A busy week at the Capitol, including being appointed to a commission and hearing bills in committee meetings.
Appointment to the Legislative Commission on Data Practices
I was very excited to receive notification Speaker Kurt Daudt appointed me this week to the Legislative Commission on Data Practices to replace retired Rep. Mary Liz Holberg.
The Legislative Commission on Data Practices and Personal Data Privacy was established to study issues relating to government data practices and individuals’ personal data privacy rights and to review legislation impacting data practices, data security, and personal data privacy. The commission is made up eight people, consisting of two Republicans and two Democrats from the House, and two Republicans and two Democrats from the Senate. I look forward to serving on the commission with my colleague Reps. Peggy Scott, John Lesch, and Erik Simonson, and Sens. Warren Limmer, Branden Petersen, Scott Dibble, and Susan Kent.
My new commission appointment is in addition to my four committee assignments. The difference between a committee and a commission is: Committees review proposed legislation during the legislative session to make amendments, etc. before sending the legislation to the full House for final passage or defeat. Commissions are typically smaller in the number of members, meet outside the calendar year when the Legislature is in session, and are charged with taking a deep dive on a narrow or specialized topic for purposes of making recommendations for action to the full House and/or Senate.
I met with Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea to discuss the Judicial Branch budget proposal in which a 7.5% budget increase for the next biennium is being sought. The Judiciary budget includes the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, and District Courts. Chief Justice Gildea was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
In the Public Safety Committee, we discussed and voted in favor of H.F. 12 which will establish the Blue Alert system. The Blue Alert system will aid law enforcement in a speedier apprehension of those suspected of killing or seriously harming local, state, and federal law enforcement officers by using state-wide television and radio broadcasts to spread information about the suspect or suspects to the public. The next stop for H.F. 12 is the Transportation Committee.
In the Education Innovation Policy Committee, we discussed two bills. H.F. 466 authorizing schools to start before Labor Day and H.F. 197 authorizing School boards to implement flexible school schedule without approval by the Education Commissioner. Both bills were laid on the table without a vote but I expect will come back for a vote soon. Several schools in different parts of Minnesota have been operating several years with a four day school week. Research indicates strong, positive, academic success when schools are granted greater local control and allowed to innovate outside one-size-fits-all mandates.
Bills I co-authored this week include:
Meeting with constituents
As State Representative, I meet hundreds of people at the Capitol including state agency commissioners, directors, organizations, and lobbying groups. But, those I enjoy meeting the most are people from back home!
Thank you to all the people who continue reaching out to me and providing input as we take on challenges in the Legislature. I welcome your emails and, also, please call (651) 296-1534 to arrange a visit if you plan to be at the Capitol.