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State Representative Peggy Scott

437 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4231

For more information contact: Austin Bleess 651-296-5529

Posted: 2009-02-18 00:00:00
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NEWS COLUMN

EMAIL UPDATE FOR FEBRUARY 18, 2009


Greetings from the Capitol,

Much has happened in during this past week, and hereís a sampling of the highlights.

In this issue:
1. Town Hall Meeting and Survey
2. Legislative Budget Hearing
3. Voter ID Bill Voted Down
4. New Legislative Rules.

1. Town Hall Meeting and Survey
Coming up this Saturday February 21 I will be hosting my first Town Hall Meeting.
The meeting will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. It will be held in the Andover City Council Chambers. I encourage you to mark this event on your calendars and attend!

Also my 2009 Legislative Survey is available for you to take. I value your feedback on the important issues the Legislature will be facing this year. Please visit my website, www.house.mn/49A to take the survey.

2. Legislative Budget Hearing
On Thursday, February 26th at 7:00 p.m. Legislators from both sides of the aisle and from both chambers of the Legislature will be meeting at the Coon Rapids City Hall, located at 11155 Robinson Drive. The purpose of this meeting is to be a public budget hearing on the state budget. Itís a chance for people like you to come and let Legislative Leaders know where you stand on the issue and your thoughts on what should be done.

I will be attending this meeting, along with other elected officials from our area. I would encourage you to mark this on your calendar and try to attend. In preparation for the anticipated crowds there has been a website set up where interested people can sign up to speak at these meetings. I would encourage you to sign up if you would like to share your ideas by visiting http://www.house.mn/budgetsignup.asp?loc=CoonRapids.

3. Voter ID Bill Voted Down
Last week I informed you that the Voter ID bill was voted down in Committee. I have had several requests for the roll call vote on that. There are 19 members on the State and Local Government Operations Reform, Technology and Elections Committee in which the bill was heard. The bill was voted down 11 to 8, with only one Democrat, Rep. Philip Sterner, voting in favor of it.

If you would like more information on the Committee, including its membership, and the video archive of the meeting please visit: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/comm/committee.asp?comm=86132

4. New Legislative Rules
Last Thursday we had our first late night session on the House Floor. The topic of discussion was the Permanent Legislative Rules. These rules govern everything in the House from how many stamps Members receive to House staff, and everything in between.

One thing covered by the House Rules is how much Members can receive in Per Diem payments. Two years ago the House Rules were changed to allow members to take $77 every day of the week while in Session, up from $66 per day. There was an attempt to change the per diem amount back to $66 per day.

I strongly supported this move. Currently I only accept $66 per day. When the state is looking at a budget deficit of $5 billion, which could be over $6 billion and perhaps closer to $7 billion in March, the legislature needs to be a part of the solution and cut from our own pockets as well. Sadly the Democrats decided they need to have their pockets fully lined with cash, while average Minnesotans are struggling. The change did not go through.

The Democrats are also working hard to minimize your voice in the Legislature. They pushed forward a rule that would allow them to limit the amount of debate on every bill. The language is worded so loosely they could allow no debate at all on legislation that comes to the House Floor. You have elected me to be your voice in St. Paul. With this new rule the Democrats are telling the people of Andover and Ham Lake their voice is not important in the process.

I would encourage you to contact members of the Rules and Legislative Administration Committee and let them know how you feel on these issues. You can find all of the committee members and information on this page: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/comm/committee.asp?comm=86100

And lastly I would encourage you to contact me on any legislative issue or questions you may have. You can reach me via email at rep.peggy.scott@house.mn, by phone at (651) 296-4231, or by U.S. Mail at Rep. Peggy Scott, 225 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you.

Sincerely,
Peggy

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