Before we get down to business, a tip of the cap to the Zwilling family of Little Falls for recently creating that amazing, world-record ice carousel on Green Prairie Fish Lake. It measured 506.2 feet across, or more than 8,000 pennies lined up end to end. It’s been all over the news and the internet lately and, if by chance you haven’t seen video of it, click here.
As for this week’s events at the Capitol, this has been Week 2 of the 2019 session and the main focus has been on conducting informational hearings during committee meetings. Various state agencies and other stakeholders present overviews of the issues we face and help everyone get on the same page before we dive into the actual issues.
The Education Finance Division is off to a good start and it looks like there’s broad agreement that we need to do more to support mental health among our children. We’ll sort out what that looks like as the session progresses and different proposals emerge.
Equity in school funding is another subject we are working on in Ed. Finance. I am co-authoring a bill that would help smaller schools in our state by increasing and expand funding for the Small Schools Revenue category. The funding would increase per pupil funding for children in small schools. In addition, the threshold to qualify for Small Schools Revenue also would be bumped up to include more districts. This would help level the playing field for children in Greater Minnesota in comparison with the dollars districts receive in other parts of the state – namely in the Twin Cities. The details are still being ironed out, so look for more on this bill another time.
On a separate note, distracted driving is a problem on our roads and the Legislature is taking it seriously. As a public-service announcement, I ask people to put down their phone when they are behind the wheel. We don’t need a law to exercise good judgment.
I’ll be back with more as we get into the meat of the issues in St. Paul. Until then, be careful this weekend when the temps are expected to fall. Keep an eye on your pets!