In this issue SEXUAL ABUSE CIVIL ACTIONS

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					                                          APRIL 18, 2003
                                          VOLUME 20, NUMBER 15




         In this issue:

      SEXUAL   ABUSE CIVIL ACTIONS

2004-05 FINANCE BILLS ADVANCE, AND MORE


                                                   HF1528-HF1556
                    SESSION         Weekly
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                                                                                        CONTENTS
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                                                                                                     FEATURES
                                                               AT ISSUE: DEVELOPMENT — The House Jobs and Economic Development
    Michelle Kibiger
                                                               Finance Committee approved a $320 million economic development bud-
    Assistant Editor                                           get for 2004-05. • 18
    Mike Cook
    Art & Production Coordinator                               AT ISSUE: EDUCATION — An $11.9 billion education finance plan was ap-
    Paul Battaglia                                             proved by the House Education Finance Committee. • 19
    Writers
    Miranda Bryant, Patty Janovec,                             AT ISSUE: GOVERNMENT — State government functions would receive nearly
    Jeff Jones, Tom Lonergan                                   $413 million in the 2004-05 biennium under a bill approved by the House
    Chief Photographer                                         State Government Finance Committee. • 20
    Tom Olmscheid
                                                               AT ISSUE: HUMAN SERVICES — More than $7 billion in funding for health
    Photographers
                                                               and human services budgets was approved by the House Health and Hu-
    Andrew Von Bank, Kristine Larsen
                                                               man Services Finance Committee. • 21
    Office Manager
    Nicole Wood                                                AT ISSUE: TRANSPORTATION — A $3.75 billion transportation funding pack-
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    Christy Novak, Joseph Rude

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    Printed on recycled paper which is 50% recycled,   On the cover: Alyssa Schlander, a lobbyist for the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association, reads
    30% post-consumer content.                         a bill while sitting in a beam of sunlight at the base of Civil War Col. Alexander Wilkin in the Capitol
                                                       Rotunda April 14. Wilkin, who served with the Ninth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, was killed at the
                                                       Battle of Tupelo, Mississippi on July 14, 1864.
                                                                                                                                    — Photo by Tom Olmscheid

2             April 18, 2003
F   IRST READING
    ★ ★ ★




                                                                                                       causes injury, the court said the six years begins
                                                                                                       with the act of abuse. In the case of children, that
Never too late?                                                                                        limit begins when they reach age 18, effectively
                                                                                                       setting a deadline at age 24.
Bill would rewrite the statute of limitations for those who are                                           Victims said the court’s interpretation
                                                                                                       makes it necessary to change the law.
sexually abused as a child to file charges                                                                Susan Fuchs-Hoeschen of Sauk Rapids, a
                                                                                                       social worker who regularly works with abuse
BY JEFF JONES                                                                                          victims, and a victim of childhood abuse her-
                                                      Current law would seem to allow people like self, said many people don’t realize the effect

M
          embers of the House Civil Law
         Committee grappled with an often Dymit to bring civil charges against abusers of abuse until their children reach the same
         emotional issue in today’s context at its even later in life. The six-year statute of limi- age as when they were abused. But by then it’s
April 11 meeting: how old is too old to still be tations would start when the victim “knew or too late to bring suit. “It’s a victim’s job to for-
haunted by the memories of sexual abuse and had reason to know” their injuries were caused get in order to go forward and eventually a
how long organizations should be responsible by the sexual abuse. Since Dymit didn’t real- survivor’s job to remember,” she said.
for such actions.                                  ize the extent of the psychological damage             While no one seems to deny the suffering
   A bill to extend the amount of time childhood   until age 29, the clock would start ticking then. abuse victims experience, there is wide dis-
sexual abuse victims have to sue their abusers        But the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that agreement about the effects of waiting so long
awaits action on the Senate floor, breathing life  standard too nebulous to be practical. Saying a to seek damages from their abuser. At the heart
into a similar House proposal that had gone un- reasonable person should realize the abuse itself of the issue is the fact that the institutions re-
heard before the last-minute Friday meeting.                                                                                 sponsible for overseeing
   The House bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mary Liz                                                                                   abusers are also liable for
Holberg (R-Lakeville), chair of the civil law                                                                                damages under state law if
committee, said she was frustrated that par-                                                                                 they negligently permitted
ties representing the different sides of the is-                                                                             the abuse to occur.
sue had failed to meet earlier in the session.                                                                                  This means that any bill
   Nonetheless, Holberg said she crafted a                                                                                   potentially opening the
compromise of her own in hopes of spurring                                                                                   floodgates for new litiga-
discussion on the proposal, which has mixed                                                                                  tion against abusers also
support from legislators.                                                                                                    poses a threat to the insti-
   “It was obvious to me that the bill would not                                                                             tutions with which they
pass the House in its current form,” Holberg said                                                                            are or were associated.
of the original version of HF386, which would                                                                                Since churches and
have allowed up to 30 years for abuse victims to                                                                             schools top the list of po-
file suit. An amendment the committee adopted                                                                                tential litigants, Holberg
would allow a maximum of 14 years under cer-                                                                                 said there is legitimate rea-
tain circumstances, still a significant increase                                                                             son to provide them some
from the current six-year limit.                                                                                             protection.
   Paul Dymit of Crystal, said a teacher continu-                                                                               “(One) issue that con-
ously abused him while he was a teenager. He                                                                                 tinues to concern me is the
testified he did not realize the harm it had done                                                                            importance of these insti-
him until he was writing a suicide note at age 29.                                                                           tutions in society, whether
He said he tried to explain in the note “when it                                                                             it be church groups,
was in my life that things changed so drastically                                                                            schools, athletic associa-
… and all I could do was think back to when I                                                                                tions, or camps,” she said.
was in that ‘relationship.’”                                                                                                 “To totally annihilate
   Dymit said a psychological test concluded                                                                                 these institutions can have
that his cognitive development was inter-                                                                                    very negative ramifica-
rupted at age 14 as a result of the abuse, caus-                                                                             tions on other elements of
ing him to relapse to childhood behaviors                                                                                    society as well.”
when life gets too stressful.                                                                                                   Bankruptcy and sky-
   Eventually the teacher who abused him was                                                                                 rocketing insurance rates
imprisoned, but only after similarly abusing                                                                                 loom for many groups
more than 100 other children. “I’m only one Paul Dymit of Crystal gives emotional testimony to the House Civil Law found liable for a person’s
                                                                                                   PHOTO BY ANDREW VON BANK


of those children that came forward,” Dymit Committee April 11 in support of a bill that would modify childhood abuse or forced to reach a
said. “And I couldn’t do it until I was 29.”                                                                                 settlement with victims,
                                                    sexual abuse personal injury civil action limitations.

                                                                                                                                        Session Weekly   3
according to Ray Frost, a lobbyist for the Min-
nesota Childcare Association. “One case like
this would have an unbelievable effect on
whether or not we as an industry can continue
to care for kids,” he said.
   Daniel Connelly, a lawyer and lobbyist for the
                                                                                     Honoring veterans
Minnesota Religious Council, said in many cases                         Hiring preferences date back to early 20th century
organizations are not financially equipped to             For nearly as long as Minnesota has been promotional examinations. State law cur-
even respond to charges, especially if the alleged     a state, Minnesota’s military veterans have rently instructs extra points to be given
abuse occurred many years ago.                         been honored for their service to freedom. during the review of the application, and
   “When you’re talking about something                   In addition to being revered for their time at no other time.
22 years ago, it’s very difficult to find out what     spent fighting for their country, Minnesota                Although today’s standards are more
you know, let alone what you should have               veterans have been given preference stringent, at the time of the research com-
known,” Connelly said.                                 through employment, as has been the case mittee, a person who had served as little as
   Holberg said no matter the limits, it is essen-     in many states since the Civil War.                     24 hours in the service qualified for hiring
tial that abuse crimes are reported to police.            Minnesota has been very generous and preferences. The committee suggested the
    “The number one concern is making sure that        “consistently in sup-                                                              time frame for prefer-
perpetrators aren’t allowed to continue to com-        port of veterans,” said                                                            ence to be given to a
mit this crime,” she said. Abuse would have to be      Clint Bucher, veterans’                                                            veteran “should be
reported to law enforcement before victims             preference officer with                                                            limited to a period of
would gain any protections from her bill.              the Minnesota De-                                                                  five years after the war,
   Under the bill, victims would have to file          partment of Veteran’s                                                              or five years after dis-
civil suit within five years of reporting the          Affairs.                                                                           charge from a war ser-
crime, but no later than nine years after the             For example, he said                                                            vice, whichever date is
abuse occurred. Since the provision would              that the state offered                                                             later.” Now, active
only apply to abuse against minors and limi-           veteran’s tuition waiv-                                                            duty must have been
tations don’t apply until adulthood, it would          ers and private em-                                                                at least 181 consecu-
mean victims who report when they become               ployers offered jobs to “On the job” veterans’ training at Red Wing tive days to qualify for
adults would have until age 26 to file suit.           all soldiers returning in 1948.                                                    preference, and there
   Victims who never report the crime would            from the Spanish-               Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society
                                                                                                                                          are no time limits.
be subject to the standard two-year limit on           American War.                                              A Legislative Research Committee on Fac-
civil actions, giving them until age 20.                  However, the system was not perfect.                 tors Affecting a Proposed Veterans Bonus in
   An exception in the bill allows for parents to         In 1948 a Minnesota Legislative Research 1948 acknowledged bonuses paid to “veter-
report the abuse while their child is still a minor.   Committee was established to review veteran’s ans of World War I and veterans of all other
In that case the victim has 14 years — until age       preference in Minnesota. The committee conflicts beginning with the Spanish-Ameri-
32 — to bring suit. If DNA evidence of the crime       found problems with preferences because they can War.” The report states they were paid by
is available, there would be no limit to when ac-      conflicted with “the merit system,” and said current tax receipts or by property tax levies,
tion may be brought against an alleged abuser.         the law requires unqualified candidates to be and were “uniform without regard to foreign
   The bill now goes to the House floor.               hired for positions.                                    or domestic service.”
Holberg said she may convene an informal                  Noted the committee, “Personnel admin-                  World War I payments were $15 per
meeting before the bill is taken up to consider        istrators generally agree that veterans’ prefer- month. This preference is continued today
adding other language.                                 ence is more of a potential problem than an with the Legislature determining the
   A Senate version of the proposal (SF575),           existing problem.” The committee recom- amounts based on the state’s fiscal status.
sponsored by Sen. Gary Kubly (DFL-Granite              mended that veterans be given preference                   The most recent bonus paid was $300 for
Falls), awaits a vote on the floor. It would re-       upon meeting minimum standards and soldiers who served during the Persian Gulf
tain the six-year time limit but redefine what         “should recognize the democratic principle war, with $600 going to those in the com-
constitutes knowledge of an injury.                    of open competition for public employment.” bat zone, Bucher explained. Because of the
                                                          Another change was suggested in the state’s current budget situation, Bucher said
    Clarification                                      credit points rating system. At the time, and most veteran’s organizations will most
       A story on feedlot regulations in the           extending to today, state employers were likely wait to address the possible addition
    April 4 issue of Session Weekly referred to        instructed to use a point system when hir- of bonuses for Minnesota’s soldiers fight-
    testimony regarding the number of sows             ing. A veteran was entitled to receive an ing the war in Iraq.
    on a 1,000 animal-unit farm. The testimony         additional five points, while a disabled vet-              Over time, little has changed in regards
    should have been attributed to Dave                eran was allotted 10 points.                            to positions where hiring preferences are
    Preisler from the Minnesota Pork Produc-              The committee suggested that extra excluded from certain positions in state and
    ers Association.                                   points only be given at the entrance of ser- local government. Currently those include
       For more information about the guide-           vice, and not additionally during promo- civil service employees, private secretaries,
    lines used to calculate animal unit regula-
                                                       tions. The Legislature went through several teachers, confidential assistants, and heads
    tions for feedlots, please refer to the
                                                       changes including an amendment during of departments or chief deputies of elected
    Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s
    feedlot Web site at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/
                                                       the 1967 Legislative Session that gave vet- officials.
    hot/feedlots.html.                                 erans a one time set of points during the                                                      (P. JANOVEC)


4           April 18, 2003
H
                                                                                                                  APRIL 10 - 17, 2003
      IGHLIGHTS
      ★ ★ ★




                                                       Ethanol producers would have to file an         HF1374, said, “It’s fitting that the Minnesota
★
     AGRICULTURE                                    ownership and financial disclosure statement       Agriculture building be part of his legacy.”
                                                    to receive payments after July 1, 2003, accord-       Noting bipartisan support for the bill, Rep.
          Omnibus finance plan                      ing to a Harder-sponsored amendment that           Bud Heidgerken (R-Freeport) recalled that
   State funding of the Minnesota Department        was approved. The statement, to be filed with      Freeman “was a friend of the family.”
of Agriculture for 2004-05 would total              the department, would verify that the major-       Heidgerken’s father took Freeman from “farm
$84.9 million under an omnibus finance bill ap-     ity owners in a plant that would benefit from      to farm and small town to small town” in
proved April 15 by the House Agriculture and        state payments are Minnesota residents.            Stearns County, Heidgerken said.
Rural Development Finance Committee. The               The Board of Animal Health would remain            “He was a governor who made government
omnibus bill provides a total of $90.5 million in   an independent agency, under the committee’s       work,” said Rep. Irv Anderson (DFL-Int’l
agriculture-related funding for the biennium.       bill, with a proposed two-year budget of           Falls), who was first elected to the House dur-
   Sponsored by Rep. Elaine Harder (R-Jack-         $8.1 million, including federal funds. The gov-    ing Freeman’s service in the Lyndon Johnson
son), HF752, which outlines the proposed bi-        ernor recommends the board become part of          administration.
ennial budget for the Agriculture Department        the Agriculture Department.                           Site preparation for the new $77.2 million
and related programs, was referred to the              An amendment, sponsored by Rep. Al              building, to be located just off the main State
House Ways and Means Committee.                     Juhnke (DFL-Willmar), to allow the Agricul-        Capitol complex, began in April, according to
   The bill would increase the state general        tural Utilization and Research Institute to re-    the state Department of Administration. Con-
fund appropriation for agriculture by about         main a separate program was defeated. The bill     struction is to start this summer with occu-
$13 million over Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s recom-         proposes that the research, development, and       pancy planned for fall 2005.
mended $72 million.                                 technical training institute become the               The 342,000 square-foot, five-story build-
   The total department budget for the next         department’s Agricultural Innovation Center        ing will house 1,000 state employees and be
two years would be about $148 million, in-          with a budget of $2 million and offices in         connected to a new $60 million Agriculture
cluding expected federal funding, as well as        Crookston and Marshall. The institute’s cur-       and Health Laboratory Building by a skyway
permit and fee rev-                                 rent funding would be cut by $5 million.           across Columbus Street. The office and lab
enue. More than              What’s in the bill:       The bill would also restore $359,000 in state   buildings will be connected to the Capitol Area
half      of      the                               grant money to agricultural societies for          tunnel system.
department’s oper- Selected bills included in       county fairs. The Legislature has appropriated        The Agriculture Department currently
ating       revenue HF752:                          the fair-support money since 1868, but             leases an office building in St. Paul. The Health
comes from 300 fee HF649 (Swenson)                  Pawlenty recommended that it end. The grants       Department will move more than 700 employ-
categories that fund HF1090 (Demmer)                provide award premiums for youth programs          ees from a building on the University of
regulatory and in- HF1096 (Harder)                  and other fair exhibitors. Narrowly defeated       Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus and other
spection services in HF1202 (Ozment)                was an amendment by Juhnke that would have         Twin Cities metropolitan area locations.
the nursery, horti-                                 restored $357,000 in county fair payments the         Gov. Tim Pawlenty recommended the new
culture, and seed industries; food inspections;     governor cut in February.                          building be named after Freeman at a Feb. 27
and a portion of dairy and other farm-related          The bill also proposes increases in 25 cat-     memorial service in the Capitol Rotunda.
inspections.                                        egories of food handler and food processing           A companion bill (SF1263), sponsored by
   A major difference between the committee’s       inspection fees, dairy farm re-inspection fees,    Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red Wing), awaits
bill and the governor’s budget proposal is          and would establish new fees and a dedicated       action by the full Senate.
funding of the ethanol producer payment pro-        account to fund an expanded nursery and
gram for 2004-05.                                   horticulture inspection program.
   The plan proposes nearly $44.4 million for
assisting the state’s eligible ethanol producers,                                                                Assuring quality work
$10.2 million more than recommended by the                                                               A bill regulating warranty work performed
Pawlenty administration. The bill would base             Honoring Governor Freeman                     by independent farm equipment dealers on
ethanol producer payments at 13 cents per              A new office building for the state Agricul-    behalf of farm equipment manufacturers
gallon, 3 cents per gallon more than the            ture and Health departments would be named         passed the House 121-12 April 14.
governor’s proposal.                                in honor of the late Orville L. Freeman, under       Most farm equipment manufacturers offer
   The bill also proposes full restoration of the   a bill the House passed 131-2 on April 10.         warranties on equipment sold to farmers
ethanol program at $35 million per fiscal year,        Freeman, who died Feb. 20 at age 84, was        through authorized dealers. However, some do
based on 20 cents per gallon produced. That         the state’s 29th governor, serving from            not reimburse dealers adequately for repairs
provision would allow ethanol plants to catch       1955-61, and served in two presidential ad-        performed under warranty. Many manufac-
up to the program’s level of funding prior to       ministrations as the U.S. Secretary of Agricul-    turers lack written warranty reimbursement
the governor’s $20 million cut in ethanol pay-      ture from 1961 to 1969. In 1954, he was the        policies or agreements, according to bill
ments in February to help address the state’s       first gubernatorial candidate to be elected from   proponents.
fiscal year 2003 budget deficit.                    the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, formed            Sponsored by Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston),
   Producers would be able to collect catch-        in the 1940s.                                      HF547 would require manufacturers to reim-
up payments either before or after June 30,            Citing Freeman’s support of agriculture in      burse a dealer’s labor expenses at a reasonable
2010, the date under the bill when the ethanol      the state and nation during his career, Rep.       rate, and to reimburse for parts at a rate
program would end.                                  Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City), the sponsor of         15 percent higher than the dealer’s net price.

                                                                                                                                     Session Weekly   5
In addition, the bill would require that manu-
facturers approve or disapprove dealers’ reim-
bursement claims within 30 days, and pay
claims that have been approved within 30 days.
   Rep. Phil Krinkie (R-Shoreview) questioned
why the bill didn’t address warranties on other
products. “It could be automobiles, it could
be heating and air conditioning equipment.
There are a vast number of products under
warranty where dealers have trouble with war-
ranty claims against manufacturers.”
   Davids, who said he was asked to carry the
bill by farm implement dealers, replied that
15 states have similar farm equipment war-
ranty laws. Minnesota has a similar law for
warranty work on lawn and garden equip-
ment, all-terrain vehicles, boats, snowmobiles,
and licensed motor vehicles.
   He added that the independent dealers
weren’t having problems with major manu-
facturers, but with smaller manufacturers.
“Some of the manufacturers were not honor-
ing their warranties,” Davids said.
                                                   Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, left, and St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly testify in favor of a bill to extend bar
   Replied Krinkie, “I think there’s a simple,     hours to 2 a.m. during an April 15 hearing of the House Regulated Industries Committee.
easy remedy — it’s called ‘let the independent
dealers not sell the manufacturer’s product any    making it more difficult for them to control           amend the bill to allow establishments to in-
more.’”                                            cars and traffic. A 2 a.m. closing time would          stall coin-operated breath testing equipment
   A Senate companion bill (SF674), spon-          spread those patrons out more and help law             to instruct patrons on their level of intoxica-
sored by Sen. Dallas Sams (DFL-Staples),           enforcement control crowds, he said.                   tion. Westrom said it would make roads safer
awaits action by the full Senate.                     “We’re compressing all this together, put-          and might keep some people from getting in a
                                                   ting everyone out onto the street at once,”            car and driving because they would know their
                                                   Rybak said of the 1 a.m. law.                          blood-alcohol concentration is above the
                                                      Greg Ortale, president of the Greater Minne-        legal limit.
★
     BUSINESS                                      apolis Convention and Visitors Association, said          The bill now goes to the House Rules and
                                                   the extended bar hours will help the association       Legislative Administration Committee because
       Extending bar closing time                  attract conventions and other events. Many trade       it did not meet appointed committee
   Closing time for Minnesota’s bars and res-      shows are timed for 2 a.m. closing times in other      deadlines.
taurants would be extended by one hour un-         states, he said, and the extended time would give         The bill’s Senate companion (SF1182),
der a bill approved April 15 by the House          businesses more opportunity to meet with po-           sponsored by Sen. Mark Ourada (R-Buffalo),
Regulated Industries Committee.                    tential clients in informal settings.                  awaits action on the Senate floor.
   HF1493, sponsored by Rep. Dan Dorman               However, Lynne Goughler, legislative direc-
(R-Albert Lea), would allow all Minnesota es-      tor for the Minnesota chapter of Mothers
tablishments selling on-sale liquor and beer       Against Drunk Driving, said the bill would not
to sell beverages until 2 a.m., including Sun-     increase safety, but rather it would place             ★
                                                                                                               CONSUMERS
days. Currently, the time is 1 a.m.                stresses on an already thinly stretched emer-
   The bill would not require establishments                                                                        Taxing certain cocktails
                                                   gency response system. She said that nearly
to stay open until 2 a.m., Dorman said, it sim-                                                              Members of the House Taxes Committee
                                                   40 percent of all fatal crashes in the past 10
ply allows them to stay open longer if they                                                               spooned down mouthfuls of a patented low-
                                                   years were alcohol-related and nearly 75 per-
choose.                                                                                                   alcohol ice cream April 10 while hearing from
                                                   cent of fatal accidents each year occur between
   The mayors of both Minneapolis and St.                                                                 Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Mpls) about the mer-
                                                   midnight and 3 a.m.
Paul testified in favor of the bill as a way to                                                           its of changing the method by which the prod-
                                                      Jeff Nachbar, a public health specialist with
improve public safety and enhance the eco-                                                                uct is taxed.
                                                   Minnesota Join Together, testified that the bill
nomic viability of the downtown areas.                                                                       Currently, low-alcohol dairy cocktails are
                                                   would lead to higher intoxication levels and
   “We see a lot of traffic about 11:30 (p.m.)                                                            taxed at the same rate as distilled spirits, or at
                                                   create other significant public health concerns.
going from our city to Hudson,” said St. Paul                                                             $1.33 a liter. However, the amount of alcohol
                                                   His group works to reduce youth drinking.
Mayor Randy Kelly, referring to individuals                                                               in such items, which primarily consist of milk
                                                      “We’re throwing the barn door open on al-
driving to Wisconsin where closing time is                                                                products, is less than 3.2 percent. Kahn’s bill
                                                   cohol availability, and enforcement is not
currently 2 a.m. “And that’s pretty dangerous.”                                                           (HF78) would change the applicable tax to
                                                   keeping up,” Nachbar said. “It will lead to ad-
   Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said the po-                                                              align it with 3.2 percent beer, which is taxed at
                                                   ditional costs, to additional alcohol-related
lice officers working downtown on Fridays and                                                             2 cents per liter.
                                                   problems.”
Saturdays experience a huge outpouring of                                                                    “The proof (of alcohol) is low and the fat
                                                      Rep. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake), the
crowds from the bars at the 1 a.m. closing time,                                                          content is so high you really can’t possibly get
                                                   committee chair, unsuccessfully attempted to

6         April 18, 2003
drunk on it,” Kahn said, while members en-                                                               third grade and continue to be built through
joyed the flavors of “Brandy Alexander” and                                                              the elementary grades, Yecke said. “Each dis-
“Whiskey Cream.”                                                                                         trict has to decide how to get kids up to speed.”
   The bill will be considered for inclusion in                                                             The proposed math standards require the
the committee’s omnibus bill.                                                                            same amount of math as the current Profile
   Changing the tax status of low-alcohol dairy                                                          of Learning, said Bert Fristedt, a University of
cocktails would cause the state to lose $11,000                                                          Minnesota professor who served on the com-
in tax revenues in fiscal year 2004, $15,000 in                                                          mittee that drafted new standards. However,
fiscal years 2005 and 2006, and $16,000 in fis-                                                          “they are more precise in specific areas,” he
cal year 2007, according to the Minnesota De-                                                            said.
partment of Revenue.                                                                                        The House and Senate are following differ-
   The department assumes that about 100,000                                                             ent paths on repealing and replacing the Pro-
single-serving containers of the dairy cocktail                                                          file standards.
would be sold in Minnesota at a price of                                                                    “We need to have new (English and math)
99 cents each, and that sales would increase                                                             standards this year,” Yecke said, for the state to
by 3 percent annually.                                                                                   meet federal guidelines and not jeopardize a
   Since a liquor license is required for the sale                                                       possible $250 million in federal education
of the dairy cocktails, only bars and liquor                                                             funding.
stores would be allowed to carry the product,
Kahn said. However, she added, she may spon-
sor legislation later addressing distribution,
perhaps to include grocery stores.
                                                                                                                  Electronic library access
                                                                                                            Spending $800,000 to support electronic
   Of the items discussed, “Blend’s,” was in-
                                                                                                         access to more than 13,000 books, newspapers,
vented by the Ice Cream Bar Inc. at the Uni-
                                                                                                         and periodicals in schools and libraries
versity of Minnesota. Considered a distilled
                                                                                                         throughout the state is proposed in a bill heard
spirit by the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco
                                                                                                         April 10 by the House Education Finance
and Firearms and the Food and Drug Admin-
                                                                                                         Committee, and included in the committee’s
istration, it can only be sold to adults age 21
                                                     Cheri Pierson Yecke, right, commissioner of the     omnibus bill.
or older.
                                                     Department of Children, Families and Learning,         Sponsored by Rep. Bud Nornes (R-Fergus
   According to literature supplied by Kahn,
                                                     listens as Bert Fristedt, a member of the Minne-    Falls), HF626 would designate K-12 general
ice cream drinks can be traced back to Irish         sota Academic Standards Committee answers a         fund money, and funds from the state Higher
immigrants. Upon arrival in the United States,       question from a member of the House Education
                                                                                                         Education Services Office, for statewide li-
immigrants maintained a custom of mixing             Policy Committee on the math portion of the fi-
                                                     nal draft of the state’s revised graduation stan-   censes to selected online databases used by
their first glass of whiskey of the evening with
                                                     dards during an April 15 hearing of the House       public, school-based, and state agency librar-
fresh dairy cream.
                                                     Education Policy Committee.                         ies, as well as those at public and private col-
   A companion bill (SF809), sponsored by
                                                                                                         leges and universities.
Sen. Linda Higgins (DFL-Mpls), awaits action         commissioner, as well as the comments of
                                                                                                            “This is continuing funding for the e-library
by the Senate Taxes Committee.                       more than 2,000 state residents who testified
                                                                                                         system used by students and many families,”
                                                     at 14 public meetings during March.
                                                                                                         Nornes said.
                                                        Yecke said the number of standards for the
                                                                                                            For the 2002-03 biennium, funding for the

★
     EDUCATION                                       K-12 grades was reduced by 30 percent from
                                                     the first draft. There are now more than 330
                                                                                                         Electronic Library for Minnesota included
                                                                                                         $800,000 from the Department of Children,
            Updated standards                        math standards and nearly 450 language arts
                                                                                                         Families and Learning and $2 million from the
   The House Education Policy Committee              standards.
                                                                                                         services office.
reviewed a streamlined, updated set of pro-             “The standards are expectations to be met,”
                                                                                                            The e-library, part of the MINITEX Library
posed academic standards in English and math         Yecke said.
                                                                                                         Information Network based at the University
April 15.                                               State tests will be required for students in
                                                                                                         of Minnesota, offers state residents electronic
   Proposed by the Department of Children,           grades three through 11, with the exception
                                                                                                         access to more than 4,800 online magazines
Families and Learning, the new graduation            of ninth grade, based on the standards to mea-
                                                                                                         and journals and more than 8,600 electronic
standards for elementary and high school stu-        sure student academic progress and to meet
                                                                                                         books, including almanacs, encyclopedias, di-
dents would replace those based on the               stricter federal requirements under the No
                                                                                                         rectories, and other resources.
Profile of Learning.                                 Child Left Behind law.
                                                                                                            “This provides materials to libraries equally
   The committee took no action on the pro-             Rep. Karen Klinzing (R-Woodbury), a high
                                                                                                         throughout the state,” said Lars Steltzner of
posed standards. A bill (HF2) passed by the          school teacher, said English standards must
                                                                                                         Afton, a retired media specialist. “It’s a real
House in February to repeal the profile and          include stronger writing requirements. “Kids
                                                                                                         close on the gaps between the haves and the
replace it with new standards is included in         have to come into high school knowing how
                                                                                                         have-nots and a bargain for K-12 school
the omnibus education finance bill.                  to write,” she said, noting that she has had
                                                                                                         districts.”
   The second draft of proposed math, read-          some ninth grade students unable to write a
                                                                                                            Gordy Hagert, an Apple Valley High School
ing, and writing standards reflect suggestions       paragraph.
                                                                                                         teacher, said the system allows access to
from state and national education experts, said         The proposed standards will emphasize that
                                                                                                         “Internet sites that are safe and solid for stu-
Cheri Pierson Yecke, the department                  basic writing skills be mastered by the end of
                                                                                                         dent use.” It would cost his high school $29,000


                                                                                                                                        Session Weekly   7
to buy access to the databases the e-library sys-     contracts. Removed from the table are health       highest, would never be reduced.
tem provides, Hagert said.                            insurance plans.                                      Supporting the bill was the Minnesota AFL-
   Last year, 2,200 Apple Valley high students           The bill was approved without recommen-         CIO. The National Federation of Independent
conducted 35,000 searches on the system, read         dation and referred to the House Rules and         Business said the workforce development fund
18,000 articles online, and arranged for nearly       Legislative Administration Committee upon          is a laudable program, but that it should be
2,500 e-mail deliveries of materials to their         missing the deadline for bills to move through     funded through the state general fund.
homes, Hagert said.                                   committees.
   The $800,000 in K-12 funds proposed for               A companion bill (SF1417), sponsored by
the e-library system was not included in Gov.         Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie), awaits ac-
Tim Pawlenty’s budget recommendations for             tion in the Senate State and Local Government
                                                                                                         ★
                                                                                                              ENERGY
2004-05, said Rep. Alice Seagren                      Operations Committee.
(R-Bloomington), the committee chair.                                                                              Exemption extension
   A companion bill (SF756), sponsored by                                                                   A Swift County energy plant designed to use
Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook), awaits action in                                                               poultry litter as a primary fuel source is seek-
the Senate Finance Committee.                                     Retraining workers                     ing an extension on tax exemption provisions
                                                         A bill that would allow for fluctuation in      that have expired due to a construction delay.
                                                      the special assessment rate employers pay to          HF1533, sponsored by Rep. Torrey Westrom
                                                      the state workforce development fund is in-
★
     EMPLOYMENT                                       cluded in the House Jobs and Economic De-
                                                                                                         (R-Elbow Lake), would extend the construc-
                                                                                                         tion date for FibroMinn, a poultry biomass
                                                      velopment Finance omnibus bill.                    generation facility, allowing it to take advan-
          Contract negotiations                          HF1509, sponsored by Rep. Bob Gunther
   An attempt to significantly change the Public                                                         tage of a property tax exemption for personal
                                                      (R-Fairmont), was presented to that commit-        property and a sales tax exemption on con-
Employment Labor Relations Act made it                tee, which he chairs, April 10.
through the House Governmental Operations                                                                struction materials and equipment.
                                                         The fund provides for the training of laid-     FibroMinn is an affiliate of Fibrowatt, LLC.
and Veterans Affairs Policy Committee April 15.       off workers, and did so in 2002 for
   HF1380, sponsored by Rep. Mark Buesgens                                                                  Similar tax-exempt status was originally
                                                      $66 million.                                       granted by the 2001 Legislature. However, the
(R-Jordan), which had been tabled at a previ-            Under current law, all employers must pay
ous meeting, would dramatically affect the way                                                           construction deadline of Dec. 31, 2002 has
                                                      the assessment for each one of their employ-       passed.
unions negotiate contracts through the collec-        ees earning more than $22,000 in a year. The
tive bargaining process.                                                                                    FibroMinn Vice President Carl Strickler told
                                                      current rate levies seven-hundredths of 1 per-     the House Taxes Committee April 15 that his
   The “scales of balance are tilted,” Buesgens       cent per year on all taxable wages. Gunther said
said. Management’s hands are tied behind their                                                           company went through a long and exhaustive
                                                      this equates to $13 per year for an employee at    environmental review process that delayed
backs with unions having the power to strike,         the minimal wage.
he added.                                                                                                construction. The appropriate permits were
                                                         The bill would allow the Department of          received in January. Millions of dollars have
   The bill would require units to negotiate          Economic Security commissioner to deter-
under a structured balance, meaning a speci-                                                             been expended to date on development, he
                                                      mine the special assessment rate for the fol-      added.
fied financial sum would be given to negotiate        lowing year based on the fund balance on
within. Unions couldn’t strike because of                                                                   The Public Utilities Commission, Strickler
                                                      Oct. 1, as well as the unemployment rate, and      said, has approved a power contract in which
wages or benefits that would drive the cost           the state’s overall economy. The commissioner
above the balance.                                                                                       Xcel Energy will purchase 50 megawatts of
                                                      could choose between five-hundredths, seven-       electricity from FibroMinn.
   John Roszak, an attorney who says he’s ne-         hundredths, or one-tenth of 1 percent of tax-
gotiated contracts for many years, testified in                                                             Benson Mayor Paul Kittelson said the city
                                                      able wages.                                        remains supportive of the plant, though it was
favor of the legislation. He said the bill requires      Gunther said the provision could cause
the Legislature to maintain “fiscal integrity”                                                           disappointed with the construction delay.
                                                      employers to pay an additional $3 per em-             Rep. Ron Abrams (R-Minnetonka), chair of
with specific requirements for unions. The            ployee per year.
state budget must maintain structural balance,                                                           the taxes committee, said he likes biomass en-
                                                         Allowing the assessment rate to fluctuate       ergy initiatives, but couldn’t promise its inclu-
and so should local units of government, he           would provide a higher fund balance when the
said.                                                                                                    sion in the omnibus bill due to the state’s
                                                      number of laid-off employees is higher and a       projected $4.2 billion 2004-05 biennial deficit.
   With public employees facing wage freezes,         lower balance in good times. Keeping the bal-
limitations on outsourcing work, and the gov-                                                               If approved, the bill would cost the state
                                                      ance low in a healthy economic climate would       $460,000 in both 2004 and 2005 in lost tax
ernment determining how unions negotiate              prevent the state from tapping the fund for
contracts, Glenn West, executive director for                                                            revenues, according to the Minnesota Depart-
                                                      other expenses, as has happened in the past,       ment of Revenue. Beginning in 2007, the state
the Minnesota Government Engineers Coun-              Gunther said.
cil, said the budget shortfall is no reason to                                                           would spend $30,000 annually in additional
                                                         “We’ll never build those resources up so        state-paid homeowner property tax refunds
throw out the Public Employment Labor Re-             people will raid this fund again,” he added.
lations Act.                                                                                             due to the shift in property tax burden to other
                                                         Opposed to the provision were the Minne-        taxpayers in the county.
   It would be “better and more honest to re-         sota Business Partnership and the Minnesota
peal (the act),” said Rep. Loren Solberg (DFL-                                                              The poultry litter energy facility would cost
                                                      Chamber of Commerce. The former believed           $139 million to construct, which includes $63
Grand Rapids). Collective bargaining should           the provision gives too much power to a com-
be tough, he added.                                                                                      million in attached machinery and personal
                                                      missioner who might not use the funds for          property that would be exempt from personal
   The bill would also repeal certain terms and       their designed intent. The latter believed that
conditions that could be bargained in                                                                    property taxes and $54 million in equipment
                                                      the assessment rate, once raised to the

8         April 18, 2003
that would be exempt from sales taxes.                                                                   prevention and
  A companion bill (SF1483), sponsored by           ★
                                                         ENVIRONMENT                                     suppression, and
                                                                                                                                    What’s in the bill:
Sen. Dean Johnson (DFL-Willmar), awaits                                                                  off-road vehicle Selected bills included in
action in the Senate Taxes Committee.               Natural resources, environment funding               trail development.       HF779:
                                                       The state would dedicate nearly $1 billion           The bill would HF239 (Magnus)
                                                    toward environmental protection and natural          allocate $231 mil- HF255 (Dill)
            Research payments                       resources management over the next two years,        lion to the Pollu- HF383 (Ozment)
   Hydrogen research at the University of Min-      under a bill (HF779) approved by the House           tion        Control HF407 (Howes)
nesota would be supported with proceeds             Environment and Natural Resources Finance            Agency (PCA) for HF462 (Tingelstad)
from a storage fee charged at the Prairie Is-       Committee April 16.                                  land, water, and air HF529 (Hackbarth)
land nuclear energy plant, under a bill ap-            The measure, sponsored by Rep. Dennis             monitoring and HF605 (Olson)
proved by the House Jobs and Economic               Ozment (R-Rosemount), now moves to the               regulation enforce- HF623 (Hackbarth)
Development Finance Committee April 10.             House Taxes Committee.                               ment. A $4.7 mil- HF649 (Swenson)
   HF958, sponsored by Rep. Philip Krinkie             The net effect to the general fund would be       lion appropriation HF1018 (Hackbarth)
(R-Shoreview), now moves to the House Rules         $319 million, however total spending would           to the PCA would HF1077 (Hackbarth)
and Legislative Administration Committee                                                                                          HF1401 (Cox)
                                                    reach $966 million when other environmen-            support a clean wa-
because it did not meet policy committee            tal funding sources such as lottery proceeds,        ter partnership ini-
deadlines.                                          license and permit fees, and federal dollars are     tiative, which directs technical assistance and
   The legislation calls for allocating $3 mil-     added to the mix.                                    money to local governments for water pollu-
lion annually from the “renewable develop-             More than half of the overall package —           tion clean up and prevention. Another
ment account.” The account is the depository        some $582 million — would be directed to-            $4.6 million would fund the agency’s county
for a $500,000 fee Xcel Energy must pay for         ward the Department of Natural Resources             feedlot administration grant program.
each dry cask containing spent fuel at Prairie      (DNR) for a multitude of responsibilities, such         The Office of Environmental Assistance
Island. Xcel Energy has 17 casks on the site        as wildlife, minerals, and forestry manage-          would receive $54 million, under the bill. Of
and is seeking approval for additional casks.       ment, state park operations, habitat improve-        that amount, $25 million is earmarked for
   Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-Mpls) voted against        ment, game and fish law enforcement, wildfire        SCORE grants to counties for recycling pro-
the bill because she said two groups have al-                                                            grams and solid waste management.
ready been promised money from the renew-                                                                   Smaller biennial budget amounts would
able development account. Those groups are                                                               include $36 million for the Minnesota Zoo-
the Prairie Island Indian community and the                                                              logical Board and $31 million for the Board
wind farm industry.                                                                                      of Water and Soil Resources.
   “I don’t want to be on record breaking ei-                                                               In a departure from previous years, fund-
ther of those agreements,” she said.                                                                     ing for the Science Museum of Minnesota
   The commitments would leave only                                                                      would be set at $618,000 in fiscal year 2004
$1.75 million in the account, Clark added, fol-                                                          and then eliminated the following year.
lowing her statement with an amendment to                                                                   The bill would set new policy language em-
lower the allocation accordingly. The amend-                                                             powering the DNR to deal with the potential
ment failed on a split vote.                                                                             threat of chronic wasting disease infecting the
   Krinkie responded by stating that the allo-                                                           state’s wild deer population. New restrictions
cations to the Prairie Island Indian commu-                                                              on the importation into the state of deer and
nity and to the wind farmers could also be                                                               elk carcasses would apply and a portion of the
reduced.                                                                                                 50 cents surcharge on deer hunting licenses for
   The bill, he added, tries to move Minnesota                                                           emergency deer feeding could also be applied
closer to the coming hydrogen economy and                                                                toward wild deer health management.
declares a goal for Minnesota to use hydrogen                                                               Other provisions of the bill would autho-
as a new energy source for electrical power                                                              rize a mourning dove hunting season and
heat, and transportation needs.                                                                          stamp; allow the transfer of the Minnesota
   Hydrogen has the potential to lessen depen-                                                           Conservation Corps, an outdoors-oriented
dence on petroleum imports and reduce pol-                                                               public service group for youth, from the DNR
lution and greenhouse gas emissions, Krinkie                                                             to an existing private nonprofit corporation;
said.                                                                                                    raise state park permit fees; enable the Min-
   For such goals to be realized, he added, tech-                                                        nesota Zoo to charge an entry fee for elemen-
nology readiness must be accelerated, and fed-                                                           tary school children on organized field trips;
eral and state governments must implement                                                                and increase various hunting stamp and com-
and sustain policies that elevate hydrogen as a                                                          mercial fishing license fees.
priority. This, Krinkie said, requires a strong                                                             A portion of the money generated by water
public and private partnership.                                                                          appropriation permit fee increases would be
   A Senate companion bill (SF733), spon-           John Tuma, representing the Minnesota Environ-       directed toward the DNR to determine the
sored by Sen. Ellen Anderson (DFL-St. Paul),        mental Partnership, explains provisions in a phos-   state’s sustainable groundwater use and aqui-
awaits action by the Senate Rules and Admin-        phorous study amendment to the House                 fer recharge levels.
istration Committee.                                Environment and Natural Resources Finance Com-
                                                                                                            The bill would order studies on a number
                                                    mittee during April 16 discussion of its omnibus
                                                    bill.                                                of issues, including:

                                                                                                                                      Session Weekly   9
• improving stability in state park funding             The bill (HF859), sponsored by Rep. Doug
    through self-sufficient fee structures;          Lindgren (R-Bagley), would update statutory            ★
                                                                                                                 GAMBLING
• reducing the levels of phosphorus in the           language governing timber sales, much of
    wastewater stream;                               which has not been changed since 1925. For                    Casino plan heads to floor
• locating individual sewage systems that are        example, the bill would consolidate references            A proposal that would put slot machines at
    imminent threats to public health; and           to timber areas, sale areas, or permit areas un-       Canterbury Park narrowly cleared its last
• developing an incentive based distribution         der one new term: forestry administrative area.        House committee stop April 15 and now heads
    approach for recycling and solid waste              Under current law, the state has the right to       to a vote before the full House.
    management funds.                                take cut timber if the permit holder has not              The House Ways and Means Committee
   In an attempt to maintain a no net loss ap-       properly marked the wood. The bill would               approved HF646, sponsored by Rep. Mark
proach to wetland replacement for transpor-          instead designate the offense as trespassing.          Buesgens (R-Jordan), on a 13-12 vote.
tation projects, the bill would adjust the              Another provision of the bill is designed to           The casino plan is part of the House Repub-
watershed district rulemaking process to al-         help the logging community, particularly               licans plan to raise revenue and balance the
low for comment and appeal from transpor-            smaller outfits, with bond requirements by             state’s budget for the upcoming biennium.
tation authorities. In response to frustration       offering a “performance deposit” option that              Although the Minnesota State Lottery
over costs, delays, and duplicative governmen-       would entail a smaller bond amount.                    would operate the machines, proceeds would
tal permit requirements, a revised wetland re-          The bill now moves to the Senate Rules and          be divided between the state and Canterbury
placement ratio is advancing in the omnibus          Administration Committee, where it is spon-            Park. In the first four years, the percentages in
House transportation finance plan.                   sored by Sen. Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand                   revenues vary for both, but the bill attempts
   The Senate omnibus environmental spend-           Rapids).                                               to average out those numbers, with the state
ing package, sponsored by Sen. Dallas Sams                                                                  receiving 40 percent of the revenues, and Can-
(DFL-Staples), awaits action in the Senate                                                                  terbury Park netting 45 percent.
Environmental, Agriculture, and Economic                                                                       George Anderson, director of the Minnesota
Development Budget Division.                                 Lawn irrigation sprinklers                     State Lottery, explained the state would be get-
                                                        A bill that would require new landscape ir-         ting the second best revenues compared to
                                                     rigation systems to be furnished with rainfall         other states receiving money from gambling.
                                                     sensors passed the House April 10 by a mar-            Rhode Island nets 52 percent through dog
       Solid waste plans modified                    gin of 109 to 23.                                      track racing.
   Legislation that aims to lessen the adminis-         Sponsored by Rep. Dennis Ozment                        The agreement “doesn’t look like a very good
trative weight on solid waste managers in 80         (R-Rosemount), HF335 would require that all            deal to me,” said Rep. Margaret Anderson
Greater Minnesota counties and the Western           new landscape irrigation systems installed af-         Kelliher (DFL-Mpls). The state failing to “cap-
Lake Superior Sanitary District passed the           ter July 1, 2003, have mechanisms to prevent           ture growth potential” in revenues as the fa-
House April 10 by a 133-0 margin.                    sprinklers from operating during rainstorms            cility and clientele grows, Kelliher explained,
   The bill (HF1054/SF1001*) was presented           and at times when the ground is saturated to a         seemed short-sighted.
to Gov. Tim Pawlenty April 14.                       pre-programmed level.                                     She also expressed concern over the histori-
   When integrated solid waste planning be-             The average cost of the device is $30 for a resi-   cal trend of Canterbury Park’s public stock
gan in the mid-1980s, it was an evolving in-         dential system, according to previous commit-          prices rising and falling when the Legislature
dustry and administrators were required to           tee testimony from landscape professionals.            has acted upon a bill involving the facility.
renew their plans with the state every five years,      Similar legislation passed the House and            “Each time the Legislature takes action on be-
said Rep. Denny McNamara (R-Hastings), the           Senate in 1999, but was vetoed by then-Gov.            half of a publicly traded private company, there
bill’s sponsor.                                      Jesse Ventura, who called it an unenforceable          is great increase in the value to the sharehold-
   The systems are relatively stable now and         government mandate.                                    ers,” Kelliher said. Concerns should be raised
changing filing requirements to every 10 years          Rep. Phil Krinkie (R-Shoreview) echoed              about the Legislature’s focus on one private
would allow solid waste staff to spend more          those concerns, asking, “If people don’t have          company over others in the state, she added.
time implementing programs than updating             enough common sense to install it, why does               Rep. Bill Haas (R-Champlin) failed to
plans, proponents have said.                         government have to mandate it?”                        amend the bill by adding a version of HF1020,
   The bill also modifies Office of Environ-            The industry is asking for the legislation,         which would have authorized a casino to be
mental Assistance planning rules that solid          Ozment said, to “level the playing field” in           operated by the state in conjunction with the
waste administrators have said do not reflect        competitive bidding situations.                        White Earth and Red Lake Indian bands. The
the demographic, regional, and geographic               “This is a good technological advancement,”         House Governmental Operations and Veter-
differences between counties.                        said Rep. Denny McNamara (R-Hastings). “I              ans Affairs Policy Committee previously re-
   The Senate companion, sponsored by Sen.           think it’s an opportunity for us to conserve one       jected the bill.
Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids), passed the           of our most valuable resources — water.”                  Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Mpls) asked
Senate 63-0 on April 7.                                 A Senate companion (SF781), sponsored by            Buesgens if the governor is in favor of the pro-
                                                     Sen. John Marty (DFL-Roseville), awaits a vote         posal. Buesgens said the governor told him he
                                                     on the Senate floor.                                   would not be pushing for the legislation, but
                                                                                                            he would keep an open mind with all bills that
      Straightforward timber sales                                                                          come before him.
   A bill that the Department of Natural Re-                                                                   A Senate companion (SF576), sponsored by
                                                        If you have Internet access, visit the
sources (DNR) and the logging community                                                                     Sen. Dick Day (R-Owatonna), awaits action in
                                                             Legislature’s web page at:
agree would simplify and standardize timber                                                                 the Senate State and Local Government
                                                                 http://www.leg.mn
sales was passed by the House April 14. The                                                                 Operations Committee.
vote was 110-17.

10        April 18, 2003
★
     HEALTH                                                 PAPER     CHASE

     Informed consent becomes law
                  Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a
  Signed
               law April 14 that will require
    by
               Minnesota abortion providers to
    the
 governor      provide women with specific
    ★ ★ ★      kinds of information at least
               24 hours before performing
abortions. He did so just a few hours after its
final passage by the Senate.
   Effective July 1, 2003, women seeking an
abortion in Minnesota must receive informa-
tion from a physician about risks associated
with the abortion procedure, the probable age
of the fetus at the time of the abortion, and
the medical risks associated with carrying a
child to term. The information can be con-
veyed in person or over the phone.
   Additionally, women must be told about the
father’s obligation to support a child carried                                                                                      PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID

to term and about any state Medical Assistance              State agency staff and lobbyists grab for copies of the omnibus state government finance bill
benefits that might be available for prenatal,              during an April 10 hearing of the House State Government Finance Committee. The commit-
childbirth, and neonatal care. Women also will              tee approved the bill April 15. This was a common sight in meetings as committees developed
                                                            their finance bills.
be given the opportunity to review printed or
Web-based information about the probable
physical and physiological development of a             had not yet received a hearing. Senators ap-        14.8 percent reduction from its current year
fetus, and the fetus’s ability to feel pain.            proved the new language 41-24 on April 14.          base. The Minnesota State Colleges and Uni-
   Women will have to certify in writing that             The new law no longer contains language           versities system (MnSCU) takes a lesser hit
they received the required pieces of informa-           about circuses.                                     percentage-wise, reduced 13.5 percent from
tion before the abortion can proceed. Physi-              Rep. Marty Seifert (R-Marshall) and Sen.          current levels to $1.12 billion. The Mayo Foun-
cians who perform abortions will also have to           Steve Dille (R-Dassel) are the sponsors of the      dation sees a 9.9 percent reduction to
submit annual reports indicating how many               new law.                                            $2.95 million, under the bill.
of their patients received the information, how           HF94/SF187*/CH14                                     Conversely, the Higher Education Services
they received it, and how many went on to have                                                              Office would receive a 17.4 percent increase
an abortion.                                                                                                in general fund dollars for fiscal years 2004-
   While the law applies in cases of rape and                                                               05, to nearly $369.84 million. The dollars in
incest, physicians can waive the 24-hour pro-
                                                        ★
                                                            HIGHER EDUCATION                                the bill are nearly what the governor proposed
vision if the woman’s life is in danger.                                                                    – only $168 less.
   The law states that if it is challenged, the state         Funding package approved                         The bill would provide $24.9 million for
Supreme Court will have original jurisdiction              The omnibus finance bill approved April 16       state work-study grants and $9.4 million for
in the matter. Should the court strike down             by the House Higher Education Finance Com-          child-care grants. Language in the bill states
one part of the law, the rest will remain               mittee features better numbers than previously      that if there are shortfalls in the state budget
in effect.                                              planned but still reflects a drop from previous     grant program money would not be taken
   The law appropriates $488,000 to implement           budgets.                                            from those two funds, as is currently the case.
its requirements for the 2004-05 biennium.                 With general fund dollars totaling $2.6 bil-     In that situation, the office must first prorate
   Originally a bill repealing a law about cir-         lion, the bill proposes $50 million more to         summer awards, then add a surcharge to the
cuses, the new law took an unusual trip                 higher education than recommended by Gov.           applicant’s assigned family responsibility, and
through the Legislature.                                Tim Pawlenty.                                       then add a percentage to the assigned student
   After the Senate unanimously passed the                 Under the bill, which is to be formally in-      responsibility. An award cutoff date may also
original bill, which would have repealed an             troduced next week                                  be established, un-
obsolete law related to a ban on circuses               and will be spon-           What’s in the bill:     der the bill.                 Not in the bill:
around state fair time, on Feb. 20, the House           sored by Rep. Doug                                     Other changes
                                                                                                                                       Selected bills not
replaced the language with HF668, sponsored             Stang      (R-Cold Selected bills included in       for state grants in-
                                                                                                                                       included in the
by Rep. Mary Liz Holberg (R-Lakeville), the             Spring), the Uni- the omnibus bill:                 clude a reduction in       omnibus bill:
                                                                                 HF449 (Kuisle)             the eligibility pe-
abortion-related bill which it had passed a             versity of Minne-                                                              HF188 (Jaros)
                                                                                 HF708 (Stang).
week earlier. Despite some controversy regard-          sota would receive                                  riod from 10               HF843 (Seifert)
                                                                                 HF742 (Wilkin)
ing the process, the House ultimately passed            nearly $1.11 billion HF746 (Cox)                    equivalent semes-          HF862 (Seifert)
the bill 90-39 April 7. House leaders said the          in general fund dol- HF833 (Hilty)                  ters to eight semes-       HF1242 (Stang)
procedural maneuver was meant to facilitate             lars in the 2004-05 HF864 (Stang)                   ters, the limit of         HF1298 (Carlson)
a vote in the Senate, where the abortion bill           biennium,           a HF934 (Pelowski)              eligibility       for      HF1422 (Carlson)


                                                                                                                                          Session Weekly     11
                                                       it appropriates $3 million annually to expand        stupid night.” He wondered if over the long-
                                                       health education at MnSCU institutions, es-          term it isn’t better for students to stay in school
                                                       pecially nursing education. “With this fund-         than be forced out because of a higher tuition.
                                                       ing the state should have at least 400 more             “These students are adults and their actions
                                                       nurses by the end of the biennium,” said Laura       have consequences, whether they had two
                                                       King, MnSCU vice-chancellor for finance. Ear-        beers, 10 beers, or no beers,” Stang said. Rep.
                                                       lier testimony indicated that there are waiting      Ray Cox (R-Northfield) said there are lots of
                                                       lists to get into nursing programs.                  people in prisons and jails that regret doing
                                                          Richard Pfutzenreuter, chief financial officer    one stupid thing.
                                                       and treasurer for the University of Minnesota,          The bill, which has not yet been formally
                                                       said as a result of the bill the institution would   introduced, next moves to the House Ways and
                                                       still be looking to reduce administrative and        Means Committee.
                                                       operating costs and increase tuition and fees,
                                                       although no firm numbers were available.
                                                          The bill now goes to the House Ways and
                                                       Means Committee.
                                                                                                            ★
                                                                                                                 LAW
                                                                                                               Judicial, law enforcement funding
                                                                    Rioting penalties                          After months of testimony from over-bur-
                                                          Students convicted of rioting would no            dened courts and corrections officials, the
                                                       longer receive state grant dollars under a pro-      House Judiciary Policy and Finance Commit-
                                                       vision added to the House Higher Education           tee approved an omnibus package April 15 that
                                                       Finance Committee’s omnibus bill April 16.           tries to relieve some burdens on the system
                                                          “We’re all aware of what happened in the          while continuing to cut budgets to deal with
                                                       last few days and that is not the kind of be-        the state’s projected fiscal shortfall.
                                                       havior Minnesota taxpayers should support,”             Sponsored by Committee Chair Rep. Steve
Richard Pfutzenreuter, chief financial officer and                                                          Smith (R-Mound), HF750 includes more than
treasurer for the University of Minnesota, testifies   said Rep. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), who
                                                       offered the amendment. She was referring to          $1.3 billion in appropriations from the gen-
before the House Higher Education Finance Com-
mittee April 14 about how the committee’s omni-        the riots that took place on the Minneapolis         eral fund for Minnesota’s judicial and law en-
bus bill would affect the university.                  campus of the University of Minnesota                forcement system and a number of policy
                                                       April 12 after the Gopher men’s hockey team          provisions.
awards to students in two-year programs to
                                                       won its second straight national title.                 Appropriations in the bill largely reflect
two years of grant eligibility, and an Oct. 15
                                                          Nelson said that she was particularly dis-        Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s budget recommendations
application cutoff for first semester grants and
                                                       turbed to hear that students were saying they        for fiscal years 2004-05. However, it manages
Feb. 15 for second semester grants.
                                                       wanted to outdo the riots from one year ear-         to restore much of the money the governor
   For the services office, it would be renamed
                                                       lier after the team won the national title.          proposed to cut from state courts. Under the
the office of higher education, and its director
                                                          Her amendment states that a student at a          bill, the state Supreme Court would receive a
would be appointed by the governor. The
                                                       post-secondary institution who is convicted          6 percent cut from its base budget, and the
makeup of the Higher Education Advisory
                                                       of rioting under the definition set forth in state   Court of Appeals and state district courts
Council would be changed from a board of
                                                       statute would not be eligible for a state grant.     would both see 2 percent reductions as com-
nine people, to 15 members, including three
                                                          The amendment was approved 12-0.                  pared to 10 percent cuts for the three systems
citizen and six student members. Currently no
                                                          “I wish we didn’t have to do this,” said Rep.     in the governor’s proposal.
students or members of the general public sit
                                                       Gene Pelowski, Jr. (DFL-Winona). Added, Rep.            Most of the $34 million the bill restores to
on the board.
                                                       John Dorn (DFL-Mankato), “I can’t imagine            the courts would come from significant fee
   Other policy provisions in the bill include:
                                                       anyone not being extremely upset with what           increases within the court system. The bill
• the requirement of each post-secondary in-
                                                       they saw.”                                           would nearly double the cost of many services
    stitution in the state to provide informa-
                                                          The amendment only applies to those par-          including civil filing fees, and fees for filing an
    tion on meningitis to every new student liv-
                                                       ticipating in future destructive events. “Hope-      appeal, depositing a will, and issuing a
    ing in on-campus housing,
                                                       fully we will never have to use this policy,” said   subpoena.
• the authority for Fond du Lac Tribal and
                                                       Rep. Doug Stang (R-Cold Spring), the com-               The bill would maintain the governor’s
    Community College to offer a four-year
                                                       mittee chair and omnibus bill sponsor.               10 percent and 7 percent cuts to the base bud-
    baccalaureate program in elementary
                                                          In addition to losing state grant money, the      gets for the Departments of Human Rights and
    education,
                                                       amendment calls for those convicted to “pay          Corrections, respectively.
• the House and Senate would each appoint
                                                       the highest applicable tuition rate, including          The Department of Public Safety will also
    one student enrolled in a degree program
                                                       the nonresident tuition rate, to attend a pub-       see a 7 percent budget reduction, down from
    at the university to the Regent Candidate
                                                       lic post-secondary institution in any subse-         the 11 percent Pawlenty proposed.
    Advisory Council, and
                                                       quent enrollment periods.”                              Battered women’s shelters would see an ad-
• the requirement of MnSCU to collect fees that
                                                          Saying he deplored what happened on the           ditional $2.8 million decrease in their per diem
    fund student groups on an opt-in basis and
                                                       Minneapolis campus, Rep. Ron Latz (DFL-St.           appropriation, on top of the $4 million the
    requests that the university do the same.
                                                       Louis Park) expressed concern that this bill         governor proposed to cut from the program.
    The Board of Regents and MnSCU Board
                                                       could financially hurt students for “one                Funding for state public defender services
    of Trustees now approve those fees.
   The bill would aid the health of the state as
12        April 18, 2003
would be reduced 5 percent from base levels                HF739, sponsored by Rep. Dick Borrell               The state Departments of Revenue and Vet-
under the bill. More drastic cuts were avoided          (R-Waverly), combines several proposals re-         erans Affairs could also share data more easily
by raising fees for the service to $50 for a mis-       garding how the state and local governments         under the bill, according to language brought
demeanor case and $200 for a felony. The fees           handle some of the wide variety of data they        to the committee by Rep. Laura Brod
would be assessed even if defendants were               collect from the public.                            (R-New Prague) in HF973.
found innocent. Anyone convicted of a crime                Language from a bill (HF1162), sponsored            It would allow the Department of Veterans
would have to pay a $60 surcharge under the             by Rep. Eric Lipman (R-Lake Elmo), would            Affairs access to veterans’ names, addresses,
bill.                                                   make names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and        and taxpayer identification numbers. The in-
   The committee responded to an expected               telephone numbers collected by the state lot-       formation would be used to contact veterans
increase in public defender caseloads by re-            tery private data.                                  about health hazards they might face as a re-
stricting eligibility for the services to people           A separate Lipman bill (HF1135) included         sult of their military service or to notify
on public assistance or those truly unable to           would protect data collected by state Web sites.    dependants about benefits to which they may
pay the “reasonable rate” for a lawyer in their         Information actively submitted by users or          be entitled.
area.                                                   passively collected from users’ computers              The bill would also make public informa-
   In the area of corrections, the bill would al-       would be classified as nonpublic information.       tion about events related to the National Night
low county and regional jails that have reached         Users would also have to be warned before           Out community crime-prevention program.
capacity to house overflow inmates in private           state Web sites place a “cookie” on their com-      Information about such neighborhood groups
jails.                                                  puter. Cookies are used to track users’ view-       is currently private to protect the identities of
   At the state level, officials would be required      ing preferences and to customize the content        their members. A community group wishing
to seek bids from private prison companies for          of the site accordingly. Refusing to accept a       to make sure its specific events could be pub-
housing certain                                         cookie could not prohibit someone from ac-          licized brought the language originally con-
short-term offend-            What’s in the bill:       cessing a Web site.                                 tained in HF1191, sponsored by Rep. Connie
ers and report on                                          A state Web page would also be prohibited        Bernardy (DFL-Fridley).
                           Selected bills included in
the feasibility of                                      from displaying information about possible
                           HF750:
such plans.                HF381 (Strachan)             burial sites of archeological interest, in order
   Inmates with less HF382 (Smith)                      to prevent theft from those sites.
than six months left HF387 (Fuller)                        Data about nonpublic school students             Guardians for vulnerable Minnesotans
in their sentences HF416 (Anderson, J.)                 would also become private under the bill. A                          Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a
                                                                                                              Signed      new law April 14 making changes
would be trans- HF431 (Meslow)                          provision mirroring HF168, sponsored by Rep.            by
ferred to county HF1123 (Smith)                         Barb Sykora (R-Excelsior), would keep public                      to state statutes governing guard-
                                                                                                                the
jails or workhouses HF1229 (Smith)                      school districts from releasing contact infor-                    ianship of children and incapaci-
                                                                                                             governor
under the bill. Pris-                                   mation about home-schooled students and                ★ ★ ★      tated adults.
ons and jails could                                     their parents. The section also applies to stu-                      The law repeals and replaces
also increase their capacity by double-bunk-            dents attending nonpublic schools.                  dozens of sections of current state law, closely
ing inmates and prisons would also save                    The bill would also implement part of the        following the recommendation of a Minne-
money by serving only two meals per day to              federal No Child Left Behind law relating to        sota State Bar Association committee
inmates on weekends.                                    student surveys.                                    appointed to review the laws.
   The Office of Ombudsman for Corrections,                Language taken from HF906, sponsored by             Effective Aug. 1, 2003, the law closes loop-
which receives and examines complaints from             Committee Chair Rep. Mary Liz Holberg               holes and clarifies some legal processes, ac-
prisoners, would be eliminated under the bill.          (R-Lakeville), would require that school dis-       cording to its House sponsor, Rep. Paul
   The bill also tries to take some burden off          tricts get parental permission before adminis-      Thissen (DFL-Mpls).
of criminal courts by vesting more power in             tering assessments, evaluations, or other              Among other things, the legislation more
probation officers in 29 counties, who would            surveys that would reveal certain information.      clearly defines the roles of a “guardian” and a
be allowed to mete out punishments to offend-           Schools would have to get written consent           “conservator” as someone who acts on a
ers who commit technical probation viola-               from parents before students could be asked         person’s behalf and someone who manages a
tions. At the offender’s consent, the                   to reveal certain information about themselves      person’s estate, respectively.
punishment would be determined at a meet-               or their families such as political beliefs, men-      In the area of guardianship for minors, a
ing of the offender and the officer, not before         tal problems, sexual behavior or attitudes, il-     court will be allowed to appoint a guardian
a judge, as is current practice. The sanctions          legal behavior, religious practices, and income     for a child with the parents’ consent or if the
could not involve jail time but could include           or income-related information.                      parents’ rights have been terminated, or they
electronic monitoring, mandatory counseling,               While much of the bill restricts the dissemi-    are unable or unwilling to exercise their rights.
or other punishments.                                   nation of information, some provisions ex-          It specifies who may apply to be a child’s
   The bill now goes to the House Ways and              pand government’s authority to pass along           guardian and how that application should be
Means Committee.                                        data.                                               made. Guardians are specifically allowed to
                                                           For example, counties could share private        apply for state benefits and services, entitled
                                                        health, welfare, corrections, or veterans infor-    to “reasonable compensation,” and liable for
                                                        mation among their various agencies without         injury to the child caused by a third party to
            Data practices issues                       the consent of the subject of the data as long      the same extent a parent would be.
   The House Civil Law committee sent a host            as the information is used to coordinate ser-          For incapacitated individuals, the law allows
of proposed additions to Minnesota’s data pri-          vices the counties provide to that person. That     parents or spouses to appoint a guardian for
vacy rules to the House floor April 11 when it          provision was originally included in Holberg’s      someone they believe to be incapacitated in
approved its data practices policy bill.                HF634.                                              the event the parent or spouse is unable to care

                                                                                                                                          Session Weekly   13
for the person. They will be given the ability     promise any specific outcome. The bill is be-
to limit the powers of the guardians they          ing considered for inclusion in the committee’s        ★
                                                                                                               RECREATION
appoint.                                           omnibus bill.
   Another provision of the law creates a list        Rep. Ann Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington)                          Youth referees, part II
of priorities for judges to use when appoint-      called the bill a “fabulous idea.”                        Youth between ages 11 and 14 would be al-
ing a guardian for an incapacitated person. In        What if, asked Rep. Joe Mullery (DFL-               lowed to serve as assistant soccer referees even
order, those priorities will be:                   Mpls), a state highway crosses through the             if the players are in an older age bracket, un-
• the current active guardian;                     most expensive property in a taxing jurisdic-          der a bill approved April 10 by the House
• someone appointed under a health care            tion and the jurisdiction no longer receives           Commerce, Jobs, and Economic Development
     directive;                                    taxes for that land but still must provide po-         Policy Committee.
• a spouse or someone identified by the spouse     lice, fire, and road maintenance services? That,          HF1189, sponsored by Rep. Ron Erhardt
     in a will;                                    said Abrams, is one of the reasons for the bill.       (R-Edina), now moves to the House floor.
• an adult child;                                     Thissen said HF815 would make more                     The bill is similar to HF446, approved
• a parent or someone identified by a parent       transparent the lost taxes resulting from gov-         unanimously by the House March 27 and
     in a will; or                                 ernment purchases. Such losses are often hid-          awaiting action by the full Senate. That bill also
• an adult with whom the person resided for        den, he said.                                          allows youths between ages 11 and 14 to serve
     six months.                                      According to the Minnesota Department of            as sports officials, but limits them to oversee-
   The law specifies that an incapacitated per-    Revenue, the market value of purchases by              ing only younger players.
son will not lose their right to vote unless the   state or local governments of previously tax-             Both bills are exceptions to current law,
court expressly takes it away.                     able property in Minneapolis averaged                  under which no child under age 14 may be
   The law passed the House on April 2. In the     $14.9 million between 2001 and 2003. The               employed, save for as an actor or model, news-
Senate, where Sen. Don Betzold (DFL-Fridley)       total tax paid by the properties in the year prior     paper carrier, or in the agricultural field. Ex-
is the sponsor, it passed 60-0 on April 7.         to becoming tax-exempt was $523,460.                   emptions are allowed by the state Department
   HF166/SF112*/CH12                                  A Senate companion bill has not yet been            of Labor and Industry on an individual basis,
                                                   introduced.                                            which has been done routinely for youth
                                                                                                          sports officials working at youth sports events.
                                                                                                             About 2,000 exemptions are processed by

★
     LOCAL GOVERNMENT                                RAIL AUTHORITY                                       the state each year for youth sports officials.
                                                                                                             HF1189 would allow youth to serve as as-
          Paying property taxes                                                                           sistant youth soccer referees if they have ad-
   Enthusiastic support — if only vocalized at                                                            equate supervision and have obtained a
this time — came for a bill April 10 that would                                                           parent’s written permission.
require local governments to compensate tax-                                                                 A Senate companion bill (SF1064), spon-
ing jurisdictions when taxable property is pur-                                                           sored by Sen. Michele Bachmann
chased and subsequently taken off the tax rolls.                                                          (R-Stillwater), awaits action by the full
   Heard by the House Taxes Committee,                                                                    Senate.
HF815 relates to when a local government
unit, such as a city, buys land from a private
party within the jurisdiction of another local
                                                                                                          ★
                                                                                                               SAFETY
government unit, such as a county. The county
may subsequently lose the tax revenue due to                                                                   Focusing emergency response
the fact that the city now owns the land. State                                                              A bill approved April 15 by the House Regu-
law allows the state and its political subdivi-                                                           lated Industries Committee aims to assure that
sions to declare property tax exempt if the land                                                          911 systems accurately identify locations of an
is used for public purposes.                                                                              emergency in buildings where there are large
   Sponsored by Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-                                                                   numbers of offices.
Mpls), the bill would require the government                                                                 Sponsored by Rep. Steve Strachan
purchaser to compensate all taxing jurisdic-                                                              (R-Farmington), HF622 would require pub-
tions that taxed the property by the full                                                                 lic and private sector building owners install-
amount of taxes due the year of purchase, as                                                              ing new multi-line telephone systems after
well as an additional 18 months to two years                                                              June 30, 2003 to include corrective technol-
of property taxes, depending on a payment                                                                 ogy so 911 calls from a commercial office or
schedule chosen by the purchaser.                                                                         government center, for example, would show
   However, the bill would allow any city,                                                                operators the correct address of a potential
county, township, or school district to waive                                                             emergency.
                                                                               PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID
the compensation payment altogether. Thissen                                                                 At a previous hearing, Strachan said the bill
said this provision acknowledges when gov-           Hennepin County Commissioner Randy
                                                     Johnson, right, testifies April 16 before the
                                                                                                          may resolve a long-standing problem 911 sys-
ernment units work together on one project.          House Taxes Committee on a bill that would           tems have had locating addresses. Multi-line
   Rep. Ron Abrams (R-Minnetonka), chair of          abolish the Regional Rail Authority. Gary            phone systems that require the user to dial “9”
the taxes committee, said HF815 seemed like          Erickson, left, authority director, also testified   for an outside line will often show the emer-
a good idea and therefore was on his “A-list”        before the committee.                                gency operator the address of a business head-
of bills to study further. However, he did not                                                            quarters or a phone line switching location,

14        April 18, 2003
rather than the location of where the
potential emergency call originated.
   The bill provides exemptions for businesses
that have one large location, those with 24-
hour security staffs that assist emergency re-
sponders, and those that currently provide
correct information for public emergency ser-
vices to respond properly.
   Previously, the bill would have required all
multi-line telephone systems to install the
technology by June 30, 2007, but an amend-
ment to remove that requirement, and only
require new systems to include the technol-
ogy, was removed by the committee.
   Because the bill did not meet the established
committee deadline for policy bills, it now goes
to the House Rules and Legislative Adminis-
tration Committee, which will determine
whether the bill may be exempted from dead-
line requirements.
   In 1996, Gov. Arne Carlson vetoed a similar
                                                    Tom Berge, left, business manager for Minnetonka Public Schools, and Tom Mich, superintendent of
bill, citing its excessive cost for requiring the   Orono Schools, explain their proposal for voter-approved adjustment of referendum revenue during
location of every phone line in a multi-line        an April 15 hearing of the House Taxes Committee.
system to be identified. No fiscal note was of-
fered for the current bill.                         Public Schools. It’s a fallacy, they said, that              Market value concerns
   A companion bill (SF653), sponsored by           Twin Cities metropolitan area school districts        A philosophical debate about the merits of
Sen. Dallas Sams (DFL-Staples), was re-             are wealthy.                                       a program aimed at keeping escalating prop-
referred to the Senate Finance Committee               Among the school districts of Minnetonka,       erty values in check was staged April 14 with
April 10, where it awaits additional action.        Wayzata, Hopkins, Orono, Edina, St. Louis          the presentation of three nearly identical bills.
                                                    Park, and Eden Prairie, the 10-year increase          HF11, sponsored by Rep. Joe Mullery (DFL-
                                                    in spending is two-thirds of the state average,    Mpls); HF241, sponsored by Rep. Michael

★
     TAXES                                          Berge said. There are fewer teachers compared
                                                    to student populations than in other areas of
                                                                                                       Paymar (DFL-St. Paul); and HF405, sponsored
                                                                                                       by Rep. Ron Erhardt (R-Edina) would either
            School levy dollars                     the state. And referendum issues do not always     repeal or delay the scheduled phase-out of the
   Stating that per-pupil expenditures in met-      gain voter approval.                               state’s limited market value program. The bills
ropolitan areas are not keeping up with state          However, Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-                will be considered for inclusion in the House
K-12 funding, Rep. Barb Sykora (R-Excelsior)        Virginia) said HF721 would only increase the       Taxes Committee omnibus bill.
is seeking permission for school districts to       disparities between metropolitan and Greater          According to nonpartisan House research-
automatically allow for inflation in their ex-      Minnesota school districts. “Things are getting    ers, the limited market value program was cre-
cess levies.                                        more and more unfair and it has to do with         ated by the Legislature to keep property taxes
   HF721, presented April 15 to the House           your most recent tax policies,” he said to         in check by limiting the amount that a
Taxes Committee, would allow school districts       Sykora.                                            property’s value can grow through the years.
to increase revenue obtained through levy ref-         Sykora disagreed, citing one report that        Eligible properties include residential, agricul-
erenda annually for inflation — provided that       ranked Virginia 51st in spending and her           tural, timberland, and seasonal recreational
the election ballot states that the levy may in-    school district 88th.                              residential, such as cabins.
crease per-pupil referendum revenues by the            “All we’re trying to do is keep up by paying       In calculating which property among these
rate of inflation.                                  totally our own way,” Sykora added.                categories qualifies, the assessor continues to
   Under current law, school districts can state       Rep. Ann Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington)           determine the property’s fair market value, of-
on the ballot a schedule of annual increases.       said rural legislators should support the bill     ten called the estimated market value. How-
The bill proposes that the schedule be replaced     because it doesn’t ask for additional state sup-   ever, qualifying property is taxed at the limited
with a statement regarding inflation.               port, but does ask that school districts be al-    market value rate if its growth exceeds the
   School boards could not make the voter-          lowed to ask their own constituents for            limit.
approved annual inflation increase without          increased taxes.                                      To determine the limit for taxes due in 2003,
adopting a resolution each year stating the in-        “If I were a rural member, I would love this    the market value increase must not exceed the
flation rate formula.                               bill,” Lenczewski said.                            greater of: 10 percent of the limited market
   School districts with levies in place at the        The bill will be considered for inclusion in    value in the preceding assessment year; or
time the law changes, should the bill become        the tax committee’s omnibus bill.                  15 percent of the difference between the cur-
law, could only increase those levies for infla-       A Senate companion bill (SF1223), sponsored     rent year’s estimated market value and the pre-
tion by conducting an election on the issue.        by Sen. David Gaither (R-Plymouth), awaits ac-     vious year’s limited market value.
   Speaking in favor of the bill was Tom Mich,      tion in the Senate Finance Committee.                 In 2001, a law was enacted to phase out the
superintendent of Orono Schools, and Tom                                                               limited market value program over six years,
Berge, business manager for Minnetonka                                                                 from assessment years 2002 to 2007.

                                                                                                                                     Session Weekly   15
Therefore, all property will be valued at full        Furthermore, few people attend the Truth-       property and class 4c commercial resort prop-
market value for property tax purposes begin-      in-Taxation meetings.                              erty is due May 15. However, most resorts don’t
ning in 2007 for taxes due in 2008.                   “The intentions are good, but what’s actu-      open for business before Memorial Day.
   However, the bills’ authors believe the pro-    ally happening isn’t what the intent is,” said        Fuller said the bill, which would delay the
gram should not be phased out at all, or that      Marquart, of the Truth-in-Taxation process.        payment to July 15, would relieve cash flow
the phase out should be delayed.                      To be compensated for participation, cities     problems faced by small resort owners.
   Paymar said his bill aims to delay the phase    and counties would have to conduct citizen            Testifying for the bill was Mike Tonnes,
out, with the intent that the issue be revisited   budget workshop meetings, and meet certain         owner of Papoose Bay Lodge in Park Rapids.
later. “Let’s see what happens when the            attendance thresholds at those meetings. The       Small- and medium-sized resorts have seen
economy improves,” he said.                        bill delineates items that must be discussed,      their winter customer base drop dramatically
   Brooklyn Center Mayor Myrna Kragnus             such as the local government’s budget process,     in the past five years due to a lack of measur-
supported the bills, saying the program should     expenditures, and priorities, as well as rev-      able snow, he said. This has cost him $100,000
not be phased out because market value in-         enues, debts, and capital requests.                in lost profit.
creases are exceeding income increases.               Per-capita compensation would be $2 for            Furthermore, Tonnes added, this summer’s
Mullery added that many are worried what           cities with populations less than 2,500, and       reservations are also down due to the war in
would happen to low-income homeowners              $1 for all other cities and counties.              Iraq and higher fuel prices. “We’re just having
when the program expires.                             Another bonus for participation exists un-      a tough time and we’re not alone.”
   But other representatives said the program      der the bill. Beginning in calendar year 2005,        But Rep. Joe Mullery (DFL-Mpls) and Rep.
does the opposite of what it was intended to       local governments meeting program require-         Ron Abrams (R-Minnetonka), the committee
accomplish and simply shifts the tax burden.       ments for the subsequent year’s budget pro-        chair, questioned whether approving the bill
Rep. Ann Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington)              cess could forgo separate Truth-in-Taxation        would cause other seasonal business owners
said the limited market value program is           public hearings, and could reduce the size of      to request a tax payment delay. Abrams was
“crazy” because it says that those whose assets    the mandatory newspaper ad that lists current      further concerned that a tax property payment
have increased in value shouldn’t have to pay      and proposed property tax amounts and              delay would negatively impact the cash flow
more.                                              changes.                                           of counties.
   And Rep. William Kuisle (R-Rochester) said         Marquart said that if every city and county        Echoing Abrams’ concern was Keith
limiting property values doesn’t necessarily       participated, the state would spend $9.4 million   Carlson, executive director of the Metropoli-
limit spending on the part of local government     on per-capita compensations — less than infla-     tan Inter-County Association. State law already
units that benefit from the property taxes.        tion on the local government aid program.          allows seasonal business to delay the first-half
   HF11 and HF405 lack Senate companion               Rep. Dick Borrell (R-Waverly) questioned        tax payment to June 1. And, he added, many
bills. The Senate companion for HF241 is           what would happen if a city of 100,000 man-        counties operate without property tax rev-
SF211, sponsored by Sen. Richard Cohen             aged to get 230 people to attend budget work-      enues for the first five months of any given
(DFL-St. Paul). It awaits action by the Senate     shop meetings, falling short of the 250-person     year.
Taxes Committee.                                   requirement. The city would have spent the            “Cash flow is an extremely critical issue for
                                                   money on the program, yet not received the         us,” Carlson said.
                                                   per-capita compensation, he said.                     Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth) said
     Encouraging citizen involvement                  Marquart replied that the city would still      the matter is of concern because property taxes
   Increasing sparse public participation in       gain from increased participation and by en-       are increasing in lake areas, which alone could
both the property tax system and the budget        couraging leadership among constituents.           force some resorts out of business.
process conducted by cities and counties is one       “I think this is a good approach to get some       Abrams indicated that adding a sunset pro-
goal of a bill discussed by the House Taxes        more representation,” said Rep. Dean Simpson       vision to the bill might be in order.
Committee April 15.                                (R-New York Mills), a former mayor who said           A Senate companion bill (SF321), spon-
   HF1089, sponsored by Rep. Paul Marquart         he has witnessed sparse attendance at Truth-       sored by Sen. Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point),
(DFL-Dilworth), calls for cities and counties      in-Taxation meetings.                              awaits action by the Senate Taxes Committee.
to create “citizen investment and local govern-       The bill will be considered for inclusion in
ment excellence programs.” Participation           the taxes committee’s omnibus bill.
would be voluntary, but local governments             A Senate companion bill has not yet been                     Resort assistance
meeting certain requirements would be com-         introduced.                                          A bill that supporters say would help pre-
pensated through a per-capita aid payment                                                             serve small resorts by creating a tax deferment
from the annual inflation adjustment made to                                                          program for them was heard by the House
the state local government aid program.                                                               Taxes Committee April 10.
   The bill would also have cities and counties              Resort payment delay                       HF331, sponsored by Rep. Larry Howes
mailing mandatory Truth-In-Taxation notices           Resort owners meeting certain qualifica-        (R-Walker), would create a valuation and tax
earlier in the year to allow constituents a real   tions would be allowed to delay the first half     deferment program for class 1c homesteaded
shot at helping local elected officials shape      of their annual property tax payment by two        resorts. The program is identical to the agri-
property tax levies. Currently, proposed taxa-     months, under a bill heard by the House Taxes      cultural “Green Acres” program.
tion notices are mailed in mid-November, and       Committee April 10.                                  Under the bill, taxes would be based on the
public meetings are held largely in December.         HF364, sponsored by Rep. Doug Fuller            use of the property as a resort and not solely
However, by that time most cities and coun-        (R-Bemidji), will be considered for inclusion      on the estimated market value of the land. The
ties have approved their budgets for the fol-      in the committee’s omnibus bill.                   amount of taxes based on the land’s market
lowing year.                                          Under current law, first half property tax      value that exceeds the tax based on the resort
                                                   payments on class 1c homesteaded resort            would be deferred. If the resort is later sold,

16        April 18, 2003
the difference between the two tax assessments                                                                               The 14-term House member grew up in
must be paid for that year, as well as for the               ★
                                                                  VETERANS                                                Bosnia and Herzegovina, formerly part of Yu-
two previous years.                                                                                                       goslavia, and speaks Russian, Spanish, and
                                                                          Classified paperwork
   The person purchasing the resort would also                                                                            Latin, among other languages. “English is
                                                                Veterans’ military discharge papers filed on
qualify for the tax deferment program.                                                                                    number one in the world because dollars
                                                             or after Jan. 1, 2004 could be classified as pri-
   David Thompson, owner of Fisherman’s                                                                                   speak,” Jaros said.
                                                             vate data under a bill passed 133-0 by the
Village Resort in Otter Tail County, said the                                                                                He asked education commissioner Cheri
                                                             House April 14.
bill addresses the rising value of lakeshore                                                                              Pierson Yecke if any linguists were on the vol-
                                                                Rep. Jeff Anderson (R-Austin), the sponsor
property that subsequently drives up property                                                                             unteer committees that drafted the revised
                                                             of HF768 said the bill “would help protect our
taxes for small resort owners who help fuel the                                                                           standards.
                                                             veterans from identity theft.” He said the Min-
state’s economy.                                                                                                             “No linguists,” Yecke said. She and Jaros then
                                                             nesota Department of Veterans Affairs brought
   Rising taxes are forcing some resort owners                                                                            exchanged greetings in Slovak.
                                                             the idea to him.
to close, according to a letter submitted to the                                                                             Jaros said his native language was a mix of
                                                                Currently any person can walk into the
committee by Joel Carlson, a lobbyist for the                                                                             Slovak, a Polish dialect, with gypsy and other
                                                             veteran’s building and request someone’s dis-
Congress of Minnesota Resorts. Where there                                                                                influences.
                                                             charge papers. Private information, such as a
were once 3,000 family-operated resorts, there                                                                               “Maybe we’re cousins here,” Yecke
                                                             social security number, is included on dis-
are now fewer than 1,000, according to the                                                                                responded.
                                                             charge papers and can be used to steal a
letter.
                                                             person’s identity.
   “The Legislature can’t make the snow fall,
                                                                Under the bill, the only people authorized
the sun shine, or the fish bite,” Carlson stated                                                                             During April15 debate about the state gov-
                                                             to obtain a copy of the papers are the veteran,
in his letter. “However, HF331 sends a strong                                                                             ernment finance omnibus bill, Rep. Phyllis
                                                             surviving spouse of the veteran, surviving
message that the Legislature recognizes the                                                                               Kahn (DFL-Mpls) unsuccessfully offered an
                                                             child of the veteran, surviving parent of the
important contribution the small resort indus-                                                                            amendment to fund the Legislative Commis-
                                                             veteran, and the guardian of a veteran.
try plays in our economy.”                                                                                                sion on the Economic Status of Women.
                                                                The bill now moves to the Senate where it is
   Connie Filley, owner of Cedar Point Resort                                                                                After Kahn expressed reasons why she be-
                                                             sponsored by Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red
in Spicer, said that the average lake resort in                                                                           lieves the commission is important and should
                                                             Wing).
Minnesota consists of nine cabins and is                                                                                  be funded, Rep. Jim Rhodes (R-St. Louis Park)
owned by a couple. Fewer than 25 resorts in                                                                               asked Kahn if she makes the same wage as the
Minnesota have more than 30 cabins, she                                                                                   rest of the legislators. Kahn said she did, “but
added.                                                                                                                    I work a lot harder.”
   “The number of resorts is declining,” she                                                                                 During the roll call vote on the amendment
said. “A vacation at the lake should be avail-                                                                            Rhodes voted for it, “because Rep. Kahn works
able to all your constituents, not just the ones                                                                          so hard,” he said with a chuckle.
who can afford lakeshore property.”                                                                                          Rep. Marty Seifert (R-Marshall) then voted
   HF331 will be considered for inclusion in                   During the House Education Policy                          no, saying, “Because my wife told me to.”
the tax committee’s omnibus bill.                            Committee’s April 15 discussion on new state
   A Senate companion bill (SF322), spon-                    academic standards for public school students,
sored by Sen. Dallas Sams (DFL-Staples),                     Rep. Mike Jaros (DFL-Duluth) reviewed his
awaits action by the Senate Taxes Committee.                 extensive experience with languages.




                                                              Frequently called numbers
                                                                                (Area code 651)
  Information, House                                           Information, Senate                                          Committee Hotline, Senate ...... 296-8088
  175 State Office Building ............ 296-2146              231 Capitol ................................... 296-0504     Legislative Reference Library
  Toll free ............................. 1-800-657-3550       Toll free ............................. 1-888-234-1112       645 State Office Building ............ 296-3398
  TTY, House ................................. 296-9896        TTY, Senate ................................. 296-0250       Governor’s Office
  Toll free ............................. 1-800-657-3550       Toll free ............................. 1-888-234-1112       130 Capitol ................................... 296-3391
  Chief Clerk of the House                                     Secretary of the Senate                                      Attorney General’s Office
  211 Capitol ................................... 296-2314     231 Capitol ................................... 296-2343     102 Capitol ................................... 296-6196
  Index, House                                                 Voice mail/order bills ................. 296-2343            Secretary of State’s Office
  211 Capitol ................................... 296-6646     Index, Senate                                                180 State Office Building ............ 296-2803
  Sergeant-at-Arms, House                                      110 Capitol ................................... 296-5560     Capitol Security
  45 State Office Building .............. 296-4860             Sergeant-at-Arms, Senate                                     B-5 Capitol ................................... 296-6741
  Committee Hotline, House ....... 296-9283                    Senate Chamber ......... 296-7514/296-1119                   Emergency ................................... 296-2100




                                                                                                                                                                Session Weekly         17
     T ISSUE: DEVELOPMENT
 A    ★ ★ ★




                                                                                                     45.5 percent in 2002 and a 47 percent in 2003

Difficult choices                                                                                    for a total of $505,000.
                                                                                                        State Services for the Blind’s focus is train-
                                                                                                     ing blind and visually impaired adults for
Omnibus bill would fund services for physically impaired, but                                        work, and finding jobs for them.The National
                                                                                                     Eye Institute estimates there are 87,577 blind
not all others who requested assistance                                                              and visually impaired people in Minnesota.
                                                                                                        Restored in the bill is funding for the Cen-
BY MIRANDA BRYANT                                   $1.39 million in funding from the federal        ter for Rural Policy and Development, a non-


A
      proposed $320 million economic                government.                                                                   partisan, nonprofit
      development budget for the 2004-05               Centers for Independent Living help people
                                                                                                           Not in the bill:       entity in St. Peter.
      biennium moved forward April 16, lay-         with disabilities live independently, at times     Selected bills not Established in 1997
ing out appropriations for everything from          helping them move from nursing homes or            included in HF748:         by the Legislature,
laid-off workers to homeless shelters, to artist    helping them remain in their personal              HF728 (Clark)              it is charged with
grants and flood damage repairs in Roseau.          residences.                                                                   researching greater
                                                                                                       HF1283 (Clark)
   Approved by the House Jobs and Economic             Nearly $7.4 million in the 2004-05 bien-                                   Minnesota social
Development Finance Committee,the budget            nium is proposed for family homeless preven-     and economic issues, including health care,
does not veer far from the economic develop-        tion and assistance programs. The money          transportation, housing, crime, and job train-
ment budget Gov. Tim Pawlenty proposed.             would be appropriated from a federal Tem-        ing.
HF748, sponsored by Rep. Bob Gunther                porary Assistance to Needy Families grant.          The governor proposed eliminating the
(R-Fairmont), the chair of the committee, now          An additional $3.4 million in the biennium    center’s funding altogether.
moves to the House Ways and Means                   for transitional housing programs would also        The Minnesota Arts Board would fare bet-
Committee.                                          be appropriated from the federal grant. Tran-    ter under the committee bill than the
   Due to the governor’s efforts to overcome a      sitional housing helps people living in home-    governor’s proposal. The bill would appropri-
projected $4.2 billion deficit in the next bien-    less shelters gain independence in secure and    ate $17.2 million in the biennium, with the
nium, many of the committee’s line-item ap-         safe housing.                                    bulk of it earmarked for artists’ grants
propriations represent cuts to or elimination          State Services for the Blind, which has ex-   ($11.5 million) and for appropriations to re-
of programs. However, funding for several           perienced severe budget cuts in recent years,    gional arts councils ($4.8 million).
programs was restored in the bill.                  would receive a $4.4 million appropriation in       The budget doesn’t include money for the
   Earmarked for                                    2004 and again in 2005. Pawlenty’s budget        Minnesota Film and TV Board, the Displaced
2002 flood damage          What’s in the bill:      called for a $1.3 million reduction over the     Homemaker Program, the State Humanities
in the Roseau area                                  next two years. The agency’s budget was cut
                         Selected bills included                                                     Continued on page 24
is $5.8 million, rep-
                         in HF748:
resenting money
for grants, infra-
                         HF237 (Dempsey)
structure, engineer-     HF344 (Dorman)
ing and design           HF561 (Gerlach)
plans, and residen-      HF575 (Gerlach)
tial       property      HF623 (Hackbarth)
buyouts.                 HF800 (Hackbarth)
   Minnesota Tech-       HF971 (Gerlach)
nology Inc. would
gain $2 million in 2004, but nothing thereaf-
ter in language specifically stating that no base
funding be provided in future years. The gov-
ernor proposed that state funding be elimi-
nated for the technology based economic
development organization that serves Greater
Minnesota.
   Nearly all state funding for Centers for In-
dependent Living is restored in HF748. The
governor’s proposed budget eliminated
$1.87 million in 2004, leaving the agency with-
out state funding. The committee bill would                                                                                      PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID
appropriate $1.3 million in both 2004 and           A packed house listens as the House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee debates its
2005. The agency also receives about                omnibus finance bill.

18        April 18, 2003
     T ISSUE: EDUCATION
 A    ★ ★ ★




                                                                                                           Eileen Wallace of Willmar, chair of the Min-

Digging deep                                                                                             nesota Community Action Association, spoke
                                                                                                         in opposition to the proposed cut in Head
                                                                                                         Start aid. “When budget cuts hit the most vul-
Funding package shifts money to provide additional aid for                                               nerable,” she said, “our society becomes weaker
                                                                                                         because of it.”
after school and summer school programs, cuts Head Start                                                   Brandon St. Julien, a St. Paul parent with
                                                                                                         children in Head Start, said, “There has to be
BY TOM LONERGAN                                         The bill incorporates the majority of cuts       another way to go about this. Some of these


A
      n omnibus education finance bill, which        Pawlenty proposed in supplemental programs          kids need these programs.”
      would potentially reduce some cuts             like community and adult education, and it            Schools have been cutting their budgets for
      proposed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty for              would limit the growth of compensatory rev-         the past year, said Pam Costain, representing
K-12 education programs, was approved                enue for school districts with large concentra-     Save Our Schools, which she described as a
April 15 by the House Education Finance              tions of students that meet federally defined       nonpartisan group of parents and citizens.
Committee.                                           poverty guidelines.                                 “There is no fat left on the bone. We are mov-
   Sponsored by Rep. Alice Seagren                      Compensatory revenue, as proposed in the         ing toward the heart of the classroom.”
(R-Bloomington), the committee chair,
HF1404 proposes a state general fund appro-
priation of $11.9 billion to fund public schools                         “We tried to respond to some of the concerns about the
for the next two years. Locally generated prop-                        governor’s proposal. It’s not a fun thing for any of us to have
erty tax revenue would provide an estimated                                    to do. It will be a difficult couple of years.”
$2.8 billion in education funding for 2004-05.                                                                  — Rep. Alice Seagren
   As recommended by the governor, the bill
proposes neither an increase in state aid per
pupil funding nor an increase in property tax        bill, would not be linked to the state’s general       The committee and the governor both put
levy authority for school districts.                 education formula. That would potentially           “less resources on the table for students in
   The bill, which was referred to the House Taxes   reduce future revenue for the Minneapolis and       poverty,” said Jim Grathwol, representing Min-
Committee, would match the governor’s pro-           St. Paul districts, which have large numbers        neapolis Public Schools. The bill, he said, “will
posed spending target for K-12 education, but        of poor students. The bill proposes a “non-         leave a few more children behind.”
proposes some funding shifts between accounts        concentration compensatory formula” with               In response to Grathwol’s testimony, Rep.
to provide school                                    districts receiving $500 for each student that      Phil Krinkie (R-Shoreview) said there will be
districts with more          What’s in the bill:     meets the poverty income definition.                some children that “are always not going to be
money than the gov-                                     Simplifying how pupil units are counted, as      able to keep up” whom “we won’t have a pro-
                          Selected bills included    proposed in the bill, to 0.5 for a kindergart-      gram for. No one wants a child to fail.”
ernor proposed for
after school and          in HF1404:                 ner; 1.0 for an elementary student; and 1.3 for        Proposed cuts in funding for English language
summer school re-         HF2 (Kielkucki)            a middle and secondary school student would         learners will be a hard hit on St. Paul’s schools,
medial education          HF206 (Seagren)            also affect the amount of state revenue gener-                                   said Mary Gilbert,
programs.                 HF219 (Erickson)           ated through a variety of school district fund-           Not in the bill:       the district’s legisla-
   A cut of $8.3 mil-     HF365 (J. Johnson)         ing formula accounts.                                                            tive liaison. With
                          HF580 (Erickson)              The bill “hurts virtually every school dis-
                                                                                                           Selected bills not 18,500 students
lion in state aid for
federally supported       HF682 (Kielkucki)          trict in the state,” said Rep. Jim Davnie             included in HF1404:        learning English, the
Head Start pro-           HF697 (Sykora)             (DFL-Mpls).                                           HF205 (Goodwin)            group is larger than
grams is proposed         HF 931 (Sykora)               “For over half the districts in the state, the     HF794 (Gunther)            many school dis-
in the bill. Those        HF936 (C. Nelson)          bill is better than the governor’s (proposal),”       HF1088 (Eken)              tricts in the state, she
funds would be            HF1109 (Krinkie)           Seagren said.                                         HF1098 (Olson)             said. “As our popu-
used to more evenly       HF1118( Buesgens)             Testimony from education groups and the            HF1266 (Sykora)            lation at risk in-
balance cuts the          HF1260 (Seagren)           public regarding the bill was mixed, with most                                   creases, we won’t
governor proposed                                    comments reflecting a resignation that the          have the resources to deal with it.”
for Early Child-                                     committee had few options to counter the               Pawlenty proposed that targeted funding for
hood and Family Education programs.                  governor’s proposal given the state’s $4.2 bil-     K-12 students learning English be cut after a
Pawlenty did not propose a cut in Head Start         lion projected budget deficit.                      student completed five years in a program. The
aid.                                                    The bill provides “no increase in real dol-      bill extends English language learning fund-
   “We tried to respond to some of the con-          lars,” said Bob Meeks, representing the Min-        ing to seven years, but begins phasing it out in
cerns about the governor’s proposal,” Seagren        nesota School Boards Association. “There will       a student’s fifth year in a program.
said. “It’s not a fun thing for any of us to have    be reductions in opportunities and reductions
to do. It will be a difficult couple of years.”      in staff,” he said.                                 Continued on page 22

                                                                                                                                          Session Weekly   19
     T ISSUE: GOVERNMENT
 A    ★ ★ ★




                                                                                                           would not be allowed to strike, among other

More and less                                                                                              things.
                                                                                                             The bill also provides for a number of gov-
                                                                                                           ernment efficiencies.
Plan for financing state government may mean fewer state                                                     For example, the state’s administration
                                                                                                           commissioner is directed to issue policies re-
employees and services, features expanded gambling                                                         garding cellular phone and vehicle use by state
                                                                                                           employees.
BY MIKE COOK                                         decision, discussed as part of the House of Rep-        Haas said there are now 6,500 cellular


M
         ost state agencies are looking at a resentatives budget approved by the House Rules phones being used at a cost of $5.6 million
         double-digit percent decrease in and Legislative Administration Committee annually, and the state now owns 12,000 ve-
         general fund dollars for the upcoming April 14, would be the proposed elimination of hicles costing $29 million per year plus another
biennium under an omnibus bill approved printing and mailing of                                                                     $8 million per year for
April 15 by the House State Government Session Weekly, the                                                                          fuel. Included in that
Finance Committee.                                   newsmagazine pro-                                                              group, for example, he
   The bill calls for $412.9 million in net gen- duced by the nonparti-                                                             said are two Jeep
eral fund appropriations, approximately san House Public                                                                            Cherokees for the
$72 million less than recommended by Gov. Information Services                                                                      Supreme Court.
Tim Pawlenty.                                        Office.                                                                          The savings must to-
   Among the proposed reductions are:                   For remaining state                                                         tal at least $10 million
• House, 8 percent;                                  employees, the bill calls                                                      in the biennium, or
• Senate 10 percent;                                 for a salary freeze until                                                      else the state’s finance
• Legislative Coordinating Commission, June 30, 2005. This plan                                                                     commissioner must
    25 percent (including the elimination of the would not prohibit in-                                                             report to the Legisla-
    Commission on the Economic Status of creases for an employee                                                                    ture by Jan. 15, 2004
    Women and the Geographic Information who is promoted or                                                                         with proposed general
    Systems Office);                                 transferred to a position                                                      fund reductions to the
• governor’s office, 15 percent;                     that has greater job re-                                                       respective executive
• state auditor’s office, 14.3 percent;              sponsibilities. The bill                                                       agencies in fiscal year
• Office of the Attorney General, 24.8 percent; would also recommend                                                                2005 to cover the
• Office of the Secretary of State, 15 percent;      that the University of                                                         difference.
• Administration Department, 10.4 percent; and Minnesota implement                                                                    Other potential sav-
• Departments of Finance and Employee Re- the freeze.                                                                               ings would come in the
    lations, 15 percent each.                           Rep. Bill Hilty (DFL-                                                       way the state purchases
   In addition the bill calls for the Lawful Gam- Finlayson) unsuccess-                                                             a number of items, un-
bling Control Board and the Minnesota Rac- fully offered an                                                                         der the bill. Among the
ing Commission to become self-supporting amendment to change                                                                        possibilities are the in-
entities, although some money is set aside for the provision, which                                                                 creased use of reverse
each to begin making the transition.                 he said undermines the                                                         auctions and other
                                                                                                          PHOTO BY ANDREW VON BANK
   “All the cuts will be developed by the agency,” collective-bargaining                                                            electronic purchasing
                                                                                The number of state vehicles would likely de-
                               said Rep. Bill Haas process.                     crease as part of the omnibus bill approved by
                                                                                                                                    initiatives. Haas said
    What’s in the bill:        (R-Champlin), the        The bill states that, the House State Government Finance through reverse auc-
                               sponsor of HF749 “The terms of a collec- Committee.                                                  tion, whereby the state
  Selected bills included and chair of the tive bargaining agree-                                                                   requests certain items
  in HF749:                    committee. Com- ment in effect on June 30, 2003 may not be and bidders then submit their proposals online
  HF575 (Gerlach)              mittee members extended after that date if the extension would with the opportunity to change their bid dur-
  HF585 (Nornes)               heard from agency increase a salary in a manner                                           ing the process, the state has
  HF619 (Rhodes)               representatives ear- prohibited.”                                 Not in the bill:        saved about $20,000 annually on
  HF734 (Kielkucki)            lier this session and    As for health and dental cover-                                  the purchase of aluminum for li-
  HF793 (Gerlach)              again April 14 on age, the bill calls for employer- Selected bills not in-                cense plates and $250,000 for
  HF975 (Jacobson)             how this will be met, contributions for each year of the cluded in HF749                  copy paper.
  HF1040 (Wilkin)              mostly through a re- biennium not to exceed fiscal year HF914 (Hilty)                        “The intent is to get the lowest
  HF1080 (Brod)                duction in services 2003 levels.                             HF1020 (Haas)                bottom line because contractors
  HF1082 (Samuelson)           and staff.               In addition, state-employed                                      see competitors’ bids,” said Kent
  HF1273 (Meslow)                 One example of a health care nonprofessionals would be added
                                                                                                           Continued on page 22
                               department-level to the list of essential employees, meaning they

20        April 18, 2003
     T ISSUE: HUMAN SERVICES
 A    ★ ★ ★




                                                                                                       state reimbursement for care they provide to state

Tough task                                                                                             health care recipients. The bill lowers those re-
                                                                                                       imbursements by 2.5 percent, half of what the
                                                                                                       governor proposed. In addition, most Medical
Those affected say finance bill either cuts too much or uses                                           Assistance and MinnesotaCare participants
creative ways to fund some state programs                                                              would be required to pay new co-payments for
                                                                                                       prescription drugs, eyeglasses, non-preventative
                                                                                                       doctor visits, and non-emergency visits to an
BY JEFF JONES                                      to take part in a new Diversionary Work Pro- emergency room.


I
   n the end, nearly everyone had kind words gram. An income of $18,400 in 2003 for a family                The bill would establish a prescription drug
   for the chairman who steered his of four is 100 percent of federal poverty guide- discount program, where drug manufacturers
   committee through three months of grim lines. The program would require talking with a would have to provide people earning less than
financial reports, heartbreaking testimony, cre- job counselor, signing an employment plan, and 250 percent of federal poverty guidelines with
ative number crunching, and extremely diffi- working with employment agencies to find drugs at the same rate it provides them to state
cult decision-making.                              unsubsidized employment sufficient to leave the assistance programs. It also would require the
   Rep. Fran Bradley (R-Rochester) told the welfare system.                                            Minnesota Board on Aging to set up a referral
House Health and Human Services Finance               The bill would also prohibit women who service for people to learn about discount pro-
Committee that the culmination of their work, have additional chil-                                                              grams provided directly
the omnibus package they approved April 15, dren while on state wel-                                                             by drug manufacturers
was “the most difficult budget of any” the Leg- fare programs from                                                               and would limit Medi-
islature has to deal with.                         receiving extra cash                                                          cal Assistance coverage
   Indeed, words were not as kind for the benefits though they                                                                   to four brand name
649-page bill (HF437) Bradley crafted from would still receive extra                                                             drugs per month.
the combined proposals of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, food assistance.                                                                       In a provision sug-
multiple legislators, a myriad of lobbyists, and      The Human Services                                                         gested by a Minneapo-
one pharmacist with a clever idea.                 Department would also                                                         lis pharmacist, Medical
   Though it would provide more than have to seek federal per-                                                                   Assistance recipients
$7.3 billion in general fund spending (accord- mission to prohibit                                                               would be able to avoid
ing to estimates which include only prelimi- food stamp recipients                                                               an extra trip to an emer-
nary revenue figures) in the next two years on from purchasing cer-                                                              gency room, under the
health and human services initiatives through- tain “junk foods” with                                                            bill, by giving pharma-
out the state, dozens of testifiers said the cuts their benefit money.                                                           cists the authority to
were too much or omissions too great.                                                                                            prescribe over-the-
   Supporters said the bill finds creative ways Health care                                                                      counter medications for
to restore money that Pawlenty proposed to            The state would save                                                       minor ailments. Cur-
cut from nursing homes and services for the money in its subsidized                                                              rent law requires physi-
disabled while maintaining protection for health care programs by                                                                cians to sign off on any
Minnesota’s most vulnerable populations in tightening eligibility re-                                                            medications the assis-
light of the looming $4.23 billion projected quirements, changing                                                                tance program covers.
budget shortfall.                                  reimbursement rates to                                                        The proposal is ex-
   “I’m not necessarily proud of every decision health care providers,                                                           pected to save the state
                                                                                                    PHOTO BY ANDREW VON BANK
we’ve had to make — I think we’ve had to and raising medical                                                                     about $188,000 in the
                                                                             Sue Abderholden, representing the National
make some tough choices — but I’m proud of co-pays.                          Alliance for the Mentally Ill, testifies before the
                                                                                                                                 next two years.
the effort of this committee,” Bradley said.          The General Assis- House Health and Human Services Finance
                                                   tance Medical Care pro- Committee April 14 in opposition to some of Long-term care,
Public assistance                                  gram       would     be the prescription drug provisions in the omni- disability services
   The bill proposes significant changes to eliminated in October bus health and human services finance bill.                       In an ongoing effort to
Minnesota’s welfare and public assistance pro- 2004, combining its services for low-income reduce what the state pays for nursing home care,
grams, tightening eligibility requirements, and and disabled Minnesotans with the state the omnibus bill would commission studies to
putting a greater emphasis on moving recipi- MinnesotaCare program.                                    examine how the state could further encourage
ents into the workforce.                              In addition to removing people at the top of people to purchase long-term care insurance.
   Recipients with incomes above 115 percent of income eligibility limits from the state Medical Supporters say other states have been successful
federal poverty guidelines would become ineli- Assistance program, the bill would disqualify all in getting people to plan ahead for elder care
gible for the state welfare benefits from the Min- undocumented immigrants from receiving preg- options rather than relying on state safety nets
nesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and nancy and postpartum health coverage.                      in their old age.
most of the program’s participants would have         Hospitals and pharmacies would receive lower
                                                                                                         Continued on next page
                                                                                                                                        Session Weekly   21
Continued from page 21                                                             and Learning ad-      afford high child-care costs.
                                                         What’s in the bill:       ministers would be
   The bill also increases the per-bed fees nurs-
ing facilities have to pay and keeps largely in-        Selected bills included cut in half under        Other provisions
tact a moratorium on new nursing home beds,             in HF437:                  the committee’s       • The bill would give counties more flexibility
in an effort to further encourage community                                        omnibus bill.             in administering reduced state money by
                                                        HF5 (Bradley)
and at-home care options for seniors.                                              While the governor        consolidating several targeted grants into
                                                        HF278 (Bradley)
   The committee also restored about $82 mil-                                      proposed a 15 per-        larger block grants for the counties to spend
                                                        HF411 (Boudreau)
lion Pawlenty had proposed to cut from group                                       cent reduction in         according to their own needs.
                                                        HF590 (Haas)               funding for sliding
homes and personal care attendants for elderly                                                           • In an amendment to the bill offered by Rep.
                                                        HF904 (Bradley)            fee child-care sup-       Tim Wilkin (R-Eagan) and adopted by the
and disabled Minnesotans. Some members said             HF905 (Bradley)
they did not want budget cuts to reverse progress                                  port for low-in-          committee, the non-professional workers
                                                        HF1001 (Boudreau)          come, working             at some state hospitals, group homes, and
made in moving away from institutionalized care
in favor of home- and community-based strate-                                      families, the bill        regional treatment centers would be clas-
gies, which they say are more cost effective and      would cut around $60 million from the pro-             sified as “essential” personnel, preventing
beneficial for the recipients.                        gram in the next two years — a reduction of            them from striking.
   Grants for senior nutrition programs, fos-         more than 50 percent from its base budget.         • Another Wilkin amendment narrowly ap-
ter grandparents ,and senior companion pro-              Bradley said the cuts were fair and neces-          proved by the committee would transfer
grams, among others, originally dubbed for            sary in order to restore funds to programs for         about $2.4 million from state family plan-
elimination by Pawlenty, would also receive           the elderly and disabled. He said the state            ning grants to other state block grants, in
85 percent of their full funding.                     would continue to provide child-care assis-            part to help mitigate cuts to children with
                                                      tance to the neediest families, but could not          disabilities.
                                                      afford to help higher-income families that            The bill was sent to the House Ways and
Child-care assistance
                                                      currently use the program.                         Means Committee. A Health and Human Ser-
  State funding for child-care assistance pro-
                                                         Testifiers predicted that many parents would    vices omnibus package has not yet been pre-
grams the Department of Children, Families
                                                      have to quit their jobs because they could not     sented in the Senate.


Continued from page 19                                learning and virtual schools — during the next     maximum prize for a board to $500 and sets
                                 Jim Bartholo–        two years. Online programs could be developed      the maximum cost of a chance to $10.
                              mew, government         by school districts and charter schools for pub-      A second provision would link bingo sites
                              relations director      lic school students only. Home-schooled stu-       together to provide a single prize pool. Pro-
                              for the Department      dents could enroll in online courses through the   ponents say the linkage, introduced as HF734
                              of Children, Fami-      state’s open enrollment option.                    by Rep. Tony Kielkucki (R-Lester Prairie),
                              lies and Learning,         Six attempts by DFL members to amend the        could increase bingo pools to jackpots as high
                              said the bill “pro-     bill were defeated. “At least some parts of the    as $8,000 to $9,000. Current law caps a bingo
                              tects K-12 educa-       bill hold education harmless,” said Rep. Mindy     payout at $300 per site.
                              tion            from    Greiling (DFL-Roseville), “but there’s nothing        However, a casino plan that would have pro-
                              significant propor-     in the bill to boast about.”                       vided revenue to two impoverished American
                              tional cuts.” Public       “Why don’t we just say education is not a       Indian reservations was removed from the bill.
                              school education        sacred cow anymore.”                                  As introduced, HF1020, sponsored by Haas,
                              represents 42 per-                                                         would authorize the state lottery to operate
                              cent of proposed                                                           gaming machines at a facility in the Twin Cit-
                              state spending for      Continued from page 20                             ies metropolitan area. The facility itself would
     PHOTO BY KRISTINE LARSEN
                              the next biennium,      Allin, materials management director for the       be operated by the White Earth Band and Red
Janis Lang-Ewart, execu-                                                                                 Lake Nation of American Indians, which cur-
tive director of KFAI Ra- Bartholomew said,
                                                      Department of Administration.
                                                         However, the bill also calls for the elimina-   rently receive no casino revenue and would
dio, testifies before the “and 12 percent of
House State Government the budget cuts.”              tion of a provision that would force state agen-   evenly split 65 percent of casino revenue. Tribal
Finance Committee on             Transition rev-      cies to see if another state employee could do     representatives said that those living on the
April 14 to share her con- enue for school dis-       work before contracting it out. It also elimi-     reservations are living in desolate, poverty-like
cerns about proposed                                                                                     conditions, and some have no housing at all.
                                                      nates PrintComm, the state’s printing group
cuts to AMPERS, a collec- tricts, as proposed                                                               An in-lieu tax of 20 percent of adjusted gross
tion of radio stations li- by the governor, is        that has reported monthly losses.
censed to community included in the bill.                While many agencies are seeing cuts, the        gaming machine revenue would be imposed,
groups, public and private It is intended to          state may make extra money through the bill,       90 percent of which would go to the state’s
colleges and universities, compensate school          via a pair of gambling provisions included.        general fund.
a technical college and a                                                                                   Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Mpls) questioned
                              districts for funding      One would add sports boards to the list of
school district.                                                                                         why Haas tried to insert the provision in the
                              cuts they would sus-    legal forms of lawful charitable gambling. In-
tain in other areas. During fiscal year 2005,         troduced by Rep. Jim Rhodes (R-St. Louis           committee’s omnibus bill when the bill was
which begins July 1, 2004, school districts           Park) as HF619, the provision defines a sports     defeated April 1 after a fair hearing by the
could propose to keep the transition revenue          board as a game where players buy a square,        House Governmental Operations and Veter-
through a property tax referendum.                    line, or other chance on a board with the win-     ans Affairs Policy Committee.
   The bill would provide $5 million to fund dis-     ner determined by the outcome of a profes-            “I think this is a real opportunity to help a
tance-learning programs — online                      sional sporting event. The bill limits the         community out so that’s why I took another
                                                                                                         run at it,” Haas said.
22        April 18, 2003
     T ISSUE: TRANSPORTATION
 A    ★ ★ ★




                                                                                                              down nearly $18 million from 2002-03;

No new taxes                                                                                              • $19.4 million for Public Safety Department
                                                                                                              administration paid for by the trunk high-
                                                                                                              way fund, down $2 million; and
Transportation package includes combination of spending                                                   • $132.7 million for the State Patrol, an increase
reductions, bonding for highway and transit projects                                                          of $5.5 million from the previous bien-
                                                                                                              nium, due to the addition of troopers au-
                                                                                                              thorized by the 2001 Legislature.
BY MICHELLE KIBIGER                                   items for 2004-05 addressed in the bill:               Nearly all the budget items match the


T
      he omnibus financing package approved           • $83.1 million for multi-modal transporta-         governor’s recommendations.
      by the House Transportation Finance                 tion systems, down $8 million from                 The $42 million in spending reductions to
      Committee April 16 includes a combina-              2002-03;                                        Transportation Department administration
tion of spending reductions to administrative         • $2.1 billion for state roads, up $200 million     would be used to finance an additional
costs, bonding for highway projects, and in-              from 2002-03, due primarily to reductions       $550 million in trunk highway bonds to ac-
centives for congestion reduction, such as use            in infrastructure planning and investment       celerate road projects. The bill would allow for
of high-occupancy vehicle lanes by unaccom-               and operations and maintenance;                 up to $5 million in flexible funds to be spent
panied single drivers willing to pay for them.        • $1.1 billion for local roads, up $30 million      on Greater Minnesota transit improvements.
   In all, it provides $3.75 billion in the               from 2002-03, due to a slight administra-       In addition, bond proceeds of up to
2004-05 biennium, with authorization for an               tive change that determines which fund          $25 million in the Twin Cities metropolitan
additional $550 million in trunk highway                  should pay for collection costs;                area and $25 million in Greater Minnesota
bonds. The bill would provide about                   • $104 million in general Department of Trans-      would be available to address highway safety
$160 million more in state spending for the               portation support, reduced about                concerns.
biennium than in 2002-03.                                 $31 million from the previous biennium;            In addition, the bill would authorize the state
   However, just as notable are the items not         • $112.2 million in general fund appropria-         to spend up to $550 million in additional ad-
in the bill: increased gas taxes, increased license       tions for Metropolitan Council transit,         vanced trunk highway improvements based on
tab fees, and increased funding for transit                                                               anticipated federal funds through June 30, 2009.
operations.                                                                                                  Both bonding initiatives were included in
   The bill (HF627), sponsored by                                                                         Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s proposals, contained in
Rep. William Kuisle (R-Rochester), the com-                                                               HF4, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Westerberg
mittee chair, now moves to the House Capital                                                              (R-Blaine).
Investment Committee.                                                                                        Funding for transit operations would be cut
   “I think this bill does go off into the future,”                                                       in the bill and would also be affected by the elimi-
Kuisle said, referring to witnesses who said the                                                          nation of the transfer of 2 percent of motor ve-
bill doesn’t address long-term needs. “I’m very                                                           hicle sales taxes to a metropolitan transit account.
proud of the reforms in this bill. I think it’s                                                           In addition, the 20.5 percent dedication of mo-
the first time we’ve really stepped out and chal-                                                         tor vehicle sales taxes to transit following the re-
lenged not just the (Transportation) Depart-                                                              moval of the metropolitan property tax levy for
                              ment, but other                                                             transit in 2001 would be replaced with a general
    What’s in the bill:       agencies.”                                                                  fund appropriation
  Selected bills included
                                Transportation                                                            of $125 million per              Not in the bill:
                              functions         are                                                       year. This provision
  in HF627:                                                                                               would cost the Met          Selected bills not in-
                              funded largely
  HF4 (Westerberg)            through         non-                                                        Council $3.2 million        cluded in HF627:
  HF251 (Beard)               general         fund                                                        over the biennium           HF1255 (Erhardt)
  HF395 (Abeler)              sources, including                                                          according to Febru-         HF1372 (Beard)
  HF511 (Hilstrom)            the trunk highway                                                           ary forecast revenue        HF1385 (Lenczewski)
  HF902 (DeLaForest)          fund and the high-                                                          estimates.                  HF1395 (Hausman)
  HF927 (Wilkin)              way user tax distri-                                                           Nacho         Diaz,      In addition, specific
  HF1007 (Erhardt)            bution fund. Only a                                                         transportation plan-        projects, such as those
  HF1168 (DeLaForest) small portion of the                                       PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID   ner for the Metro-          in HF1324 (Ruth) and
  HF1172 (Kuisle)             bill,         about     John Tschida, left, speaking for the Minnesota      politan Council, said       HF484 (Thissen), were
  HF1219 (DeLaForest) $159 million for the            Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, ex-      that he did not sup-
                                                      presses his concern in funding level for Metro
                                                                                                                                      not identified in the
  HF1286 (Westerberg) biennium, comes                                                                     port the change be-         bill.
                                                      Mobility during an April 15 hearing of the House
  HF1297 (Westerberg) from the state’s                Transportation Finance Committee. Joel Ulland,
                                                                                                          cause it removes the
  HF1446 (Osterman)           general fund.           right, also testified about the impact of the
                                Among the budget      committee’s omnibus bill.                           Continued on next page

                                                                                                                                          Session Weekly   23
Continued from page 23                                  “We believe it’s critical that the process of           2004-05 biennium for youth intervention pro-
                                                        moving ahead begin now this session.”                   grams in general.
specific dedication, which he described as “very
                                                                                                                   An additional amendment by Clark was also
important.”
                                                        Additionally, the bill would:                           rejected. It would have appropriated $75,000
   Other transit advocates criticized the bill for
                                                        • allow single-occupancy vehicles to use high-          in the 2004-05 biennium for HIV/AIDS edu-
cutting transit when the Legislature should be
                                                            occupancy vehicle lanes, particularly in the        cation and awareness in the workplace. Cur-
increasing transit options and finding addi-
                                                            Interstate 394 corridor, upon payment of afee;      rently, the Minnesota AIDS Project is under
tional funding to improve the system.
                                                        • require that the Legislature return a proposed        state contract to provide these services.
   Sam Grabarski, president and CEO of the
                                                            $15 million transfer from the state airports           The Minnesota Historical Society would
Minneapolis Downtown Council, said Min-
                                                            fund to balance the 2003 budget if enacted,         suffer cuts deeper than those recommended
nesota has the “most anti-progressive transit
                                                            when money is available (after the 2008 fis-        by the governor’s budget, should the commit-
plan in the (United States).”
                                                            cal year begins);                                   tee bill be enacted. The bill would appropriate
   The bill also includes a plan to split costs
                                                        • classify state public safety radio communi-           nearly $22 million in 2004 and a like amount
for operating the Hiawatha light-rail line so
                                                            cations operators as essential employees so         in 2005, representing a $9.5 million cut from
that the state would fund 40 percent, Hennepin
                                                            they may not strike;                                the 2002-03 biennium. Pawlenty recom-
County 40 percent, and 20 percent by
                                                        • exempt county road maintenance and recon-             mended an $8 million cut.
Bloomington and Minneapolis. Offered as an
                                                            struction projects in existing right-of-way            The bill outlines how the appropriation
amendment, the provision initially failed in the
                                                            from obtaining a permit;                            could be spent. Budget cuts must first be made
committee but was reconsidered and ulti-
                                                        • require that the Transportation Department            to the society’s administrative expenses, only
mately was approved.
                                                            explore options to lease or operate for             after which could reductions in services be
   A number of testifiers and members suggested
                                                            maintenance by private or public entities           implemented. Further delineated is the
that agreements involving the state, via the Met-
                                                            several rest areas on the state highway sys-        amount to be spent in each of the two years
ropolitan Council, providing full funding to op-
                                                            tem slated for closure by the department;           on education and outreach ($12.1 million),
erate the line, set to open in late 2004, were signed
                                                        • change wetland replacement ratios, in portions        and preservation and access ($9.6 million).
around the time the Legislature approved fund-
                                                            of the state that are classified as 50 percent to      Historical sites could not be closed, accord-
ing for the line in the mid-1990s.
                                                            80 percent, from 2:1 to 1.5:1;                      ing to the bill, without consultation with com-
   “This is a breach of trust by the State of
                                                        • classify the portion of highway 62 that joins         munity groups and individuals interested in
Minnesota,” said Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-
                                                            Interstate 35W part of the interstate high-         providing financial or in-kind support to keep
Mpls).
                                                            way, adjusting the municipal consent                them open.
   Joel Ulland and John Tschida, speaking for
                                                            requirements;                                          Issues surrounding the workforce are
the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with
                                                        • require the Department of Public Safety to            treated in a variety of ways in the committee
Disabilities, said that cuts to Metro Mobility
                                                            conduct a monthly sampling of licensed              budget bill.
service for disabled and elderly individuals
                                                            drivers who own vehicles in order to de-               A proposed policy calls for charging appren-
would have a significant impact. Many com-
                                                            termine whether they are insured;                   ticeship sponsors $50 per apprentice each year.
munities would have no service on weekends
                                                        • increase portions of surcharges for reinstating       The revenue would help people who have lost
and only sporadic service beyond regular busi-
                                                            a driver’s license, revoked for a drunken driv-     work through a massive layoff, have exhausted
ness hours, which would significantly curtail
                                                            ing offense, allocated to brain injuries; and       unemployment benefits, or have limited op-
access to work, services, and activities.
                                                        • study the installation of rumble strips as a          portunities to return to a similar occupation
   Tschida, senior director of public affairs for
                                                            safety measure in the center of two-lane            in their region. The fee would generate about
the Courage Center, said the change would
                                                            highways statewide.                                 $1 million in 2004-05 and is part of the
especially affect clients and employees at the
                                                                                                                governor’s proposed budget.
Golden Valley location. “Because they are
                                                                                                                   A proposal that came late in the committee’s
wheelchair users, they can’t just hitch a ride
                                                                                                                budget deliberation would have reduced from
from a friend or bike to work,” he said.                Continued from page 18
                                                                                                                16 to eight the number of workforce develop-
   An amendment, offered by Rep. Alice                  Commission, and the Indian Business Loan                ment centers throughout Minnesota by
Hausman (DFL-St. Paul), would have restored             Program.                                                Jan. 15, 2004. However, a committee-approved
the $22.5 million in transit cuts, but the                 Rep. Tony Sertich (DFL-Chisholm) unsuc-              amendment, offered by Sertich, would instead
amendment failed.                                       cessfully offered an amendment that would               require the governor’s workforce development
   In addition, several contractors testified that      have given the film and TV board $100,000 in            council to consult with local workforce coun-
the bill does not provide enough for road               both 2004 and 2005, as well as $500,000 each            cils and local elected officials in studying the
projects. They said that many contracting busi-         of the two years for continuation of a rebate           workforce services in Minnesota.
nesses are moving work out of state or closing          program aimed at stimulating film produc-                  The study, to be reported to the Legislature
down completely because they don’t have the             tions in Minnesota.                                     by Jan. 1, 2004, would determine if efficiency
volume of work to stay busy.                               Also rejected was an amendment by Rep.               and service improvements could result by
   They also expressed their disappointment             Karen Clark (DFL-Mpls) that would have ap-              changing the boundaries of workforce services
that the bill included no additional revenue            propriated $6 million for the Minnesota                 areas or reducing the number of centers.
sources to increase funding for road projects           Youthbuild Coalition, Minnesota Youth, and                 Workforce development centers help em-
and did not include funding to address local            the Learn to Earn Program. The youth em-                ployers find qualified workers; assist job seek-
road and bridge construction.                           ployment, intervention and jobs skills pro-             ers find work, as well as training and career
   “We’re looking for a long-term funding pro-          grams have all have received state funding in           development opportunities; and provide pro-
gram,” said Richard Thomas, representing the            past years.                                             grams that help youth plan for careers and
Associated General Contractors of Minnesota.               HF748 appropriates $2.6 million in the               acquire necessary skills.

24         April 18, 2003
                                                                                                                                  JANUARY 7 - APRIL 17, 2003

G   OVERNOR’S DESK
     ★ ★ ★
                                                                                                                                                                            CHAPTERS 1 - 18




                                                   Tracking new laws, vetoes
   Once a bill has passed both the House and               it will become law with or without his sig-                               required to veto the entire bill.
Senate in identical form, it’s ready to be sent            nature. (Sundays are not counted in the                                      A two-thirds vote of the members in each
to the governor for consideration. The gov-                three-day time limit, but holidays are.)                                  house is needed to override a veto. But be-
ernor, who has several options when con-                      Only on appropriations bills can the gov-                              cause only the governor can call a special
sidering a bill, can:                                      ernor exercise the line-item veto authority.                              session of the Legislature, anything vetoed
• sign the bill and it will become law;                    This option allows the governor to eliminate                              after the Legislature adjourns is history —
• veto the bill;                                           the appropriation items to which he or she                                at least until the next year.
• line-item veto individual items within an                objects. As with all vetoes (save pocket ve-                                 The governor’s veto authority is outlined
    appropriations bill;                                   toes that occur in the days after the Legisla-                            in the Minnesota Constitution (Article IV,
• or do nothing, which can have two differ-                ture has adjourned sine die) the governor                                 Section 23).
ent effects. The timing of these actions is as             must include a statement listing the reasons                                More information is available on the governor’s
important as the actions themselves.                       for the veto with the returned bill. Here, too,                           Web      site     (www.governor.state.mn.us).
                                                                                                                                     Select the “Legislation” link. Or, retrieve bill status
   In the first year of the biennium, the im-              the timetable is three days after after the gov-                          updates      on     the     House Web              site
portant thing to remember is that the gov-                 ernor receives the bill.                                                  (www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us:8181/SEARCH/
ernor has three days from the time of                         Policy items contained in appropriations                               BASIS/hstat/public/www/SF).
“presentment” to veto a bill. If the governor              bills may not be line-item vetoed. In order                               Key:
doesn’t sign the bill within this time frame,              to veto such an item, the governor is                                     CH=Chapter; HF=House File; SF=Senate File


   CH        HF       SF                                                          Description                                                                   Signed       Vetoed

    1        111       94*      St. Cloud state land conveyance description correction.                                                                           2/27
    2        273*      195      Revisor’s bill correcting erroneous, ambiguous, and omitted text and obsolete references.                                         3/19
    3        64        61*      State agencies rule adoption procedures statement of need and reasonableness content requirement clarification and expansion.     3/24
    4        95*       291      Archaic prohibition on misrepresenting the size of certain items relating to wagons repealed.                                     3/31
    5        112*      92       Title, lien, and mortgage technical, clarifying, and conforming changes provided.                                                 3/31
    6        744       726*     State building code cumulative fees collection reporting requirement modifications.                                               4/3
    7        457       356*     Child de facto custodian provisions modifications.                                                                                4/4
    8        415       512*     Rockford Metropolitan Council jurisdiction removal.                                                                               4/2
    9        1158*     993      County nursing home payment adjustment increased, and money appropriated.                                                         4/7
    10       267*      176      Fire insurance standard policy provisions modified relating to terrorism.                                                         4/7
    11       330       293*     Public employment labor agreements, compensation plan amendments and salary increase proposals ratification.                      4/9
    12       166       112*     Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act.                                                                              4/11
    13       1054      1001*    Solid waste management plans updating and content requirements modified.                                                          4/17
    14       94        187*     State fair season circuses prohibition repeal (24-hour waiting period for abortions).                                             4/14
    15       774       790*     Department of Human Services Background Studies Act.                                                                              4/17
    16       647*      533      Nicollet Co. nursing home construction moratorium exception provided.                                                             4/17
    17       827       768*     Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board enabling language modified.                                                         4/17
    18       912       1095*    State soldiers assistance fund use restriction clarification.                                                                     4/17
                                                                        *The legislative bill marked with an asterisk denotes the file submitted to the governor.




                                                                 Constitutional Officers
Governor TIM PAWLENTY (R)                                    State Auditor PATRICIA AWADA (R)                                           Secretary of State MARY KIFFMEYER (R)
130 State Capitol                                            525 Park St.                                                               180 State Office Building
St. Paul 55155                                               Suite 400                                                                  St. Paul 55155
(651) 296-3391                                               St. Paul 55103                                                             (651) 296-2803
1-800-657-3717                                               (651) 296-2551                                                             Election Division: (651) 215-1440
Fax: (651) 296-0674                                                                                                                     Open Appointments: (651) 297-5845
                                                             Attorney General MIKE HATCH (DFL)
Lieutenant Governor CAROL MOLNAU (R)                         102 State Capitol                                                          Business Information &
                                                             St. Paul 55155                                                             Uniform Commercial Code:
130 State Capitol
                                                             (651) 296-6196                                                             (651) 296-2803
St. Paul 55155
                                                             Consumer Division: (651) 296-3353
(651) 296-3391
                                                             1-800-657-3787


                                                                                                                                                                         Session Weekly       25
 C      OMMITTEE SCHEDULE
         ★ ★ ★
                                                                                                                           APRIL 21 - 25, 2003



MONDAY, April 21                                     Agenda: HF1115 (Hoppe) Telephone assistance             Agenda: Claims against the Departments of
                                                     plan provisions modified.                               Human Services, Natural Resources, and
House offices closed.                                HF1124 (Osterman) Transitional housing loans            Corrections.
                                                     funding provided, bonds issued, and money               Overview of 2002 approved claims.
                                                     appropriated.                                           Other business.
TUESDAY, April 22                                    HF727 (Wilkin) Health coverage proposed
                                                     mandates evaluation provided.                           THURSDAY, April 24
                       12:00 PM                      HF254 (Abrams) Minneapolis; Guthrie Theater
                                                     new contruction funding provided, bonds issued,                               12:30 PM
THE HOUSE MEETS IN SESSION
                                                     and money appropriated.
                                                                                                             Agriculture and Rural Development
                     After session                                                                           Finance
                                                                          8:15 AM
Capital Investment                                                                                           Room: 5 State Office Building
                                                     Transportation Finance                                  Chair: Rep. Elaine Harder
Room: Basement Hearing Room
                                                     Room: 200 State Office Building                         Agenda: To be announced.
Chair: Rep. Phil Krinkie
                                                     Chair: Rep. William Kuisle
Agenda: HF 627 (Kuisle) Transportation funding
                                                     Agenda: HF1071 (Seifert) Paved two-lane                                    After session
provided, and money appropriated.
                                                     highway speed limits of 65 miles per hour during
HF 1048 (Penas) Trade and economic                                                                           Ways and Means
                                                     daytime and 55 miles per hour during nighttime
development, housing finance agency, natural                                                                 Room: 5 State Office Building
                                                     provided.
resources, and transportation funding provided,                                                              Chair: Rep. Jim Knoblach
                                                     HF1233 (Tingelstad) Northstar commuter rail
bonds issued, and money appropriated.                                                                        Agenda: HF748 (Gunther) Omnibus jobs,
                                                     line funding provided, bonds issued, and money
                                                                                                             economic development and housing
                                                     appropriated.
     4:30 PM or immediately following session                                                                appropriations bill.
                                                     HF1129 (Kuisle) Utility relocations necessitated
                                                                                                             HF627 (Kuisle) Omnibus transportation
Rules and Legislative Administration                 by design-build transportation projects
                                                                                                             appropriations bill.
*** Note: *** Change in meeting room                 regulated.
                                                                                                             HF750 (Smith) Omnibus criminal justice
Room: 118 State Capitol
                                                                       After session                         appropriations bill.
Chair: Rep. Erik Paulsen
Agenda: Adoption of Proposed Calendar for the        Ways and Means
Day for Wednesday, April 23, 2003                    Room: 5 State Office Building                           FRIDAY, April 25
                                                     Chair: Rep. Jim Knoblach
WEDNESDAY, April 23                                  Agenda: HF 752 (Harder) Omnibus agriculture                                After session
                                                     and rural development finance bill.
                        8:00 AM                      HF 779 (Ozment) Omnibus environment finance             Ways and Means
                                                     bill.                                                   Room: 5 State Office Building
*** Note: *** Change in meeting time                                                                         Chair: Rep. Jim Knoblach
Jobs and Economic Development Finance                                                                        Agenda: HFXXXX (Stang) Omnibus higher
*** Note: *** Change in meeting room                                      4:00 PM
                                                                                                             education appropriations bill.
Room: 500N State Office Building                     Joint Subcommittee on Claims                            HF749 (Haas) Omnibus state government
Chair: Rep. Bob Gunther                              Room: 125 State Capitol                                 appropriations bill.
                                                     Chairs: Rep. Bruce Anderson, Sen. Wes Skoglund




 B      ILL INTRODUCTIONS
         ★ ★ ★
                                                                                                                           APRIL 14 - 16, 2003
                                                                                                                                              HOUSE FILES 1528 - 1556



Monday, April 14                        HF1530—Otremba (DFL)                    defender system, and money                  HF1535—Knoblach (R)
                                        Commerce, Jobs &                        appropriated.                               Ways & Means
HF1528—Ozment (R)                       Economic Development Policy                                                         Appropriations, transfers, and reduc-
                                        Outdoor power and sport equipment       HF1533—Westrom (R)                          tions provided for transportation, early
Taxes
                                        dealerships regulation provided.        Taxes                                       childhood and family education, K-12
Aggregate materials tax definition of
                                                                                Biomass electric generation facility        education, health and human services,
borrow provided.
                                        HF1531—Thissen (DFL)                    property tax exemption construction         and other miscellaneous funding; bonds
                                        Taxes                                   date requirement extended.                  issued; and money appropriated.
HF1529—Ellison (DFL)
Governmental Operations &               Richfield redevelopment tax incre-
                                        ment financing district authorized.     HF1534—Mariani (DFL)                        HF1536—Erhardt (R)
Veterans Affairs Policy                                                         Civil Law                                   Transportation Policy
State agencies prohibited from spend-                                           Corporate liability imposed for dam-        General obligation bonds authorized
                                        HF1532—Fuller (R)
ing public funds to investigate per-                                            ages caused to the public interest, and     for use in construction of trunk high-
sons for the purpose of discrediting    Judiciary Policy & Finance
                                        Attorney license fee surcharge estab-   civil and criminal penalties prescribed.    ways by proposed constitutional
them.                                                                                                                       amendment.
                                        lished to be used for the public

26          April 18, 2003
HF1537—Murphy (DFL)                        HF1547—Pugh (DFL)
Governmental Operations &                  Civil Law
Veterans Affairs Policy                    Civil action fault regulation modi-
Executive director salary limitations      fied, and bad faith insurance prac-
modified for the State Board of In-        tices defined.
vestment, the Public Employees Re-
tirement Association, the state            HF1548—Brod (R)
retirement system, and the teachers        Taxes                                       Politicians who campaigned        got involved in the suffrage
retirement association.                    Property tax refund eligibility re-      between 1915 and 1925 often          movement. She soon found
                                           stricted for claimants receiving cer-    attached themselves to a trav-       that her oratorical talent was
HF1538—Mullery (DFL)                       tain payments.                           eling “Tent Chautauqua” to get       needed as a female in the bur-
Higher Education Finance                                                            their message out to the pub-
                                           HF1549—Lanning (R)
                                                                                                                         geoning Democratic Party.
Iraq war veterans’ tuition benefits
provided, and money appropriated.
                                                                                    lic. The Chautauqua was a               Olesen’s popular appear-
                                           Taxes
                                           City aid reductions in 2003 and 2004     popular cultural phenomenon          ances on the Chautauqua cir-
HF1539—Sieben (DFL)                        provided.                                in the Midwest whereby a             cuit earned her a speaking
Taxes                                                                               group of lecturers and enter-        engagement at the state Demo-
Active members of the military con-        HF1550—Carlson (DFL)                     tainers were hired by a travel-      cratic Party convention in 1916.
sidered nonresidents for income tax        Transportation Finance                   ing performing company to
purposes.
                                                                                                                         Reports say that her talk on suf-
                                           Local road improvement program state
                                                                                    appear on stage in small towns       frage was the most impressive
                                           bonds authorized, city utility reloca-
HF1540—Mullery (DFL)                       tion expenditures reimbursement pro-     for about seven days, before         speech made.
Taxes                                      vided, and money appropriated.           moving on to another town.              In 1920 Olesen spoke to a
Active National Guard members con-                                                     As polished public speakers,      national Democratic Party au-
sidered nonresidents for income tax        HF1551—Demmer (R)                        campaigners followed the lead        dience that gave her more rec-
purposes.                                  Environment & Natural                    of great speakers of the day like    ognition. As a delegate to the
                                           Resources Policy
HF1541—Otremba (DFL)                                                                William Jennings Bryan, the          national Democratic conven-
                                           Spring turkey hunting license selec-
Local Government &                         tion process modified.                   most listened to orator/politi-      tion in 1922, she was nomi-
Metropolitan Affairs                                                                cian of the era. People would sit    nated to be a U.S. Senate
County powers clarified, general re-       HF1552—Nornes (R)                        under a tent for hours in swel-      candidate, becoming the first
peal of mandates provided, and             Transportation Policy                    tering heat just to hear a man       woman in the country to run
county liability limited.                  Town line road dispute settlement        so full of energy that he once
                                           provided.
                                                                                                                         for a national office. Although
                                                                                    gave 50 lectures in 28 days.         she placed third in a nasty cam-
                                                                                       Chautauquas served as a           paign, she still received twice as
Wednesday, April 16                        HF1553—Dill (DFL)
                                           Taxes                                    platform for progressive move-       many votes as her party’s gu-
HF1542—Brod (R)                            Lake County Housing and Redevel-         ments and activities by its lec-     bernatorial candidate, who also
Regulated Industries                       opment authority extension autho-        turers on issues that included       lost. She later worked in Presi-
Renewable energy production defini-        rized.                                   instituting an income tax, the       dent Franklin Roosevelt’s ad-
tion clarified relating to qualified on-                                            prohibition of liquor, and the       ministration as state director
farm biogas recovery facility ownership.   HF1554—Kuisle (R)
                                           Transportation Finance                   women’s suffrage movement.           for the National Emergency
                                           Radio communications system infra-       The tent meetings were indi-         Council.
HF1543—Nelson, P. (R)
Local Government &                         structure funding provided, bonds        rectly influential in the progress      As Olesen led the way for
                                           issued, and money appropriated.          of a woman’s right to vote, and      women to hold office in the
Metropolitan Affairs
Chisago County conveyance of Green                                                  for overall equality for women.      state, voters in 1922 elected
                                           HF1555—Sieben (DFL)
Acres Country Care Center autho-                                                    Women speaking in front of a         four women to the Legislature:
rized for mutual consideration.            Taxes
                                           Newport lodging tax authorized.          large audience were not com-         Myrtle A. Cain, Mabeth Hurd
                                                                                    monplace, so when one was on         Paige, Hannah J. Kempfer, and
HF1544—Gunther (R)
Jobs & Economic                            HF1556—Abrams (R)                        the program, every seat in the       Sue Dickey Hough.
Development Finance                        Taxes                                    tent was occupied.                      The Chautauqua circuit tour
Youth crime prevention program grant       Mining and refining of nonferrous           Those who chose to speak
                                           ores, metals, and minerals taxation
                                                                                                                         began to die out in 1925, giv-
authorized, and money appropriated.                                                 strongly on the need for more        ing way to radio, movie the-
                                           provided, and proceeds distributed.
                                                                                    women to be involved in com-         aters, and travel. But its
HF1545—Otto (DFL)
                                                                                    munity activities, or child and      indelible print on small town
Health & Human Services Policy
Stillbirth record registration required.
                                                                                    social welfare programs, were the    America and the state was per-
                                                                                    most in demand.                      manent. It helped to introduce
HF1546—Erhardt (R)                                                                     One was Anna Dickie               lecturers like Bryan, Robert
Transportation Finance                                                              Olesen, who began public             LaFollette, Olesen, and the first
Metropolitan transportation fund                                                    speaking lessons at age 12 in        women legislators who spoke
created, motor fuel tax rates increased,                                            Waterville, where she spent her
automobile taxes modified, county                                                                                        words “...to freshen ambitions,
state-aid highway funding modified,                                                 childhood.                           to aspire a little higher, to be-
bonds authorized, and money                                                            She later moved to Cloquet,       come better neighbors and
appropriated.                                                                       where her husband, Peter, was        friends, to clean up the town a
                                                                                    the school superintendent, and       little bit, to kiss the children, ...
                                                                                    became a member of the Fed-          and perhaps, pray a little more.”
                                                                                    eration of Women’s Clubs and                 — LECLAIR GRIER LAMBERT

                                                                                                                                            Session Weekly       27
            MINNESOTA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
                175 STATE OFFICE BUILDING
            ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA 55155-1298

          SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: STEVE SVIGGUM
             MAJORITY LEADER: ERIK PAULSEN
             MINORITY LEADER: MATT ENTENZA




                                              MINNESOTA         I       N         D        E        X
                                                                                                                                                                    FOR MORE INFORMATION
     State Forests                                                                                                                                                  For general information, call:
                                                                                                                                                                    House Information Office
     Approximate percentage of Minnesota that is forest ........................................................... 33                                              (651) 296-2146 or
       In millions of acres ....................................................................................................................... 16.7            1-800-657-3550
     Number of state forests ..................................................................................................................... 57
       Approximate acreage of those, in millions ........................................................................... 3.2                                    To obtain a copy of a bill, call:
     State land outside of state forests in millions of acres ......................................................... 1.3                                         Chief Clerk’s Office
     Percentage of state forestland managed by county, state, and federal agencies ...... 60                                                                        (651) 296-2314
       Owned by private landowners ................................................................................................... 40
     Millions more large trees (more than 19 inches in diameter) Minnesota has                                                                                      To find out about bill introductions or
       now than it did 40 years ago ...................................................................................................... 20                       the status of a specific bill, call:
                                                                                                                                                                    House Index Office
     Approximate number of Minnesota workers who derive all or part of
                                                                                                                                                                    (651) 296-6646
       their earnings from the forest products industry ...................................................... 55,155
       Percentage of those jobs in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area ....... 50                                                                        For an up-to-date recorded message
     Forest industry’s approximate total impact on Minnesota’s economy in 2001,                                                                                     giving committee meeting times and
       in billions ....................................................................................................................................... $6.96    agendas, call:
     Millions of cords of wood grown each year in Minnesota .................................................. 7.4                                                  Committee Hotline
       Millions harvested .......................................................................................................................... 3.7            (651) 296-9283
     Length, height, and width of a cord, in feet .......................................................................... 8,4,4
     Number of toothpicks that can be produced from a cord of wood ................. 7,500,000                                                                      The House of Representatives can be
       Personal checks ..................................................................................................................... 460,000                reached on the World Wide Web at:
     Number of trees that die naturally for every one tree harvested ..................................... 28                                                       http://www.house.mn
     Millions of acres of commercial forestland in Minnesota ................................................. 14.8
                                                                                                                                                                    Teletypewriter for the hearing
       Percentage that is state, federally, county, or municipally owned ................................ 55                                                        impaired.
       Privately owned ................................................................................................................................ 40          To ask questions or leave messages,
       Industry owned .................................................................................................................................. 5          call:
     Annual wildfires fought in Minnesota ................................................................................... 1,600                                 TTY Line (651) 296-9896 or
       Estimated acres burned annually ................................................................ 65,000 to 75,000                                            1-800-657-3550
     Outdoor forest classrooms ............................................................................................................... 80
       In acres ........................................................................................................................................... 6,000   Check your local listings to watch
     Miles of forest road in Minnesota ............................................................................................ 2,000                           House committee and floor sessions
     Miles of state forest trails ............................................................................................................ 1,200                on TV.
     Minnesota native tree species ........................................................................................................ 52
     State forest campgrounds ................................................................................................................ 46                   Senate Information
     Acres in Minnesota where white pine trees are present ....................................... 1,000,000                                                        (651) 296-0504
       Increase in acreage since 1977 ......................................................................................... 17,000                              1-888-234-1112
     Respective percent reduction since 1990 in the amount of white pine sold
       for harvest by the Department of Natural Resources and the Superior                                                                                          Senate Index
                                                                                                                                                                    (651) 296-5560
       National Forest ...................................................................................................................... 504, 855
     Red pine seedlings that Minnesota Forest Industries plans to give away on
       Arbor Day, April 25 ................................................................................................................. 50,000                 This document can be made available in alternative
                                                                                                                                                                       formats to individuals with disabilities by calling
                                                                                                                                                                            (651) 296-2146 voice, (651) 296-9896 TTY, or
     Sources: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Minnesota’s Forest Resources,
                                                                                                                                                                                  (800) 657-3550 toll free voice and TTY.
     DNR Division of Forestry, August 2002; Minnesota Forest Industries


28                April 18, 2003