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2003 Session Weekly

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

The Session Weekly has been posted as Portable Document Format (PDF) files, allowing you to view the document and all its attributes exactly as the printed document. It can be viewed and printed from any Windows, DOS, Macintosh or UNIX machine using the Acrobat Reader. These files have been optimized to work with Acrobat Reader 3.0. To view PDF files, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Adobe also provides free accessibility tools for screen reader access which you must use to read the Session Weekly.

Previous years of Session Weekly


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 20, May 30, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 20, May 30, 2003
Features an At Issue story about a new law which provides $636 million for environment, agriculture, and economic development; an At Issue feature about a new law which provides $11.9 billion for early childhood through K-12 education; an At Issue feature about the state government finance law which provides nearly $599 million for general government budgets at the state level; an At Issue feature about the budgets for the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, and state grant programs which totals about $2.56 billion for 2004-05; an At Issue feature about the Health and human services allocations which total about $7.5 billion for 2004-05; an At Issue feature about the judiciary finance law which provides $1.4 billion from the general fund for 2004-05; an At Issue feature about Local government aid to cities which would be nearly $900 million over the 2004-05 biennium, under the omnibus tax bill; an At Issue feature about the $3.8 billion in transportation spending which would be authorized in the transportation funding measure, including up to $800 million for additional and advance construction; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 19, May 16, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 19, May 16, 2003
Features an at issue story about a bill that would restructure family law sections of state statute and that would also change the way child support payments are calculated; an at issue feature about a provision that would allow counties to sell bonds and use the proceeds to purchase infrastructure and equipment to connect to the developing statewide public safety radio system which is included in the omnibus public finance bill; a policy feature about how State officials and legislators continue to examine long-term policies related to solid waste management; a policy feature about nuclear waste storage issues which have continually surrounded the Prairie Island nuclear plant since it opened in 1973; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 18, May 9, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 18, May 9, 2003
Features an At Issue story about a provision in the House omnibus education finance bill would allow for school districts to solicit sponsorships for certain facilities; an At Issue feature about the $7.3 billion health and human services finance bill which passed the House in the wee hours of the morning May 2; a History feature about a 1950 state report which recommended certain policy directions to position the state for future success; a Policy feature about the discussion of the omnibus state government finance bill which highlighted the issue of appraising school trust fund land in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness; a Policy feature about a number of states which are considering expansion of gambling operations to help ease budget woes; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 17, May 2, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 17, May 2, 2003
Features an an At Issue story about how the House K-12 education finance bill would provide $11.9 million in general fund appropriations for classroom instruction and other educational programs in the state; an At Issue feature about a combined House environment and agriculture finance bill which would spend $1.12 billion, about $400 million of which would come from the general fund; an At Issue feature about how the House passed a $473 million state government finance bill that provides budgets for a number of state agencies, including the departments of Revenue, Finance, and Administration; an At Issue feature about a $1.37 billion judiciary finance measure which would fund the state court system, and departments of Corrections and Public Safety; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 16, April 25, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 16, April 25, 2003
Features an an At Issue story about Lawmakers who are questioning the roles of regional rail authorities, established more than 20 years ago to study utilization of existing railroad facilities; an At Issue story about how the House has again passed a measure that would change the way concealed weapons permits are granted in Minnesota; a History story about the Board of Animal Health, which is celebrating its centennial this year, continues battling animal diseases that could affect humans as well; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 15, April 18, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 15, April 18, 2003
Features an At Issue story about the House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee which approved a $320 million economic development budget for 2004-05; an At Issue feature about the $11.9 billion education finance plan, which was approved by the House Education Finance Committee; an At Issue feature about the state government functions which would receive nearly $413 million in the 2004-05 biennium under a bill approved by the House State Government Finance Committee; an At Issue feature about the more than $7 billion in funding for health and human services budgetswhich was approved by the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee; an At Issue feature about the $3.75 billion transportation funding package which was approved by the House Transportation Finance Committee; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 14, April 11, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 14, April 11, 2003
Features a story about a bill that would allow local governments additional flexibility in adjusting speed limits in school zones which is headed to the House floor; along with bill introductions; and more.




Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 13, April 4, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 13, April 4, 2003
Features a New Member Profile of Rep. Rebecca Otto (DFL-Marine on St. Croix), who won a special election Feb. 11 to replace Mark Holsten who defeated her in the general election and resigned to become deputy commission in the Department of Natural Resources; a New Member Profile of Rep. Duke Powell (R-Burnsville), who won a Feb. 3 special election and replaces Dan McElroy, who resigned to become the state’s finance commissioner; a New Member Profile of Rep. Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove), who is the newest member of the House, elected Feb. 25 to fill the seat vacated by Rich Stanek, who resigned to become the state’s public safety commissioner; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 12, March 28, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 12, March 28, 2003
Features with an At Issue story about a plan for tax-free zones which has been revised to include additional incentives for business development to thrive and stay in Greater Minnesota; a New Member Profile of Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights), who brings experience as a member of his local school board and former mayor to his role as legislator; a New Member Profile of Rep. Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley), who is following in his father’s footsteps as representative from smaller communities in northwestern Minnesota; a New Member Profile of Rep. Bud Heidgerken (R-Freeport), who brings a number of experiences to his new role as House member – he’s a businessman, and a former teacher, coach, and school board member; a New Member Profile of Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City), published author, teacher, and coach, who has realized the third of three life goals through his election to the state Legislature; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 11, March 21, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 11, March 21, 2003
Features with an At Issue story about how lawmakers are considering a fee for apprenticeship sponsors to help boost dislocated worker fund programs; an At Issue feature about how proponents say renewable fuels could save the state in terms of both energy costs and energy consumption; a New Member Profile about Rep. Chris DeLaForest (R-Andover), who considers his role as a legislator an extension of his lifelong commitment to public service; a New Member Profile about Rep. Char Samuelson (R-New Brighton), who brings a range of health care and senior care experience as a new member of the House; a New Member Profile about Rep. Dan Severson (R-Sauk Rapids), who enters a new phase of his life as a legislator, having spent many years in military service; a New Member Profile about Rep. Katie Sieben (DFL-Newport), who says her youth gives her a fresh perspective as a member of the House; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 10, March 14, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 10, March 14, 2003
Features with an At Issue story about the State Services for the Blind, which is set for additional cuts under Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s budget for 2004-05, provides employment and workforce services to visually impaired adults; an At Issue feature about the case before the Minnesota Supreme Court which will establish the degree of probable cause a conservation officer must have in order to search a boat; an At Issue feature about two organizations providing cancer referral and treatment services which stand on opposite sides of an issue regarding whether doctors should be allowed to have financial interests in clinics they refer patients to; an At Issue feature about Lawmakers who are grappling with which solutions would help solve growing congestion problems in the Twin Cities metropolitan area; a New Member Profile about Rep. Lyle Koenen (DFL-Maynard) who hopes to bring his rural, farm perspective to his new role as legislator; a New Member Profile about Rep. Doug Meslow (R-White Bear Lake) who didn’t expect to become a legislator, but hopes to help make good policy as a new member of the House; a New Member Profile about Rep. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) who brings experience as a community activist and teacher to the House of Representatives; a New Member Profile about Rep. Pete Nelson (R-Lindstrom) who is carrying on a family tradition established by his father Howard Nelson who served in the House and the Senate and great-uncle George Nelson who served in the Wisconsin Assembly; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 9, March 7, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 9, March 7, 2003
Features with an At issue story about how lawmakers must account for an additional $125 million in spending reductions according to the Department of Finance’s February forecast; an At Issue feature about how Judicial branch officials say Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s proposed budget would severely affect court operations in the state; a New Member Profile of Rep. Michael Beard (R-Shakopee) who brings a background in business, religion, and transportation to his new role as legislator; a New Member Profile of Rep. Laura Brod (R-New Prague) who has been preparing for her role as policymaker since she was a young girl; a New Member Profile of Rep. John Lesch (DFL-St. Paul) who hopes to help his constituents connect with the issues at the State Capitol as a member of the House; a New Member Profile of Rep. Doug Lindgren (R-Bagley) who brings many years of local government experience to his role as lawmaker; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 8, Feb. 28, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 8, Feb. 28, 2003
Features with an At Issue story about a bill moving through the House that would move the Minnesota Conservation Corps to the nonprofit sector; an At Issue feature about the joint House-Senate education committee, which nominated a slate of candidates for the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents Feb. 26; an At Issue feature about the Minnesota technology institute, which hopes to be on the cutting edge of an emerging scientific advancement called nanotechnology; a feature about Gov. Orville Freeman, the state’s first DFL governor and later agriculture secretary to two presidents, who died Feb. 20. He was 84; a New Member Profile about Rep. Randy Demmer (R-Hayfield), who hopes he can connect his background in agriculture, business, and education as a new representative; a New Member Profile about Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Mpls), who brings a background in several community organizations, including the Metropolitan Council, to his new role as a legislator; a New Member Profile about Rep. Dean Simpson (R-New York Mills), who has moved to the Legislature after more than two decades in local government; a New Member Profile about Rep. Judy Soderstrom (R-Mora), who first got to know her district as a real estate agent and then by running for the Minnesota House; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 7, Feb. 21, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 7, Feb. 21, 2003
Features an At Issue feature about Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who delivered his 2004-05 budget recommendations Feb. 18; an At Issue feature about Legislators, who have been concerned over use of the state’s Minnesota Minerals 21st Century Fund to balance the 2003 budget. The fund was initially created in 1998 to help stimulate development on the Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota; a feature about the many governors, who have delivered a budget address, but the tone and content has varied from the basic facts to intricate policy proposals over the years; a New Member Profile about Rep. Peter  Adolphson (R-Minnetonka), who sees his service as a legislator as further extension of civic duty; a New Member Profile about Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Good Thunder), who hopes to link environment and agriculture concerns as anew legislator; a New Member Profile about Rep Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park), who began his career in public service with nine years on the St. Louis Park City Council, continues that commitment as a new legislator; a New Member Profile about Rep. Lynn Wardlow (R-Eagan), who as a former teacher and coach, hopes to fight for education, as a new member of the House; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 6, Feb. 14, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 6, Feb. 14, 2003
Features an At Issue story about officials who predict emerging trade markets will provide export and profit opportunities for Minnesota products; an At Issue feature about a plan to change laws governing concealed weapons permits in Minnesota is again moving through the House; an At Issue feature about the Streamlined Sales Tax project, which aims to equalize the effects of potential sales tax revenue lost through Internet sales; a New member Profile of Rep. Jeff Anderson (R-Austin), who brings experience as a high school government teacher to his new role as a House member; a New member Profile of a longtime campaigner, Rep. Dick Borrell (R-Waverly) who now gets his own shot as a new legislator; a New member Profile of Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park) plans to focus on transportation and education as a new House member; a New member Profile of Rep. Steve Strachan (R-Farmington) welcomes the challenge of representing a geographically large and fast-growing district just on the edge of the Twin Cities metropolitan area; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 5, Feb. 7, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 5, Feb. 7, 2003
Features an At Issue story about three school districts that have experimented with alternative teacher compensation plans, but that expanding the programs to other districts may be difficult, given budget constraints; an At Issue feature about the 16 current legislators who have family connections with former legislators; a New Member Profile of Rep. Denny McNamara (R-Hastings) who is ready to represent his district by making some of the tough decisions facing the Legislature; a New Member Profile of Rep. Lynne Osterman R-Plymouth) who was prompted to run for office by the stadium debate, and now she hopes to encourage economic development; a New Member Profile of Rep. Aaron Peterson (DFL-Madison) who is the third generation of Petersons to represent the southwest Minnesota area in the Legislature; a policy feature about Gov. Tim Pawlenty who returned to the House chamber to deliver his first State of the State address Feb; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue , Jan. 31, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 4, Jan. 31, 2003
Features an At Issue story about a tour Legislators took to a number of facilities that provide services to homeless individuals Jan. 28; an At Issue feature about how the House passed a budget-balancing bill that would trim $468 million from the fiscal year 2003 budget. Conferees are already meeting to negotiate a compromise between the House and Senate proposals; an At Issue feature about a legislative auditor’s report which reveals that the MinnesotaCare program may not be collecting as much as it should in premiums; a feature about how the House majority and minority caucuses appoint whips to count votes and help assist the majority and minority leader with floor debate and administrative duties; a New Member Profile about Rep. Karen Klinzing (R-Woodbury) who brings a teaching background to her new role as a legislator; a New Member Profile about Rep. Paul Kohls (R-Victoria) who hopes to use his experience as a commuter from the metropolitan area’s far western suburbs in advocating for road improvements; a New Member Profile about Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls)who draws wisdom from many sources, including his favorite musician Bruce Springsteen, in developing his political philosophies; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 3, Jan. 24, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 3, Jan. 24, 2003
Features an At Issue story about how hundreds of farmers and ethanol producers converged on the State Capitol Jan. 16 to oppose proposed cuts in ethanol producer payments; an At Issue story about how Budget-balancing proposals being considered include the conversion of $130 million in transportation funding to trunk highway bonds, and other adjustments to transportation funding; a profile of House Majority Leader Erik Paulsen (R-Eden Prairie), who is serving his first term in that position, following in the footsteps of former House Majority Leader and now Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He was first elected in 1994; a New Member Profile of Rep. Ray Cox (R-Northfield), who brings family ties to the Legislature in his first term; a New Member Profile of Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-Mpls), who looks forward to being a part of solutions that are important to his community as a new member of the House of Representatives; a New Member Profile of Rep. Brad Finstad (R-New Ulm), who brings a youthful outlook and experience in agricultural pursuits to his new position in the House; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 2, Jan. 17, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 2, Jan. 17, 2003
Features an At Issue about the portion of the state’s graduation standards known as the Profile of Learning which may face repeal this session; an At Issue about how Corrections officials expect prison populations to reach capacity sometime this year, due to an unexpected surge in new inmates; a profile of House Minority Leader Matt Entenza (DFL-St. Paul) who is serving his first term as head of the DFL House caucus. He was first elected in 1994; a New Member Profile of Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake) who took an unexpected path to the Legislature from the far north regions of the state; a New Member Profile of Rep. Doug Magnus (R-Slayton) who brings experience promoting Minnesota products nationally to his new job as a state legislator; a New Member Profile of Rep. Stephanie Olsen (R-Brooklyn Park) has lived most of her life in the district she now represents in the House; a policy feature about David Gergen, advisor to four U.S. presidents and now a professor at Harvard University, who advised legislators to be candid, consistent, and confident while delivering the message about public policy to constituents. He spoke at the annual Minnesota Horizons conference; along with bill introductions; and more.


Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 1, Jan. 10, 2003   
Session Weekly, Volume 20, Issue 1, Jan. 10, 2003
Features an At Issue story about the November Forecast released by the Department of Finance which projects the state will have a budget deficit of $4.2 billion by the end of fiscal year 2005; a feature about Speaker of the House Steve Sviggum who was re-elected to that post by House members on opening day, and three speakers pro tempore were also appointed; a feature about Republican members of the House who now have a 29-vote majority as a result of the 2002 election; a feature about the 43 new legislators who received some lessons in how to be an effective legislator at the biennial retreat for freshman members of the House; a New Member Profile about Rep. Joe Hoppe (R-Chaska) brings a professional background in regulated industries, transportation, and commerce to his first term in the House; a New Member Profile about Rep. Morrie Lanning (R-Moorhead) who now represents the district formerly represented by Commissioner of Human Services Kevin Goodno, one of Lanning’s students at Concordia College; a New Member Profile about Rep. Cy Thao (DFL-St. Paul) who turned his experience as an intern in the Minnesota Senate and former candidate for Minnesota House into a successful bid for the House and is among 43 new members in 2003; a feature about the more than 7,000 fairgoers who took the annual House of Representatives unofficial state fair poll. See the results on page 20; along with bill introductions; and more.

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