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: Jan 26 2016 12:55PM
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Legislative Update - January 26, 2016

Dear Neighbors,


As a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, I’m also a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). NCSL is a nonpartisan organization providing resources for both legislators and legislative staff in all 50 states such as: unbiased policy research, workshops for lawmakers and staff to become more effective, to collaborate better with one another, and to form a cohesive voice for state legislatures in the federal government.


Each month, NCSL publishes “State Legislatures” magazine which includes insight into the goings-on at state capitols across the country, as well as information about trends and innovations that could be useful right here in Minnesota. When I browsed January’s issue, I noticed many items mentioned are applicable to potential discussions during the 2016 Minnesota Legislative Session, and I’d like to share some of those with you.


Setting the Scene for 2016


But beyond all the hyperanalysis and grandiose claims that accompany a bid for the White House are 7,383 state lawmakers, most of whom face elections in the fall as well. Before the election, they will be working, making the hard policy decisions that matter most to ‘the American people,’ searching for solutions outside the box, finding ways to streamline and save, and getting things done.”


I expect the Legislature to take action on almost all of the 10 items listed in this article. Bills have been introduced (or will be soon) dealing with drones, daily fantasy sports, and end of life decisions. A state response to the Clean Power Plan will be on the table, and the Prison Population Task Force and Opioid Prescribing Work Group have been meeting to have policy proposals ready when session begins.


The Accidental Librarian


This article tells the fascinating story of Charles McCarthy, who pioneered modern legislative research through his WORK WITH a library collection in the Wisconsin State Capitol in 1901. Prior to this, state legislators had little in the way of staff resources for reference research and bill drafting. Here in Minnesota, the Legislative Reference Library compiles many types of essential information and data, and I find myself using the library as a resource quite regularly. Additionally, the nonpartisan House Research Department, House Fiscal Analysis Department, and the Revisor of Statutes have teams of knowledgeable analysts who provide assistance with historical context and guidance on just about any issue, detailed financial information, and bill drafting, respectively. The scope and depth of their knowledge is impressive, and especially as we get deep into the legislative session, their expertise is critical.


House Research frequently publishes issue briefs on a wide variety of topics in state government. I invite you to sign up for the House Research and Fiscal mailing list here.


On Record: Q&A With economist Christopher Thornberg


Many factors directly and indirectly affect state budgets. For example, the labor market, consumer spending, corporate spending, and interest rates. Mr. Thornberg walks readers through why the economy seems to be doing well, and discusses some of the concerns on the horizon. His remarks mirror the situation in Minnesota, and offer insight into our state’s economic prospects.


As always feel free to contact me with your questions or concerns, or whenever I can be of assistance. I appreciate hearing from you.




JoAnn Ward

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