper wire. Three men were arrested recently for cutting through Xcel Energy electrical cable underground, and they may be charged with felonies instead of misdemeanors. (This is not a good idea--several thieves in the Midwest have electrocuted themselves this way.)

Another New Law Working! Another bill I spent a lot of time on was on electronic waste. Under the new law, manufacturers of electronics are responsible for the cost of recycling old computers, TVS, and other devices. (The cost eventually is incorporated into the cost of a new device for consumers.) One electronics recycler held a collection event at the Mall of America last week and collected 1 million pounds of electronics that filled 86 trailers! The major barrier to collecting this material in the past has been the high cost of recycling this potentially toxic material. You can find out about e-waste recycling in our area at