For more information contact: Andrew Wagner 651-296-2809
Hope you’ve been staying warm out there—it’s been a chilly couple of weeks. Just wanted to check in and provide you an update on what’s been going on recently in the community and at the legislature.
Annual All Parks Alliance for Change Meeting
On Saturday, October 12th, I attended the annual meeting for All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC), the organization for Minnesota's 180,000 manufactured home park residents. The president of APAC, Henry Miller, is a constituent of House District 57B and is on the forefront of issues at the legislature that affect manufactured home park residents.
It was very interesting to learn more about the rights and responsibilities of these residents, as well as the challenges they face since manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes, are not legally considered real property but rather personal property and are therefore subject to different laws than any other home owner. APAC is working to improve this situation and ensure that residents are well-equipped to deal with these challenges. In House District 57B, there are three manufactured home parks. To learn more about APAC, visit: http://www.allparksallianceforchange.org/
Photo credit: Henry Miller
Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast
This morning, October 25th, I had the opportunity to participate in a Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast to discuss "Education for the Future" here in Minnesota. Senator Greg Clausen and I shared highlights of the recently passed K-12 Education Omnibus bill and gave an overview of the issues we expect to address in the 2014 legislative session. District 196 Superintendent Jane Berenz also spoke at the event to share information on the upcoming levy referendum. To learn more about the proposed levy, visit: http://www.district196.org/levy2013/
We focused on issues relating to past and future legislative initiatives that can help better prepare students for the workforce. An informal poll at the event asked attendees: “as you recruit new employees to your company, in what areas do you find the emerging workforce needing improvement and additional training?” Answers included increased communication and problem solving skills, professionalism, and industry-specific knowledge and expertise.
Preparing our students for the workforce is one of the most important aspects of our education system. The legislature needs to continue working with all stakeholders; schools, teachers, parents, and companies to help students prepare for the 21st century workforce.
Do you have ideas about how we can better prepare students for college and a 21st century workforce? I want to hear your thoughts.
Photo Credit: Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce
Online Voter Registration
There's been some controversy lately about the implementation of online voter registration by the Secretary of State's office. Secretary Ritchie announced the program earlier this month, and has drawn criticism from the non-partisan legislative auditor, Democrat and Republican members of the Elections Committees in the House and Senate, as well as Governor Dayton.
The problem isn't with online voter registration itself -- many states have it already, and it's been shown to save money and improve a process that relies too much on paper forms that can be easily lost, misplaced, or forged.
The Legislative Auditor agreed with a non-partisan House research report that Secretary Ritchie should have sought to implement online voter registration through legislative enactment. Going through the legislative process allows constituents to give input, and allows for increased scrutiny to ensure that your private voter registration data is being properly protected, and that the program is secure and functioning properly.
What do you think? Do you support online voter registration? This is sure to be a topic discussed next session, so I would love to hear from you.
Thoughts or questions?
As always, if you have thoughts or questions about any of these issues or any issue that is important to you, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 651-296-4306. I’m also happy to schedule a time to meet for coffee in Rosemount or Apple Valley, or in Saint Paul at the Capitol—whichever is most convenient for you. My door is always open.
Have a great weekend, and stay warm!
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