Busy days at the Capitol! In the House, we are working on a Reform 2.0 agenda developed with the public's participation through meetings across the state. As of today, 6 reform bills have passed the House. One of those bills would change "seniority" as the sole factor in teacher lay-offs due to the public's opposition to our current "last-in, first-out" method. It's unclear whether Governor Dayton will sign this bill. For more details on Reform 2.0, go to www.reform2.mn.
Sex Offender Notification Loophole Closed
Yesterday, the House voted to close a loophole in the state's sex offender community notification law. The loophole was that the community notification process didn't apply in instances where sex offenders from the MN Sexual Offender Program (MSOP) were being provisionally discharged to a halfway house. Action was needed in advance of an upcoming provisional discharge of Clarence Opheim, a sex offender who molested 29 children in the '70's and '80's. Gov. Dayton has indicated he will sign this bill.
Financial Forecast - Feb 29th
What shape will the state be in when the next financial forecast is released on Feb 29th? Everyone I talk to is betting it will be slightly more positive than the November forecast - close to a $1 billion surplus.
Bills I'm Working On
Several bills I'm working on would increase tools for citizens to hold city and county spending down, e.g., requiring a referendum for lease bonding, disclosing special taxing district spending, and creating more transparency on the Truth n Taxation notice. More info to come...
New Legislative Districts Announced Tuesday
The court has just released the maps showing Minnesota's new legislative and congressional districts. These lines will be in effect until the next census and the resulting 2021 redistricting. For more information on redistricting, please visit: http://www.gis.leg.mn/html/redistricting.html.
Press Conference Today with Senators Gerlach and Marty
Along with Senators Gerlach and Marty, today I announced in a press conference the introduction of a bill which would create a Public Benefit Corporation, also called a “B-Corp,”. The bill would allow companies to organize under a new corporate structure that is a hybrid between a for-profit and a not-for-profit to support projects with public benefits. The bill will be heard Wednesday in the Senate Commerce Committee.