Hello from St. Paul,
This week is recognized as Police Week and May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day. On Thursday, the House issued a resolution recognizing police officers for their dedication to keeping our communities safe and their service to our state. Click here to watch the ceremony.
End-of-session negotiations with the Governor have, unfortunately, begun to stall at certain points. While progress is still being made on negotiating the final budget amount, there has been some sticking points during policy negotiations. The Governor has said that he will not agree to any budget bills that contain policy provisions. In total, there are 609 policy provisions within the omnibus budget bills; of those 609, 536 were originally proposed by the Governor and his administration, so I am confused by his strong stance against the inclusion of policy within these bills. Furthermore, most budget bills that have been passed in previous sessions have contained policy provisions. With all that being said, I am hopeful for a strong, bipartisan agreement coming out of the weekend on all omnibus budget bills.
On Wednesday, the House and Senate both passed the conference committee report of House File 3, making Minnesota REAL ID compliant; the Governor signed the bill into law Thursday morning.
In case you may have forgotten: REAL ID was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2005 with the intention of making it more difficult for potential terrorists to falsify an identification card. According to the federal law, all 50 states need to be in compliance before January 22, 2018.
Due to the passage of this bill, Minnesotans will be able to continue to board airplanes, as well as visit military bases and federal facilities using the appropriate identification. The differences between the new REAL ID and a current driver's license are minimal. The REAL ID verifies the license holder’s legal status within the United States and ensures residence of only one state. In order to address some people’s concerns about privacy, the bill that has passed allows for a dual-track system. Minnesotans will be able to either apply to get a REAL ID, or use their current state driver's license and a passport as their form of identification.
This week, I was visited by two work colleagues of mine: Amy Manselle and Nick Miller.
Fun Fact of the Week:
There are four words that are painted on the ceiling in the House Chamber.
They are: La Salle, Hennepin, Perrot, and Duluth.
While you might recognize these words as the names of a street, city and county etc., the names were painted on the ceiling to recognize French explorers who played major roles in the discovery of Minnesota.
If you know of someone who would like to receive these updates, please forward this email to them (Sign up here).
Also, like me on Facebook!
If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding any issue related to state government, please feel free to contact me at either 651-296-4293, or firstname.lastname@example.org.