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2002 Session Weekly

Session Weekly is presented here electronically as printed and distributed from the House Public Information Office (175 State Office Building). The electronic versions are not updated but contain exactly the same information as the printed copies.

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Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 18, September 20, 2002
Features stories about the three bills passed by the Legislature during the 2002 Special Session on Sept. 19 -- a bill providing nearly $32 million in flood relief to 19 Minnesota counties affected by June flooding, a bill allowing taxpayers to deduct some charitable contributions from their personal income tax, and a bill clarifying a sales tax exemption on the delivery of aggregate materials, such as gravel.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 17, May 24, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 17, May 24, 2002
Features an At Issue story about Gov. Jesse Ventura's line-item vetoes of nearly $350 million in projects from the 2002 bonding law; an At Issue story about how the Legislature overrode the governor's veto of the second budget-balancing bill before adjourning. The governor allowed the second piece of the budget plan, a tax policy bill, to become law without his signature; an At Issue story about the House, Senate, and governor all approved a funding plan for a baseball stadium for the Minnesota Twins; an At Issue story about the last item of business before the House adjourned was passing an anti-terrorism plan, which the governor signed into law; a Stepping Down profile about Rep. Peggy Leppik (R-Golden Valley), who is leaving the House after six terms; a Stepping Down profile about Rep. Rod Skoe (DFL-Clearbrook) who is leaving the House to pursue a seat in the Minnesota Senate; a Stepping Down profile about Rep. Wes Skoglund (DFL-Mpls) who will run for the Senate this fall, after 13 terms in the House. He was paired in the same district with Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Mpls); along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 16, May 17, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 16, May 17, 2002
Features an At Issue story about a plan to extend unemployment benefits and settle other economic development issues which has passed both the House and Senate and awaits the governor's approval; an At Issue story about a unicameral proposal that was headed to the House floor for a vote after a House committee approved it in the waning days of the 2002 legislative session, but a procedural move sent it back to committee; an At Issue story about the proposal for balancing the remaining $439 million budget deficit, health and human services programs took the largest hit. However, many of the proposed cuts were not included in the final budget-balancing plan; a History story about The 1943 Legislature, convened during World War II, which got right to work in debating and passing legislation to aid in the war effort; a Stepping Down profile about Rep. Dave Bishop (R-Rochester), a 20-year veteran and current chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, who will step down following the 2002 session; a Stepping Down profile about Rep. James Clark (R-New Ulm) who is leaving the House after this term saying heŐd like to spend more time with his family. His eldest daughter will begin kindergarten this fall; a Stepping Down profile about Rep. D. Scott Dibble (DFL-Mpls) who will leave the House after one term to pursue a seat in the Minnesota Senate, being vacated by Sen. Myron Orfield (DFL-Mpls), Dibble's House predecessor; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 15, May 10, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 15, May 10, 2002
Features an At Issue story about how House and Senate conferees are still negotiating extended benefits for unemployed workers, but any benefits will require replenishment of the state's unemployment fund; an At Issue story about how if the state complies with federal tax changes, it will have a significant impact either on the state budget or the procedure for filing income taxes; a Stepping Down profile of Rep. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) who will not seek re-election to the House this November, opting to pursue a seat in the Minnesota Senate left open by the retirement of Sen. Doug Johnson (DFL-Tower); a Stepping Down profile of Rep. Gregory Gray (DFL-Mpls) who is leaving the House after two terms to run for the constitutional office of state auditor; a Policy story about how developing technology, including global positioning systems, may provide policy makers with transportation funding options beyond the gas tax; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 14, May 3, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 14, May 3, 2002
Features an At Issue story about a plan to reorganize the state's executive branch, contained in the second round of budget cuts,which is a recycled idea from a 1993 governor's task force; an At Issue story about Minnesota's 135 public airports, 11 of which receive commercial traffic, including the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport; a history story about how Minnesota's commercial base has changed over the years, but still remains strong in the national context; a Stepping Down profile of Rep. Roxann Daggett (R-Frazee) will not seek re-election this November, saying it's time for someone else from her area to represent the district in the House; a Stepping Down profile of Rep. Henry Kalis (DFL-Wells), who is known for being the first to file his candidacy each year, will leave the House this term after serving 28 years in the body; a policy story about the recently imposed steel tariffs which may not bring the relief the Minnesota taconite industry needs to compete with foreign markets, lawmakers say; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 13, April 26, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 13, April 26, 2002
Features an At Issue story about how members of a House-Senate conference committee are debating provisions in the revisor's technical correction bill, a typically noncontroversial measure. At issue are provisions inadvertently omitted from special session laws in 2001; an At Issue story about how many of the state's welfare recipients are approaching the 60-month limit for benefits. Lawmakers are discussing the pros and cons of extending benefits beyond 60 months, given the difficult economic conditions in Minnesota; a History story about how the number of school districts in Minnesota continues to decrease, a historical trend that began in the early years of statehood and continued with reorganization efforts in the 20th century; a Stepping Down story about Rep. Gary Kubly (DFL-Granite Falls) who will leave the House after this term to pursue a seat in the Minnesota Senate; a Stepping Down story about Rep. Doug Peterson (DFL-Madison) who has accepted a position as head of the Minnesota Farmers Union and will not seek re-election this November; a Policy story about how there are more than 2,000 tax increment financing districts in the state, but the use of TIF as a development tool may slow due to revenue changes and other development options; a Process story about each year, the Legislature mandates a number of studies of the functions of state government. Sometimes the studies provide information that may lead to laws in subsequent years; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 12, April 19, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 12, April 19, 2002
Features an At Issue story about how members of a House-Senate conference committee are debating an energy plan not originally heard in the House. It would create a cleaner-burning coal plant; an At Issue story about how since 1878, the Legislative Audit Commission has reported on the success or failure of various programs. Legislators help direct which programs are measured; an At Issue story about how legislators are advocating for funding to provide better high-speed Internet access for rural Minnesotans; a Stepping Down profile about Rep. Tom Osthoff (DFL-St. Paul), an advocate for St. Paul projects and environmental issues, who is leaving the House after 28 years; a Stepping Down profile about Rep. Michelle Rifenberg (R-La Crescent) who will step down after this term, due in large part to the fact that portions of her district were included in the district represented by Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston); a policy story about a trio of laws that have passed this session to help better regulate municipal boundary adjustments achieved through annexation; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 11, April 12, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 11, April 12, 2002
Features an At Issue story about the 35-year-old public broadcasting system, which receives a relatively small percentage of its budget from state and federal sources; a Stepping Down story about Rep. George Cassell (R-Alexandria) who is planning a run for the Minnesota Senate this fall. He is leaving the House after this term, having been paired in the same district as Rep. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake); a Stepping Down story about Rep. Bob Milbert (DFL-South St. Paul) who will step down from his seat in the Minnesota House after 16 years in the Legislature; a Policy story about how Legislators draw on a number of sources, including other states, to find ideas for Minnesota laws; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 10, April 5, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 10, April 5, 2002
Features an At Issue story about how several states are considering state-level prescription drug discount programs for residents. However, in Minnesota budget constraints may be an obstacle; a History piece about how it's not unusual for legislators to work beyond the Easter and Passover holidays in the second year of a biennium. And legislators have more than a month before they run up against constitutional constraints for adjournment; a Stepping Down story about Rep. Sharon Marko (DFL-Cottage Grove) who will leave the House after this term to pursue an open seat in the Minnesota Senate created by the new redistricting plan; a Stepping Down story about Rep. Mary Jo McGuire (DFL-Falcon Heights) who has decided not to run for re-election in the district she has represented for 14 years. The court-ordered redistricting plan paired McGuire and incumbent Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul) in the same district; a Policy story about how state officials are targeting foreign tourism markets to draw vacationers to the state as an economic development tool; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 9, March 29, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 9, March 29, 2002
Features an At Issue story about the House bioterrorism plan that clarifies the governor's powers to declare an emergency and respond to bioterroristic threats in the state; an At Issue story about how it took the House less than five minutes, with no debate, to pass a transportation plan that will provide $750 million in funding for projects statewide over the next five years; a Stepping Down story about Rep. Andy Dawkins (DFL-St. Paul) who is stepping down after 15 years in the House so he and his wife, Sen. Ellen Anderson (DFL-St. Paul) can consolidate their family under one roof. The two have been representing different districts and maintaining two households since their marriage in 1995; a Stepping Down story about Rep. Mike Osskopp (R-Lake City) a conservative critic of government will limit his voice to the airwaves as he steps down after this term. Osskopp would be paired with incumbent Rep. Jerry Dempsey (R-Red Wing) under the new districts announced March 19; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 8, March 22, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 8, March 22, 2002
Features an At Issue story about how the House plan for dealing with the contracts negotiated last fall between the state and its two largest public employee unions is moving forward but keeps changing along the way; an At Issue story about how members of the House are debating methods of transportation funding this session. This story explains the various funding streams currently used to fund transportation projects in Minnesota; an At Issue story about how encouraging patriotism in schools is not a new notion. The state created a handbook for "little citizens" to do their bit in promoting patriotism during World War I; a Stepping Down story about Rep. Rob Leighton (DFL-Austin) who will not seek re-election to his District 27B seat in November. In his fourth term, Leighton plans to spend more time at home with his family; a Stepping Down story about Rep. Harry Mares (R-White Bear Lake) who will step down after serving in the House for eight years, the last four as chair of the House Education Policy Committee; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 7, March 15, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 7, March 15, 2002
Features an At Issue story about the Health and human services portions of the state budget which would bear most of the burden, under the second round of budget shifts and reductions, in an effort to balance the state's budget. The plan involves transferring tobacco endowment money to the general fund; an At Issue story about how the state would collect DNA samples from all convicted felons under the proposed House anti-terrorism plan; an At Issue story a House plan that would extend unemployment benefits for Farmland foods employees displaced by a fire in July 2001 but not for other groups seeking assistance; an At Issue story about how the state would be able to keep closer tabs on the use of all-terrain vehicles in state forests, under a House plan; an At Issue story about how Gov. Jesse Ventura says he will move out of the official GovernorŐs Residence and shut down the Summit Avenue mansion in St. Paul as a budget-cutting measure; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 6, March 8, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 6, March 8, 2002
Features an At Issue story about how most of the first phase of the Legislature's budget balancing plan became law March 1, without the governor's signature; an At Issue story about a House plan would allow nonpartisan election judges in an effort to draw new recruits to run the polls on Election Day; a Policy story about the state's prevailing wage law, which governs construction projects, is nearly 30 years old, but remains substantially unchanged since its enactment in 1973; a Policy story about the University of Minnesota's extension service, serving agricultural development in the state since 1909, faces funding cuts as the university works to trim its overall budge; a New Member Profile on Rep. John Jordan (R-Brooklyn Park), elected March 4 to fill the seat left vacant since the death of Rep. Darlene Luther (DFL-Brooklyn Park), who brings a mix of local government experience and an interest in public safety to his new role; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 5, March 1, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 5, March 1, 2002
Features an At Issue story about how both the House and Senate voted to override Gov. Jesse Ventura's veto of a budget-balancing plan, but it took the House two tries to gather the necessary two-thirds majority; an At Issue story about the state Department of Finance's new budget forecast released Feb. 25 that predicts the state's 2002-03 deficit will grow from $1.95 billion to $2.3 billion; an At Issue story about the anti-terrorism measures being discussed during the 2002 session, a House committee heard a plan that would address the governor's emergency powers in the event of an attack; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 4, Feb. 22, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 4, Feb. 22, 2002
Features an At Issue story about a House bill would shave $100 million in state spending for consultants; an At Issue story about how more than 80 individuals and groups lined up to fight for funding as the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee deliberated where to cut in order to balance the state's budget; an At Issue story about the House plan that would cut $35 million from corrections, courts, and public safety budgets for 2002-03; an At Issue story about the House plan which would provide some amnesty for taxpayers that are delinquent in their payments, in an effort to collect those taxes; an At Issue story about the House committee which heard a plan that would increase the state's gas tax and modify highway funding in the state; along with bill introductions; the advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 3, Feb. 15, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 3, Feb. 15, 2002
Features an At Issue story about the House Commerce, Jobs, and Economic Development Policy Committee which approved a bill that would keep insurance companies from using credit scoring to determine auto insurance rates; an At Issue story about how House members are deliberating a bill that would make the Metropolitan Airports Commission a state agency beginning in 2003; an at Issue story about a plan to improve the information health insurance companies give to health care providers about the terms of a contract; an At Issue story about a plan that would change the way local phone companies are structured in an effort to increase competition and drive rates down which will likely not be completed during the 2002 session; along with bill introductions; advance committee schedule; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 2, Feb. 8, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 2,Feb. 8, 2002
Features an At Issue story about how the House Civil Law Committee is considering a plan that would define and regulate agreements affecting people who assist couples in reproduction by such methods as sperm donors, egg donors, or surrogates; along with bill introductions; advance committee schedule; and more.




Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 1, Feb. 1, 2002   
Session Weekly, Volume 19, Issue 1,Feb. 1, 2002
Features the opening day of the 2002 Legislative Session; an At Issue story about Gov. Jesse Ventura's proposed $746 million in state building projects for 2002; an At Issue story about the nearly $2 billion projected deficit for the 2002-03 biennium that Lawmakers are facing and how they donŐt agree with all of the proposals the governor has put forward to solve the shortfall; an At Issue story about the Tripartisan Task Force on Stadium Issues which concluded its work the day before the 2002 Legislature convened and its report which recommended public financing for two professional sports stadiums; a story about Sen. Sam Solon (DFL-Duluth), who served in the Legislature for more than 30 years, who died in January after a long battle with cancer; also how the House mourned the unexpected loss of Rep. Darlene Luther (DFL-Brooklyn Park) Jan. 31. The five-term legislator passed away late Jan. 30 from the effects of stomach cancer; a story about the annual Horizons policy conference. Highlighting the event was a keynote address by CNN reporter Aaron Brown, a Minnesota native; a feture about the YMCA Youth in Government program which met at the State Capitol again this year, giving participants the opportunity to develop skills that may propel some of them to a future career in government; along with bill introductions; advance committee schedule; and more.

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