Minnesota House of Representatives


State Representative JoAnn Ward

231 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

For more information contact: DJ Danielson 651-296-8879

Posted: Nov 17 2015 5:24PM
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Legislative Update - November 17. 2015

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you are all having a pleasant week. I want to take an opportunity to share some items which I hope will be of interest to you.

National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.  Many resources are available locally, and through national organizations to aid individuals and families dealing with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. 



Prison Population Taskforce

The Prison Population Task Force will meet tomorrow at9:00 a.m. in Room 10 of the State Office Building in Saint Paul. While Minnesota has the fourth-lowest incarceration rate in the nation, our prison population grew 31 percent from 2003 and 2013, the fifth fastest rate in the nation, which has led to the state Department of Corrections being more than 500 beds over capacity, and that is with double bunking in most facilities. Double bunking, and other aspects of overcrowding, bring added issues that impact staff and inmate safety.

The task force, convened by the chairs of the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Public Safety Committee, is examining ideas to address the overcrowding.Tomorrow’s meeting will be focused on Minnesota’s drug laws and sentences, the potential for reform of these laws, and will include a presentation from the state Sentencing Guidelines Commission.

House Public Information Services will have livestreaming video of the meeting, which can be viewed here:http://www.house.mn/htv/schedule.asp

Board and Commission Vacancies

Here are some great opportunities to get involved in your state and local government operations. I encourage you to consider these opportunities. There are nearly 300 vacancies on various Minnesota boards, councils, and commissions. These panels draw upon the experience and knowledge of a broad, diverse group of Minnesotans to help facilitate the work of state government.

The openings include positions with the Council on Disability, the Urban Initiative Board, the Cultural and Ethnic Communities Leadership Council, the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board, numerous professional boards, and many others. To see a full list of board, council, and committee openings, and to apply, visit the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website. Applications are due by Tuesday, November 24, 2015.

Fraud Awareness and Prevention Week

Governor Mark Dayton has declared the week of November 15-21 as Fraud Awareness and Prevention Week.

Fraud costs businesses and organizations worldwide an estimated five percent of their annual revenues, according to a study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

Insurance fraud is one of the most costly financial crimes in America. According to the FBI, the annual cost of insurance fraud is estimated at more than $40 billion, adding $400 to $700 each year to the insurance premiums paid by a typical American household.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce's Fraud Bureau is the state's largest law enforcement unit focused on financial crimes. Its caseload has increased dramatically as the number of referred cases has more than doubled between 2007 and 2014. Fraud Bureau investigations led to nearly 200 state and federal criminal charges in 2014, compared to fewer than 60 in 2013. The economic impact of these crimes was over $59 million.

The Commerce Department also works with law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, banks and credit unions, senior groups and professional associations such as accountants to help educate Minnesotans on how to avoid being victimized.

A copy of Gov. Dayton’s proclamation can be viewed here: http://mn.gov/governor/images/fraud_awareness_and_prevention_week_2015.pdf.

As always, please be in touch with your viewpoints on issues of interest to you.


JoAnn Ward

Minnesota House of Representatives  ·   100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN   55155   ·   Webmaster@house.mn