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Session Weekly April 6, 2001; Vol. 18, Number 14 by fyx28874

VIEWS: 20 PAGES: 28

									             A NONPARTISAN PUBLICATION                5 5 5




S
                                                                     APRIL 6, 2001



        ESSION
           Weekly
                                                                     VOLUME 18, NUMBER 14




MINNESOTA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES   •   PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE




               In this issue:

         HERITAGE       ENVIRONMENT FUND

TRUTH    IN TAXATION, TORT REFORM, AND MORE

                                                                              HF2354-HF2419
                    SESSION
    Session Weekly is a nonpartisan
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                                                                                          CONTENTS
    Minnesota House of Representatives
    Public Information Office
                                                                                                     HIGHLIGHTS
    175 State Office Building                             Consumers • 5                       Government • 9                     Law • 12
    St. Paul, MN 55155-1298
                                                          Crime • 5                           Health • 10                        Recreation • 12
    (651) 296-2146 or
    1-800-657-3550                                        Education • 6                       Higher Education • 10              Taxes • 13
    TTY (651) 296-9896                                    Employment • 8                      Industry • 11                      Transportation • 14
                                                          Environment • 8
    Director
    LeClair G. Lambert

    Editor/Assistant Director
    Michelle Kibiger                                                                                  FEATURES
    Assistant Editor                                              At Issue: Crime — Legislators have proposed more than $1 million in
    Mike Cook                                                     grants to local law enforcement to combat clandestine methamphet-
                                                                  amine labs in Minnesota. • 16
    Art & Production Coordinator
    Paul Battaglia
                                                                  At Issue: Education — A plan allocating money to three programs that
    Writers                                                       train future teachers in cultural and social methods to help them teach in
    David Maeda, Theresa Stahl,                                   urban and urban-like schools will be considered for the K-12 omnibus
    Jonas M. Walker, Mary Kay Watson                              bill. • 17
    Chief Photographer
    Tom Olmscheid                                                 At Issue: Law — A bill that amends civil case law with regard to the
                                                                  damages defendants must pay passes the House, but awaits action in the
    Photographers                                                 Senate. • 18
    Andrew Von Bank, Sara Kirk

    Office Manager                                                At Issue: Taxes — Lawmakers are debating a measure that would allow
    Nicole Wood                                                   taxpayers a direct mechanism to vote down property tax increases. • 19
    Staff Assistants
    Christy Novak, Michelle Sorvari

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    Session Weekly, Public Information Office,            Committee Schedule (April 9-13)              23
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                                                          On the cover: A brief blanket of snow and slush covered the Capitol lawn early April 2. Marks of the
                                                          snow disappeared by afternoon when temperatures reached the mid-40s.
                                                                                                                                           —Photo by Sara Kirk

2             April 6, 2001
F   IRST READING
    5 5 5




                                                                                                         fish and game funds are currently budgeted,
A rich heritage                                                                                          which is the responsibility of the Department
                                                                                                         of Natural Resources commissioner.
                                                                                                            People who testified at the meeting were
Bill proposes a constitutional amendment to establish a                                                  unanimous in their support of the constitu-
permanent natural resource fund from sales tax proceeds                                                  tional amendment. However, there was dis-
                                                                                                         agreement over who should oversee the
BY MARY KAY WATSON                                                                                            expenditure of the resulting funds.


T
      he possibility of long-term funding                                                                         “The DNR wants nothing more than
      for natural resources got a high-five                                                                   to support this effort by people who be-
      from rep-resentatives of public and                                                                     lieve earnestly in what they are doing,”
private environmental organizations April                                                                     DNR Commissioner Alan Garber said.
3 at a meeting of the House Environment                                                                       “At the same time we believe it is our re-
and Natural Resources Policy Committee.                                                                       sponsibility to see to it that funds from
   Rep. Mark Holsten (R-Stillwater) pre-                                                                      our citizens are wisely spent.”
sented the committee with a bill that                                                                             Frank Schneider, representing Muskies,
would ask voters to consider a constitu-                                                                      Inc. and the Bass Federation, thanked
tional amendment to dedicate three-six-                                                                       Holsten for “having the courage for
teenths of 1 percent of state sales tax                                                                       bringing this to the electorate.” While
revenue for natural resources.                                                                                supportive of the funding initiative,
   “The environment, though culturally                                                                        Schneider expressed reservations about
important to us, gets put on the back                                                                         the oversight committee. “I don’t want to
burner when it comes time for the Legis-                                                                      see a second DNR,” he said.
lature to budget,” Holsten said.                                                                                  “Let’s first secure the funding, then
   “To me it’s a no-brainer,” said Kent                                                                       decide how it shall be overseen,” said
Hrbek, former Twins first baseman. “I’m                                                                       Harvey Nelson, a retired DNR employee
looking at the long run. I want my 9-year-                                                                    who spoke in support of the bill for the
old daughter to understand the outdoors.”                                                                     Minnesota Waterfowl Association.
   HF1671 would place the proposal on                                                                             Holsten said the creation of a citizen’s
the 2002 ballot; if approved by the voters,                                                                   council was a way to profit by the exper-
it would go into effect July 1, 2005.                                                                         tise of the many outdoors groups that
   Holsten estimated the amount raised by                                                                     have evolved over the last 20 or 30 years.
this amendment would be in the neigh-                                                                             “Private groups have access to lands we
borhood of $115 million. The proposal                                                                         don’t,” Holsten said. “This bill will bring
would replace current funding from lot-                                                                       some new, different ideas to the table.”
tery        receipts        of        about                                                                       HF1671 provides for grants “to improve,
$22 million.                                                                                                  enhance, or protect fish and wildlife re-
   The bill is similar to a proposal from                                                                     sources.” Those grants could go to fishing
the 2000 legislative session that stalled in                                       PHOTO BY ANDREW VON BANK   and hunting groups, environmental groups,
the House Ways and Means Committee. Former Minnesota Twin and avid outdoorsman Kent Hrbek or the DNR. Ninety percent of the money
At the time, proponents included former testifies before the House Environment and Natural from the Heritage Enhancement Fund must
                                             Resources Policy Committee April 3 in support of HF1671, a be spent on game and fish projects on pub-
Minnesota Vikings Coach Bud Grant.
                                             bill that would create a constitutional amendment to
   If the constitutional amendment were dedicate sales tax revenue for the environment.                       lic and private lands. Up to 10 percent may
passed, the bill and its Senate counterpart                                                                   be used for administrative expenses, such
sponsored by Sen. Bob Lessard (Ind.-Int’l             The 45 percent set aside for fishing and as hiring consultants.
Falls) would dedicate the funds as follows:        hunting would be placed in a separate fund,              Tom Meyers, vice president of the Minnesota
• 45 percent to improve, enhance, or protect       to be called the Heritage Enhancement Fund. Conservation Federation, said his group was
    fishing and hunting resources;                 This fund would be overseen by the Heritage enthusiastic about the bill and the opportuni-
• 25 percent for state parks and trails;           Enhancement Council, which would decide ties it offers for public-private partnerships.
• 25 percent for metropolitan parks and            how money in that fund would be allocated.               “The things we do on private land affect
    trails;                                           The 11-member council would include four public land,” Meyers said. “We have an oppor-
• 3 percent for grant-in-aid trails; and           legislators, six representatives of hunting and tunity to do something here that’s landmark
• 2 percent for the Minnesota Zoo, Como            fishing interests, and one citizen appointed by legislation.”
    Park Zoo and Conservatory, and the             the governor. This is a departure from the way           Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher
    Duluth Zoo.
                                                                                                                                       Session Weekly   3
(DFL-Mpls) said she was disappointed that
non-game wildlife was not mentioned in the
bill.
   “I drafted this bill specifically for fish and
game habitat, partly because all wildlife will
benefit,” Holsten said. “If we dedicate these
revenues, that would relieve the Environmen-                                  How high’s the water?
tal Fund and free up a whole lot of money.”              Legislature studies river management after series of ‘100 year’ floods
   While the fish and game groups were the
most vocal in their support, representatives of         Every spring, communities along control project will provide unlimited protec-
parks, trails, and zoos also spoke in favor of       Minnesota’s rivers await predictions regarding tion from all floods.
Holsten’s bill.                                      whether the waters will merely lap along the            “Experience in the United States has
   “Last year we had over 29 million visitors        banks or overflow them and envelop shown that property values increase greatly
to metro parks,” said Mary Merrill Anderson,         everything within the river’s floodplain.            in areas of protected flood plain and when
superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and              With the high value of property within the unpredicted floods occur in excess of the
Recreation Board. “We know we have trails            floodplains, leaders 35 years ago were con- flood protection limits of a project, the dam-
that are falling apart and shorelines that are       cerned that people did not know enough about age and hazards to life and property are of-
crumbling.                                           the risks and costs of flood damage.                 ten greater than would have occurred if the
   “We need to preserve this park system for            When rivers fill the floodplain, hydrologists project had not been constructed.”
our children and grandchildren,” she added.          call it a “100-year” or “regional” flood because        The 1969 report concluded there were sev-
                                                     they, don’t occur fre-                                                        eral methods “to keep
“I urge your support of this bill.”
                                                     quently. But in the late                                                      man away from flood
   Judy Erickson of Minnesota Parks and Trails
                                                     1960s, studies showed                                                         water.” Among them
agreed. “Parks and trails are truly representative   the recurrence rate of                                                        were zoning, subdivi-
of what is best in Minnesota,” she said.             such substantial floods                                                       sion regulations, and
   Victor Camp, director of the Como Zoo,            was less than five years.                                                     building codes.
said the zoos of Minnesota also support the             The 1965 floods will                                                         Main suggestions
proposal. “Wild places and the wild things that      long be remembered in                                                         encouraged govern-
live in them are continually under pressure,         Minnesotans’ minds as                                                         ment to acquire prop-
and zoos get that message out to people,”            one of the worst years                                                        erty within the
Camp said “If we pass this amendment we will         ever. That year, urban A bridge at Granite Falls during the 1969 flood. floodplain through a
be a powerful force for saving those wild places     flood damage in the state                                                     combination of nego-
and the wild things that inhabit them.”              was estimated at nearly $40 million, however, tiated purchase, condemnation, or gift.
   Rep. Tom Osthoff (DFL-St. Paul) agreed            total damage was just more than $70 million.            In addition, the report suggested locating
that funding for natural resources was an on-        Add in the damage to roads and transportation public facilities outside the floodplain to
going problem but said there were other ways         facilities, and the costs exceeded $90 million.      draw private development away.
to get the money than a constitutional amend-           Though cities along the Mississippi River            In response, the 1969 Legislature passed a
ment.                                                bore most of the urban damage — $23.6 mil- law that would encourage local units of gov-
   “I don’t like constitutional amendments and       lion — the Minnesota River flooding tallied the ernment to develop flood management plans,
                                                     most overall damage, including agricultural working in conjunction with surrounding
I hate dedicated funds,” Osthoff said. “Every
                                                     and rural, of more than $35 million.                 communities and state planning agencies.
time the state dedicates funds, they take money
                                                        Several studies, intended to help better man-        Two years later, a 1971 interim report from a
away through the general fund.”                      age waters and prevent extensive damage caused subcommittee on flood control claimed the Leg-
   Holsten’s bill addresses that concern with a      by floods, followed the 1965 flood. The state and islature provided the right mechanism with the
provision clarifying that the dedicated fund         the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were involved. 1969 law, particularly with regard to Minnesota
would not be a substitute for “traditional              In 1969, Gov. Harold LeVander submitted a residents’ ability to obtain federal flood relief.
funding sources” but would be a supplement           report on flood damage to the Legislature, ex- But the measure required many different local,
to them.                                             pressing concern that no effective solution to the state, and federal agencies to work together,
   “The public is ready for this,” said Kevin        problem had been proposed. In his letter, he sug- which was not happening.
Auslund, executive director of the Game and          gested legislation should be developed and in-          “In the judgment of the subcommittee, the
Fish Coalition. “Its time has come.”                 troduced as a result of the findings in the report. flood plain problems of the Minnesota — and
   HF1671 was approved and sent to the                  The report encouraged the Legislature to de- other rivers — will not be solved until some
House Rules Committee.                               velop a flood management plan and find ways degree of harmony can be brought into river
                                                     to limit development along floodplain land.          management planning by all levels of govern-
                                                        Though the report suggested that cooperative ment with basic direction and policy being
                                                     measures from the standpoint of preventing fu- provided by the state,” the report said.
                                                     ture damage and correcting existing problems            The report encouraged the state to take a
    Clarification                                    would help, it warned flooding will always exist more active role in planning dam systems
       A story in the March 30 issue of Session      along major rivers.                                  and other flood mitigation methods, so lo-
    Weekly about the Faribault state hospital           “Too often the public is unaware that a flood cal communities could have an adequate voice.
    should have clarified that the hospital was      control project, which provides a certain degree In addition, the state needed to do a better job
    closed in 1998, and the facility now belongs     of protection from floods in a limited area, is educating the local governments about the fed-
    to the state Department of Corrections.          not a project which will eliminate floods,” the eral insurance and other resources available.
                                                     report states. “People erroneously feel that a flood                                      (M.KIBIGER)

                                                                                                                    Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society
4         April 6, 2001
H
                                                                                                               M A R C H 3 0 - A P R I L 6, 2 0 0 1
      IGHLIGHTS
      5 5 5




                                                    in prison and up to a $14,000 fine, or both.             “We should try to keep those costs down,”
5
     CONSUMERS                                         The bill has now passed through three com-         Jaros said.
                                                    mittees and will be sent to the House Judi-              Jaros also wanted to know if there was a “less
    No chardonnay at the checkout                   ciary Finance Committee.                              damaging and less costly way to deal with this.”
   Rep. Barb Sykora (R-Excelsior) withdrew             Committee Chair Rep. Philip Krinkie (R-               “The purpose of the legislation is to say
her bill to allow the sale of wine in grocery       Shoreview) offered the amendment, which               (drunken drivers) have had three chances to
stores March 29, an unexpected move after an        would distribute a $138,000 annual cost to            deal with (law enforcement) and they con-
aggressive lobbying effort. The action effec-       counties for appeal services provided by the          tinue to drive while intoxicated,” Stanek said.
tively killed the legislation for this year.        Attorney General’s office.                            “We’re not looking to lock up people for a
   HF1025 had been approved by the Liquor              The amendment instructs the attorney gen-          long, long time. We want them to know the
Subcommittee of the House Commerce, Jobs,           eral to bill the county in which the offense          state of Minnesota is taking this seriously.”
and Economic Development Policy Commit-             occurred for the cost of its services for felony
tee but was stopped without a vote by the full      drunken driving offenses. Payments would be
committee.                                          issued from nearly all counties outside the
   After complimenting Sykora on her profes-        Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Attorney                     Animal cruelty measure
sionalism, Committee Chair Rep. Greg Davids         General’s office handles felony appeals for              Responding to what one legislator described
(R-Preston) drastically changed his tone, say-      most Greater Minnesota counties.                      as an increase in the number and severity in
ing he was disgusted with the way liquor lob-          Stanek said he “doesn’t feel one way or an-        incidents of unkindness to animals, legislators
byists had harassed and threatened members.         other” about the amendment.                           are bringing forward legislation to increase
   Davids said he used to be a “no vote” on the        Rep. Mark Thompson (DFL-New Hope)                  criminal penalties for those convicted of
bill, but now is “a free market” with regard to     asked if counties may intentionally “not find”        animal cruelty.
the proposal.                                       any drunken driving offenses due to a tight bud-         Rep. James T. Clark (R-New Ulm) is spon-
   Making final comments on her bill, Sykora        get. Paul Skoggin, representing the state County      soring HF1330 to create increased penalties
contended that people are stressed for time,        Attorney’s Association, said a county would           for repeated or especially severe cruelty to
and that floral shops, bakeries, and pharma-        probably keep the appeal quiet rather than sub-       animals. He told an April 3 meeting of the
cies, which exist in many grocery stores, still     mit it to the Attorney General’s office.              House Crime Prevention Committee that cur-
flourish in independent shops.                         Rep. Mike Jaros (DFL-Duluth) said he was           rent law provides only for misdemeanor pen-
   She maintained her bill was “a responsible       opposed to the amendment even though it               alties for animal cruelty. The committee
proposal.” HF1025 would put tight restrictions      wouldn’t affect his district, because it would        approved the measure and referred it to the
on the sale of wine in grocery stores of at least   be shifting the cost from the state to local gov-     House Judiciary Finance Committee.
10,000 square feet, including identification        ernments, therefore increasing the property              He said 31 other states have created animal
checks on every purchase, annual compliance         tax, he said.
checks, and a theft management program in
every store.
   Opponents claimed the legislation would in-
crease alcohol availability to youth, would in-
crease drinking in society as a whole, and might
harm the business of independent liquor stores.
   The bill is technically alive for the biennium
and could be reconsidered sometime during
2002.




5
     CRIME
              Felony DWI costs
   The House State Government Finance Com-
mittee approved a bill (HF351) authorizing a
felony drunken driving penalty April 3 after
amending out the only financial implication to
the committee’s budget.
   The bill, sponsored by Rep. Rich Stanek (R-
Maple Grove), would create a felony drunken         Tessa, a German Shepherd service dog, lies at the feet of her owner, Tom Heinl of the American Council
driving penalty for offenders who receive a         of the Blind of Minnesota, as he testifies for a bill making it a crime to kill or harm animals trained to
fourth conviction within 10 years. The bill pro-    assist persons with disabilities. His testimony was during a hearing an April 3 meeting of the House
vides a maximum penalty of up to seven years        Crime Prevention Committee.

                                                                                                                                          Session Weekly    5
cruelty felony penalties and seven others are
doing so now.                                                                                               5
                                                                                                                 EDUCATION
   HF1330 specifies that engaging in torture                                                                    Assistance for advanced classes
that results in “substantial bodily harm” is a
                                                                                                               Advanced placement and international bac-
gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year
                                                                                                            calaureate teachers and students might get a
imprisonment and a fine up to $3,000. A sec-
                                                                                                            little help from the Legislature.
ond violation within five years would be a
                                                                                                               Since 1992, the state has assisted with teacher
felony, carrying up to a two-year prison sen-
                                                                                                            training and student testing fees for the programs
tence and $5,000 fine.
                                                                                                            except during the current biennium. Rep. Alice
   That same penalty would be imposed for
                                                                                                            Seagren (R-Bloomington), sponsor of HF1862,
torturing a pet to the point of death or “great
                                                                                                            is hoping to regain $2 million in each year of the
bodily harm,” defined as “creating a high prob-
                                                                                                            2002-03 biennium.
ability of death, or which causes serious per-
                                                                                                               Seagren is chair of the House K-12 Educa-
manent disfigurement, or which causes a
                                                                                                            tion Finance Committee, where HF1862 was
permanent or protracted loss or impairment
                                                                                                            heard April 4. It will be considered for inclu-
of the function of any bodily member or or-
                                                                                                            sion in the committee’s omnibus bill.
gan, or other serious bodily harm.”
                                                                                                               The bill explains the need for both advanced
   Acting on an initiative by Rep. Scott Wasiluk
                                                                                                            placement and international baccalaureate pro-
(DFL-Maplewood), the committee amended
                                                                                                            grams: “These programs, in addition to provid-
HF1330 to create especially severe penalties for
                                                                                                            ing academic rigor, offer sound curricular design,
cruelty to service animals, such as seeing-eye
                                                                                                            accountability, comprehensive external assess-
dogs. Torturing, killing, or causing great bodily
                                                                                                            ment, feedback to students and teachers, and the
harm to a service animal would carry up to a
                                                                                                            opportunity for high school students to com-
four-year prison term.
                                                                                                            pete academically on a global level.”
   Clark said his bill would “direct courts to
                                                     Naly Yang, with the Women’s Association of                Teacher training for both programs is criti-
look at psychological or behavioral counsel-         Hmong and Lao, testifies before the House Judi-        cal, the bill states. In addition to teachers, the
ing,” especially for cruel juveniles.                ciary Finance Committee April 3 in support of a bill   bill has added language to include “other in-
   Keith Streff, a humane agent for the Ani-         that would provide grants for Asian-American ju-
                                                                                                            terested educators,” which would likely be
mal Humane Society, said current penalties are       venile crime intervention and prevention.
                                                                                                            school administrators.
ineffective deterrents. “I clean cats out of mi-
                                                     be good parents while working long, irregu-               Marlys Peters-Melius, director of advanced
crowaves, and people just ask me ‘What’s it
                                                     lar hours.                                             placement programs at the Department of
going to cost me?’” he said.
                                                        Yang said she remembers how strong the              Children, Families and Learning, said admin-
   The Animal Humane Society wrote a letter
                                                     influence of the gang world and running away           istrators were added to interest principals or
of support, citing a “well-documented link
                                                     is on young Asian people in the Twin Cities.           superintendents in the training so they may
between animal abuse and violence towards
                                                     She said she tries to help her younger cousins         be prepared to better inform students who
humans. Early intervention and penalties for
                                                     who are going through those same things.               want to take advanced placement courses.
violence against animals can often prevent
                                                        “The issues of crime and violence are very             Advanced placement and international bac-
further crimes towards people.”
                                                     real,” she said. “It’s a very, very easy decision      calaureate teachers, as well as other educators
   Rep. Dave Bishop (R-Rochester) expressed
                                                     to make.”                                              wanting to receive training, must first enroll
doubt that increased penalties can prevent
                                                        Yang’s organization particularly works with         at a college offering the program and would
undesirable activity. “I have yet to see any evi-
                                                     parents to help guide them through the school          later be compensated. Support would be avail-
dence that increasing penalties decreases in-
                                                     system and legal system. Sometimes they only           able on a first-come, first-served basis, but
stances (of crime),” he said.
                                                     need referrals.                                        Peters-Melius said colleges are instructed to
                                                        David Zander from the Council on Asian              hold spaces for beginning teachers and then
                                                     Pacific Minnesotans emphasized the need for            admit teachers who have already had some
       Grants for crime prevention                   Asian-born social workers in the state to deal         training in the area.
   A bill that would appropriate $1 million in       with some of the cultural boundaries. Yang
the 2002-03 biennium for Asian-American              agreed.                                                            Second committee
juvenile crime intervention and prevention              “Theories that people apply (as) social                        deadline approaches
grants will be considered by the House Judi-         workers do not always work on our people,”                  With about five weeks left in the 2001 legis-
ciary Finance Committee for its omnibus bill.        she said.                                                lative session, members are facing the second
   The bill, sponsored by Rep. Sheldon                  The state has been providing funding for              of three committee deadlines this week.
Johnson (DFL-St. Paul), was heard by the             Southeast Asian nonprofit organizations for                 All bills must be through policy committees
committee April 3.                                                                                            in both the House and Senate by Wednesday,
                                                     many years. For the upcoming biennium, the               April 11. The Legislature will break for the Eas-
   The intent of the bill, Johnson said, is to al-   Department of Public Safety will administer              ter and Passover holidays from Thursday, April
low agencies providing services to Asian-            the grants, and therefore the programs fall              12 through Monday, April 16. House committees
American youth and their families to continue        under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Finance          will not meet until after noon Tuesday, April 17
bridging inter-generational gaps that often          Committee.                                               and the House will meet in session at 3 p.m. that
lead to truancy, gang violence and crime.                                                                     day.
   Naly Yang from the Women’s Association of                                                                     The final deadline, when all omnibus finance
                                                                                                              bills must be approved by committees, is
Hmong and Lao told the committee that many
                                                                                                              Wednesday, April 25.
of the people she works with are struggling to

6         April 6, 2001
Special education funding requested                   The way the tax is now set allows the Legis-      Tinglestad said Rep. Mary Jo McGuire
   The House passed a resolution April 2 urg-      lature to avoid accountability, he said. “As long    (DFL-Falcon Heights), the only committee
ing Congress to fulfill its promise to fund        as we have school board’s to blame, we don’t         member who spoke in favor of the bill, could
40 percent of the cost of special education.       take a close look at our actions.”                   carry it next year.
   Rep. Andrew Westerberg (R-Blaine), spon-
sor of HF456/SF647*, told House members                                                                            Reading competency
that the lack of funding is “hurting our edu-            Pesticide manager defeated                         Using a successful pilot program as a model,
cation system,” explaining that Minnesota has         Finding several problems with a bill that         a bill heard in the House K-12 Education
to subsidize education funds to afford special     would create a “school pest management co-           Finance Committee would replicate the read-
education expenses.                                ordinator,” the House Education Policy Com-          ing competency program in schools through-
   “The resolution will go a long way in filling   mittee defeated the measure April 3.                 out the state.
those holes in funding education,” he said.           Under HF1529, sponsored by Rep. Kathy                 Committee Chair Rep. Alice Seagren (R-
   Federal allocations for special education       Tingelstad (R-Andover), a “point person” at          Bloomington), sponsor of HF1136, said she
funding have averaged 13 percent annually for      each school would apply or supervise the ap-         is impressed with the statistical findings of a
the past few years.                                plication of nonrestricted pesticides, and           St. Croix River Education District model that
   The bill reads: “Over 25 years ago, the fed-    would belong to a registry of coordinators           presented its results to the committee
eral government required states to provide         managed by the commissioner of the Depart-           March 30. Using the model, Taylors Falls
children with disabilities an appropriate edu-     ment of Agriculture. The coordinator would           Elementary School far surpassed its target rate
cation, and for 25 years, the government has       receive information and instructions for pes-        of words correctly read per minute.
failed to meet its promise to pay 40 percent of    ticide use.                                              “St. Croix wants to spread this training and
the cost.”                                            The Senate companion awaits action of the         assessment model to other sites because of the
   “Our intent is to call upon Congress to make    floor of that body.                                  phenomenal success they have had,” Seagren
good on their promise,” Westerberg said.              The committee first found problems with           said in an e-mail interview.
   The House passed the resolution with a          the bill where it states the school pest man-            HF1136 aims to ensure Minnesota’s chil-
123-1 vote.                                        agement coordinator must be an employee of           dren are able to read by the end of the third
   Sen. Ann H. Rest (DFL-New Hope) spon-           the school. Paul Liemandt of the Agriculture         grade as measured by state testing. It would
sored the bill in the Senate, where it received    Department said 75 percent of schools in an          award $2 million in grants in each year of the
a 64-0 vote March 5.                               informal survey reported they had a person           2002-03 biennium to three districts that could
   The bill now awaits the governor’s              to designate for the task.                           distribute funds to at least 50 sites, a portion
signature.                                            But Rep. Marty Seifert (R-Marshall) said he       of those to have one-fourth of students in kin-
                                                   has small schools in his district, including pa-     dergarten through third grade eligible for free
                                                   rochial schools, which have few employees. In        or reduced-price lunch. The St. Croix district
             Levy clarification                    some cases, volunteers tend to the school’s          would receive one-half the funds each year.
   Rep. Len Biernat (DFL-Mpls) is seeking to       lawn. He said he knows of two schools that               The bill requires clear goals of grant recipi-
clarify one of the sources of funding for          would be out of compliance with law because          ents, who “must reach an agreement with a
public schools.                                    they couldn’t afford a pest management               site on the reading results the site will achieve
   He says many property taxpayers assume a        coordinator.                                         over a three school year period and on the as-
large portion of overall levy, called the gen-        “I don’t think the bill is as flexible as you     sistance with reading competency the grant
eral education levy, is set by local school dis-   want it to be,” Seifert said.                        recipient will provide.”
tricts, when it is actually set by the state.         Liemandt said the coordinator could be a              Former Department of Children, Families
   Biernat, the sponsor of HF1907, presented the   principal or someone in charge.                      and Learning Commissioner Bob Wedl, rep-
bill April 2 to the House K-12 Education Finance      After some discussion, the bill was amended       resenting the Minnesota Consortium for Evi-
Committee. It was referred to the House Taxes      to only require school districts to have a           dence in Education, said what needs to change
Committee without recommendation.                  coordinator, hence excluding nonpublic               is the instruction process between teachers and
   He said he wants to change the perception       schools.                                             students.
of the tax from the “misconception” that local        Rep. Peggy Leppik (R-Golden Valley) of-               Reading competency needs to be measured
school boards are changing this property tax       fered a successful amendment to delete the           three times each year, he said, by one-minute
when the reality is the state sets the levy        registry from the bill to “get rid of some ex-       “tests” where students read aloud.
amounts.                                           pensive bureaucratic hassle.”                            Sherryl Johnson, principal of Taylors Falls
   The bill does not raise taxes or change the        Members then began questioning the need           Elementary School, said these practices do
amount a district can levy, but would create       for the bill. Rep. Barb Sykora (R-Excelsior)         work. The reading competency program mea-
an additional line item on tax forms, indicat-     pointed out a law passed last year requires          sures the same cohort of students instead of
ing the state sets and collects this levy.         parent notification when the school uses             different groups.
   On average, the general education levy is       pesticides.                                              “We know exactly where our students are,”
about one-half of a person’s education tax            “This would help schools with the legisla-        said Pat Almos, reading specialist at Hinckley
dollars. Other education tax dollars are levied    tion we gave last year,” Tingelstad said.            Elementary School. She told committee mem-
and collected by districts. References for the        “This is already in law,” said Rep. Rob           bers she can’t imagine going back to the
general educational levy would be renamed          Eastlund (R-Isanti) “Why do we need a                former methods and not having the data they
the statewide school property tax levy.            statute?”                                            have now.
   “It will show that Minnesota has a high per-       Tinglestad said she carried the bill as a cour-       HF1136 will be considered for possible in-
centage of state education funding,” Biernat       tesy to the department. “My experience with          clusion in the committee’s omnibus bill.
said.                                              pesticide issues has concluded,” she joked.

                                                                                                                                       Session Weekly   7
      Special education spending                                                                       attended Minneapolis Technical College for
   Two bills that would appropriate funds for      5
                                                        EMPLOYMENT                                     two years, and received an electrical appren-
adult basic education (ABE) special needs aid                                                          ticeship within one week of graduation.
                                                            Nontraditional training
were heard April 4 by the House Family and                                                                “I received $621 a month from AFDC,”
                                                      Women trying to get off welfare face the
Early Childhood Education Finance                                                                      Washington said. “As an apprentice I took
                                                   problem that most jobs for which they are
Committee.                                                                                             home $621 a week after taxes. Now, I take
                                                   qualified pay too little to support them and
   ABE provides educational opportunities for                                                          home close to $900.
                                                   their children.
adults who lack basic academic skills and need                                                            “I see a significant difference in my life and
                                                      Helping women find opportunities in non-
specialized education to help them find and                                                            the lives of my children because of my
                                                   traditional, higher paying careers is a goal of
keep employment.                                                                                       nontraditional job,” she said.
                                                   Rep. Joe Mullery (DFL-Mpls), sponsor of
   “Many ABE participants would qualify for
                                                   HF23. His bill was approved by the House
special education if they were in school,” said
                                                   Health and Human Services Finance Commit-
Carlye Peterson, ABE director for the Minne-
apolis Public Schools. “These are not supple-
                                                   tee April 4 and will be considered for inclu-
                                                                                                       5
                                                                                                            ENVIRONMENT
                                                   sion in the committee’s omnibus bill.
mental services, they are essential services.”
                                                      HF23 would appropriate $1 million for the                   Let sleeping logs lie
   HF2188, sponsored by Rep. Peggy Leppik
                                                   2002-03 biennium for grants for nontradi-              A law passed last year that allows the com-
(R-Golden Valley), would appropriate
                                                   tional career assistance training programs.         mercial removal of sunken logs from Minne-
$700,000 per year for ABE supplemental ser-
                                                      It would also direct the commissioner of         sota lakes has stirred up more than the muck
vice grants.
                                                   economic security to require those employ-          on lake bottoms.
   These grants would be available to nonprofit
                                                   ment and training programs that receive state          “We have concluded the costs to the public
organizations statewide for services not offered
                                                   funds to inform women about careers in the          are much higher than the benefits to either the
by a district ABE program, such as the training
                                                   trades and technical occupations.                   public or the contractor,” said Michelle
of ABE teachers and volunteers, provision of in-
                                                      “These are jobs that pay very well,” Mullery     Beeman of the Department of Natural
terpreters, and adapted technology.
                                                   said. “They get people into a livable wage situ-    Resources.
   “Many of the people who serve our learn-
                                                   ation in just a few months.”                           A bill that would impose a moratorium on
ers are volunteers, and to ask them to pay for
                                                      Ethel Washington went from welfare to be-        the removal of sunken logs was heard April 3
their own training could be burdensome,”
                                                   ing the first African-American woman in the         by the House Environment and Natural Re-
Peterson said.
                                                   state to get an electrician’s license. Through a    sources Policy Committee.
   In previous years, these services were fully
                                                   similar program to that in Mullery’s bill, she         HF1491, sponsored by Rep. Doug Fuller (R-
supported through federal money. That fund-
                                                                                                       Bemidji), addresses concerns of the DNR and
ing source ended in 2000 and the state picked
                                                     PREVENTING       GANG MEMBERSHIP                  lake associations that raising century-old logs
up the loss, but the allocation was not included
                                                                                                       may cause environmental damage. The bill was
in the governor’s budget for the coming
                                                                                                       approved and sent to the House Environment
biennium.
                                                                                                       and Natural Resources Finance Committee.
   HF2274, sponsored by Rep. Mary Jo
                                                                                                          The bill would do two things. First, it would
McGuire (DFL-Falcon Heights), includes a
                                                                                                       require the department to cancel contracts al-
provision that matches Leppik’s bill but
                                                                                                       ready made for log removal and refund the ap-
McGuire’s bill goes further to include an ap-
                                                                                                       plication fee. Second, it would establish a pilot
propriation for $250,000 per year for ABE
                                                                                                       project, to be conducted by the DNR, to study
special needs aid.
                                                                                                       the effects of contaminants that might be re-
   It would also extend telecommunications
                                                                                                       leased from disturbances to the lake bottom.
access grants and provide funding of $180,000
                                                                                                          The bill would appropriate $100,000 for the
per year to pay for 60 percent of the costs of
                                                                                                       pilot project. Some of the contaminants un-
general equivalency diploma (GED) tests.
                                                                                                       der study would include mercury, nitrates,
   The telecommunications grants would go
                                                                                                       PCBs, phosphorous, and blue-green algae. A
to make information, courses, and degrees
                                                                                                       peer-reviewed report would be due to the Leg-
available to more people across the state,
                                                                                                       islature by Jan. 1, 2003.
especially in Greater Minnesota where access
                                                                                                          “We believe the results of the study will
to educational resources is more limited.
                                                                                                       prove environmental destruction with long-
   The GED testing reimbursement program
                                                                                                       term negative effects,” said Pat Delmore,
would make it easier for students to complete
                                                                                                       speaking for the Lake Plantagenet Association.
the test by paying for a portion of their
                                                                                                          Beeman said the department would prefer
testing fees.
                                                                                                       to cut its losses. “Our perspective is to repeal
   “Some of us go on to post-secondary edu-
                                                                                                       and prohibit,” she said.
cation, some even end up in a chair like this,”
                                                                                                          Craig Waddell, a logging contractor who
said Rep. Dale Swapinski (DFL-Duluth), re-
                                                                                                       would be affected by the moratorium, said his
ferring to his personal experience of obtain-
                                                                            PHOTO BY ANDREW VON BANK   tests showed no more turbidity from pulling
ing his high school diploma through adult
                                                     Boys & Girls Club Board Member Wendell            up a sunken log than from pulling up an
basic education. “These dollars will be well         Butler testifies before the House Judiciary Fi-   anchor.
spent.”                                              nance Committee April 5 in support of a bill         “I’m astounded that we’re discussing this
                                                     that would authorize a pilot project grant for
                                                     gang prevention and intervention.
                                                                                                       again,” Waddell said. “There’s 10,000 years of


8         April 6, 2001
history out there. It’s the last unexplored area                                                          and St. Paul. Cities such as Eden Prairie, Eagan
of the state.”                                       5
                                                          GOVERNMENT                                      and Woodbury saw large population increases
  Fuller said the questions that have been                                                                during the 1990s.
                                                                    Census chatter
raised need an answer. “Otherwise every time                                                                 Gillaspy said one of the surprises from the
                                                        Minnesota’s minority population nearly
we go to another lake we’ll have to answer                                                                census was that Minneapolis, St. Paul, and
                                                     doubled during the past decade, but the state’s
these questions all over again,” he said.                                                                 Duluth all saw population increases. He said
                                                     percentage of minorities is still far below the
                                                                                                          most officials had predicted a drop in the
                                                     national average.
                                                                                                          number of people in the state’s three largest
                                                        According to the recently released United
                                                                                                          cities. The increase reversed trends of a half-
       Minnesota River State Trail                   States Census data, the share of the state’s mi-
                                                                                                          century when Minneapolis hit its population
   The House Environment and Natural Re-             nority population grew from 6.3 percent in
                                                                                                          peak in the 1940s, and St. Paul in the 1950s.
sources Policy Committee approved a bill             1990 to 11.8 percent in 2000. Nationally, mi-
                                                                                                             Rochester is now the state’s fourth largest
March 29 that would establish a multi-use trail      norities comprise 30.9 percent of the
                                                                                                          city, but Gillaspy said part of that growth can
along the Minnesota River Valley from Big            population.
                                                                                                          be attributed to annexation activity that oc-
Stone Lake State Park to LeSueur where it               “We’re substantially more diverse than in
                                                                                                          curred in the 1990s.
would connect with the Minnesota Valley              1990 but substantially less diverse than the rest
                                                                                                             Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Eden Prairie), the
Trail.                                               of the country,” State Demographer Tom
                                                                                                          committee chair, said he expects the commit-
   “This trail has been under discussion since       Gillaspy told the House Redistricting Com-
                                                                                                          tee will develop the principles and standards
the 1930s,” said Geoff Hathaway, from the            mittee April 3.
                                                                                                          that will be used in drafting the redistricting
Minnesota Trails Initiative. “It’s time for this        Gillaspy said data from those who listed a
                                                                                                          bill later this month.
legislation to move forward.”                        single race on their census forms indicates that
   HF1073, sponsored by Rep. James T. Clark          the state’s Hispanic population grew by
(R-New Ulm), would appropriate $1.4 million          166 percent. The number of Asians grew by
from the general fund to the commissioner of         87 percent, the African-American population                       Contract changes
natural resources to establish the trail. The bill   by 81 percent, and the number of American               The House Governmental Operations and
was approved and sent to the House Environ-          Indians by 8 percent.                                Veterans Affairs Policy Committee approved
ment and Natural Resources Finance                      This census was the first that allowed people     a bill April 2 that would clarify what consti-
Committee.                                           to identify themselves as members of multiple        tutes a conflict of interest in state purchasing
   Hathaway said the goal is to connect a se-        races. Gillaspy said 1.7 percent of census par-      contracts.
ries of state parks and wildlife areas along the     ticipants chose the multiple race category, and         The bill now goes to the House floor.
river under the auspices of the Department           the percentage increases for those that selected        HF1379, sponsored by Rep. Philip Krinkie
of Natural Resources.                                that category are all higher when compared           (R-Shoreview), would define an “organiza-
   The Minnesota Trails Initiative has been          to the single race category. For example, the        tional conflict of interest” when a vendor is
working on a segment from Montevideo to              number of those saying they are part Ameri-          unable, or potentially unable, to render im-
Granite Falls. Other groups are working to           can Indian increases to 57 percent.                  partial assistance or advice to the state because
connect their communities with nearby state             The fastest growing region of the state was       of existing or planned activities or because of
parks. The proposed trail would connect these        the suburban area surrounding Minneapolis            existing relationships.
segments.
   Work would proceed over a number of years             DRUG     DEMONSTRATORS
on a section-by-section basis. The total costs
are not known at this time. Funding would
come from foundation grants as well as state
and federal funds.
   Supporters of the trail include the
McKnight Foundation, the National Audubon
Society, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and
the Minnesota Horse Council.
   A group of property owners opposed to the
bill said they were frustrated because they had
not been involved in the planning process. “We
are not opposed to a bike trail,” said Donna
Halvorson. “We are opposed to the route they
want to take.”
   Mark Wegner, comptroller of the Twin Cit-
ies and Western Railroad Company in
Glencoe, also spoke in opposition to the trail,
citing safety and liability concerns.
   “I’d be happy to work with the landowners
and the railroad,” Clark said. “This should be
                                                                                                                                   PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID
a positive thing for these communities.”                 Charlotte Fisher of Sauk Rapids, right, wears a top hat with her hands full of money to portray
                                                         “big drug companies,” while Lorraine Schreyer of Bloomington wears a pill bottle during an
                                                         April 4 rally for affordable prescription drugs in the Capitol Rotunda.


                                                                                                                                          Session Weekly    9
   The new definition further clarifies that a        contraceptive services from the governor’s            Her bill creates a new post-secondary grant
conflict would exist when the vendor’s objec-         $10 million-a-year teenage pregnancy preven-       program that will be funded with a 1 percent
tivity in performing the contract work might          tion program.                                      allocation of the appropriations for the state
otherwise be impaired or when a vendor has               According to the state Department of            grant program. A grant “may be made for a
an unfair advantage over others vying for the         Health, 32 percent of family planning grants       maximum of four years or until the student
contract.                                             now go to non-profit community clinics.            receives a baccalaureate degree,” the bill states.
   Kent Allin, an assistant commissioner with the     HF1581 would redirect that funding to local           To be eligible for the funding, a student
Department of Administration, said the bill par-      governments.                                       must attend a four-year college or university
tially addresses an issue that arose last fall when      “This takes money away from programs that       following high school graduation. They must
the Federal Transit Administration required the       work and gives it to cities and counties, many     also achieve a score of three or higher on five
Metropolitan Council to re-bid a contract in-         of which have no experience in this area,” said    or more advanced placement exams for full-
volving the Minneapolis light-rail project. In that   Rep. Thomas Huntley (DFL-Duluth). “I don’t         year courses or achieve a score of four or
case, the selected vendor worked as an interim        see why we would want to do this.”                 higher on five or more international
project manager and may have had an unfair               Arguing his intent was to narrow the focus,     baccalaureate exams for full-year courses.
competitive advantage.                                Goodno said the original bill had a “shotgun          Rep. Lyndon Carlson (DFL-Crystal), a
   The bill would make other changes to the           approach,” and he preferred to “specifically       former teacher, said sometimes his top stu-
state’s purchasing laws, including increasing         target certain areas.”                             dents would attend a two-year college initially
the threshold amount from $25,000 to $50,000             Sections of the bill are aimed at health care   after high school. He asked if this could be
for instances when a state agency is required         disparities by making block grants available       expanded to include those institutions.
to go through the formal contracting process.         to community organizations. Money for fam-         Seagren said she is open to the idea.
The bill also would increase from $10,000 to          ily planning is specifically excluded.                Marlys Peters-Melius, director of advanced
$75,000 the value of a contract that requires a          Rep. Neva Walker (DFL-Mpls) protested           placement and international baccalaureate
performance and payment bond from the                 these exclusions. “Let the people in the com-      programs at the Department of Children,
contractor.                                           munity decide for themselves where to put this     Families and Learning, said approximately 210
   Allin said that 328 out of 2,300 professional      money,” she said.                                  high schools in Minnesota offer advanced
technical contracts in 2000 went through the             “Family planning clinics prevent a large        placement programs and 11 have international
formal bidding process and they would fall            number of teen pregnancies,” said Michael          baccalaureate programs, with four or five
under the threshold proposed in the bill. He          Resnick, director of the National Teen Preg-       more expressing an interest. The advanced
said likewise 2,015 commodity contracts out           nancy Prevention Research Center at the Uni-       placement numbers represent about one-half
of 424,000 would have fallen beneath the              versity of Minnesota. “Availability of             of the state’s high schools. She said 7-10 new
$50,000 amount proposed in the bill.                  contraceptives and clinic services do not in-      schools have been added during the past few
   Rep. Len Biernat (DFL-Mpls) said he was            crease the number of sexual partners or cause      years, but more students are taking advanced
concerned that by allowing more informal              an earlier age of first sex.”                      classes.
contracts to be executed between state agen-              “I want to know that the values I teach as a      “Students want this type of rigorous aca-
cies and vendors, there was potential for             parent aren’t going to be undermined when          demic experience,” said Stu Lade, advanced
increased instances of conflicts of interest.         some clinic sets up down the street,” said         placement coordinator at Brainerd High
   Allin said there was a “slight increase” in the    Rep. Tim Wilkin (R-Eagan).                         School.
chances of misuse of the process but state               “Clinics make every effort to connect young        Seagren said the bill would help the
agencies are currently having a difficult time        people back with their parents,” Resnick said.     workforce situation in Minnesota. She said
finding qualified contractors, especially in the      “If that isn’t possible, they connect them with    Wisconsin offers a similar program because
information technology sector.                        another responsible adult.”                        officials believe students attending college in
                                                         “We will pay now or we will pay later,” he      that state will remain after graduation. She said
                                                      said. “If we pay later, we will pay much, much     officials with the Minnesota State Colleges and
                                                      more.”                                             Universities report that 84 percent of their
5
      HEALTH                                                                                             graduates stay in the state.
                                                                                                            Peters said about 80 percent of international
     Limiting family planning services                                                                   baccalaureate students and 60 percent of stu-
   The House Health and Human Services
                                                      5
                                                           HIGHER EDUCATION                              dents taking advanced placement classes stay
Policy Committee voted March 29 to approve                                                               in Minnesota for college.
a major health measure that will be consid-                          Aid for grades
                                                                                                            No cost was given, as appropriations are yet
ered for inclusion in the committee’s                    Students willing to take challenging courses
                                                                                                         to be made, but Peters said giving each quali-
omnibus bill.                                         in high school may be entitled to more finan-
                                                                                                         fying student $1,000 would cost about
   HF1581, sponsored by Committee Chair               cial aid for college, under a plan heard by the
                                                                                                         $230,000 in year one, increasing to $1 million
Rep. Kevin Goodno (R-Moorhead), includes              House Higher Education Finance Committee
                                                                                                         annually by year four.
an array of health-care programs and appro-           April 4.
priations that legislators have considered this          Rep Alice Seagren (R-Bloomington) is
session.                                              sponsoring HF2226 as a way to encourage
                                                      high school students who take advanced place-                        Math help
   But at this meeting, testifiers and commit-
                                                      ment and international baccalaureate classes          Officials with the Minnesota Talented Youth
tee members focused on two related provi-
                                                      to attend a post-secondary institution in Min-     Math Program are used to working with num-
sions: the prohibition of state funding for
                                                      nesota. It will be considered for inclusion in     bers. Now they seek more money from the
non-profit organizations that provide family
                                                      the committee’s omnibus bill.                      state.
planning, and the exclusion of medical or
                                                                                                            HF428, sponsored by Rep. Bob Gunther

10        April 6, 2001
(R-Fairmont), was held over April 4 for con-                                                                       Radio requests heard
sideration in the House Higher Education            5
                                                         INDUSTRY                                           Public radio stations took their turn testi-
Finance Committee’s omnibus bill.                                                                        fying about HF218, a bill which proposes to
                                                             Taconite plant loan fund
   Funded by $40,000 from Minnesota State                                                                completely cut funding.
                                                       A request for a $100 million revolving loan
University, Mankato, the program allows stu-                                                                Sponsored by Rep. Phil Krinkie (R-
                                                    fund for taconite plant capital improvements
dents in south central Minnesota to take math                                                            Shoreview), chair of the House State Govern-
                                                    might sound shockingly high. The same could
classes at an accelerated rate. The program                                                              ment Finance Committee, HF218 proposes to
                                                    be said for the industry’s expenses: $2 million
began in 1983.                                                                                           cut more than $100 million from the
                                                    for a dump truck; $4 million for hydraulic shovel;
   The 60 students now in the program spend                                                              governor’s total recommendations for state
                                                    and $6 million to $7 million for a conveyer.
two hours per week in class and then do five                                                             agencies.
                                                       Rep. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) is sponsoring
to 10 hours of homework each week. Starting                                                                 Minnesota’s two public radio groups — the
                                                    a bill to ease some of the financial strain on
in grade six, students take full Algebra I and II                                                        Association of Minnesota Public Educational
                                                    Minnesota mining companies. Under HF1736,
classes in one year, followed by geometry in                                                             Radio Stations (AMPERS) and Minnesota
                                                    presented to the House Jobs and Economic
the second year, and advanced algebra and                                                                Public Radio (MPR) — testified to the com-
                                                    Development Finance Committee April 2,
precalculus in year three. In years four, five,                                                          mittee March 29. Both received a recommen-
                                                    mining companies would submit proposals
and six students take Calculus I, II, and III for                                                        dation for their base allocation from Gov. Jesse
                                                    for capital improvements to the Department
university credit. Less than 1 percent of the                                                            Ventura.
                                                    of Trade and Economic Development. The
student population qualifies for this program.                                                              Krinkie asked AMPERS representatives
                                                    maximum duration of the loan would be 30
   Program Director Quintin Pettigrew said a                                                             what would happen if they receive none of
                                                    years.
classroom of students meet with an instruc-                                                              their $640,000 base funding request for the
                                                       “Banks are not very friendly to people in our
tor in Mankato with interactive television                                                               2002-03 biennium. Barry Tilley, a lobbyist for
                                                    industry right now,” said Charles William, vice
classes set up in Fairmont, Madelia, Blue                                                                AMPERS, said he doesn’t know if some of the
                                                    president of Forbes-based EVTAC Mining.
Earth, or Owatonna, depending on the class.                                                              association’s 13 stations would go off the air,
                                                       William was referring to the nearly 1,400
   “We’d like to see the program available in                                                            but it would put additional strain on all sta-
                                                    steel worker layoffs within the past year, mostly
all of rural Minnesota,” Pettigrew said. “We                                                             tions, including some that are already stressed.
                                                    from LTV Steel Mining Co. in Hoyt Lakes,
want this available to students in Pipestone                                                                All stations, ranging from jazz to classical
                                                    which declared bankruptcy. The entire United
and International Falls, as well as the Twin                                                             to college rock, are community-based, non-
                                                    States steel industry is under stress, however,
Cities and Rochester.” Larger metropolitan                                                               commercial radio stations. Rep. Jim Rhodes
                                                    due to other countries illegally selling steel in
areas have a similar program funded through                                                              (R-St. Louis Park) said it is the only place to
                                                    the U.S. below cost, he said.
the University of Minnesota.                                                                             hear some types of music. “It serves a need,”
                                                       “A bill of this type sends a strong message
   Expansion plans call for interactive televi-                                                          he said.
                                                    to our bankers or lenders that the state of Min-
sion links at 21 sites, which would allow stu-                                                              Ventura did not recommend funding the
                                                    nesota is supportive of this industry and
dents in more than 100 school districts the                                                              AMPERS request of a $150,000 biennial in-
                                                    willing to take a chance on it,” William said.
opportunity to take part. Districts included in                                                          crease in their base primarily to cover expenses
                                                       During 2000, mining companies on the Iron
that number are within one hour of the                                                                   related to the conversion from analog to digi-
                                                    Range spent $68.5 million on capital products,
interactive television site.                                                                             tal broadcasting. The association’s request for
                                                    Bakk noted. Now, parent companies are
   The bill requests $250,000 in fiscal year 2002                                                        $174,000 in equipment grants would also con-
                                                    strapped for cash and can’t invest in improve-
and $318,000 in fiscal year 2003 to expand the                                                           tribute to the conversion.
                                                    ments necessary to provide a good product.
program statewide. Pettigrew expects 350 to                                                                 “It’s a process of becoming digital, because
                                                       Under the original bill, the loan was inter-
400 participants once the program is fully                                                               when the system becomes digital we’ll have to
                                                    est free. However, Committee Chair Rep. Dan
implemented.                                                                                             be ready,” said Maggie Montgomery, president
                                                    McElroy (R-Burnsville) offered an amend-
   Richard Rush, president of Minnesota State                                                            of AMPERS.
                                                    ment to charge interest on the loan “at a rate
University, Mankato, said the university will                                                               Minnesota Public Radio broadcasts news
                                                    set by the commissioner.” McElroy reasoned
be unable to fund the program in coming years                                                            and information that reaches 98 percent of
                                                    other business loans managed by the depart-
due to its own budget constraints.                                                                       state. Their request to the state only pays for
                                                    ment charge interest, usually at a rate below
   Jon Ostrem, deputy to the chancellor for                                                              capital expenses; MPR covers operating ex-
                                                    market. The amendment was approved.
legislation and policy of the Minnesota State                                                            penses through donations from approximately
                                                       Rep. Dale Walz (R-Brainerd) asked what
Colleges and Universities, said their board has                                                          90,000 members.
                                                    changes would be needed to make Minnesota’s
not taken a position on the bill.                                                                           The $814,000 base request includes
                                                    steel companies more competitive with other
   “This program would help with workforce                                                               $614,000 for a generator in St. Paul and
                                                    countries.
development,” Gunther said, noting many new                                                              $200,000 for a new tower in Bemidji.
                                                       The real solution to today’s problems, Bakk
jobs in the state will require “lots of math                                                                The generator, explained Don Heppelmann,
                                                    replied, can only be solved in Washington D.C.
mastery.”                                                                                                co-chair of the Minnesota State Emergency
                                                       Gov. Jesse Ventura recently signed a resolu-
                                                                                                         Communications Committee, is needed for
                                                    tion to send an official message to President
                                                                                                         emergency messages for local, national, or in-
                                                    George W. Bush requesting that his adminis-
                                                                                                         ternational emergencies. There is a federal
                                                    tration immediately investigate the illegal sale
   If you have Internet access, visit the                                                                mandate to receive the signal, he said.
                                                    of steel products in the country.
         Legislature’s web page at:                                                                         The committee has taken no action on the
                                                       Bakk hopes the Bush administration will
        http://www.leg.state.mn.us                                                                       bill.
                                                    heed the resolution ”to make sure we’re on a
                                                    level playing field with the rest of the world.”
                                                       The bill will be considered for possible in-
                                                    clusion in the committee’s omnibus bill.
                                                                                                                                       Session Weekly   11
                                                     permit,” she said. “I’m not sure I’m comfort-            would require at least one member of the task
5
     LAW                                             able going in that direction.”                           force represent views of those who oppose ei-
                                                                                                              ther a direct state appropriation or tax incen-
     Permit measure heads to floor
                                                                                                              tives for a new stadium.
   A bill that would change the way concealed
                                                                                                                 Stang said it was important for the Legisla-
weapons permits are issued and require hold-
ers to be certified has made its way to the          5
                                                          RECREATION                                          ture to be involved from the beginning of the
                                                                                                              process since ultimately lawmakers are going
House floor.                                                           Skol Vikings                           to have to decide if public money will be spent
   HF1360, sponsored by Rep. Lynda                      The House Governmental Operations and                 on a new stadium.
Boudreau (R-Faribault), was approved by the          Veterans Affairs Policy Committee approved                  Mike Kelly, executive vice president of the
House Judiciary Finance Committee March 29           a bill April 4 that would establish a task force         Vikings, said the goal is for the new facility to
and by the House Ways and Means Commit-              to study issues relating to a new football sta-          be flexible enough to accommodate other
tee April 2.                                         dium for the Minnesota Vikings and Univer-               events such as soccer, high school athletic
   The bill would require sheriffs in Minne-         sity of Minnesota.                                       events, and a national tournament like the
sota to issue a concealed weapon permit to              The bill that was approved by a 13-5 vote             NCAA Final Four men’s basketball event.
people within 15 days of application as long         now goes to the House floor.                                Rep. Philip Krinkie (R-Shoreview) said a
as they do not fail a background check. In ad-          HF2241, sponsored by Rep. Doug Stang (R-              new study was not needed because a study
dition, it would require that each permit            Cold Spring), would create a 17-member task              commissioned by former Gov. Arne Carlson
holder be trained in firearms safety and re-         force composed of six legislators, five mem-             was done five years ago and every city that
ceive re-certification upon each renewal.            bers appointed by the governor, two members              eventually has funded a sports stadium began
   Existing law gives sheriffs and police chiefs     appointed by the University of Minnesota                 its process with a study.
discretion regarding whether the applicant           Board of Regents, two representatives of busi-              Krinkie said the study was just the first step
actually needs to carry a concealed weapon           ness interests and two representatives of la-            in finding a way to come up with public fund-
publicly. Sheriffs would be the sole granting        bor interests.                                           ing for the stadium.
authority for permits under the bill.                   There would be no state money involved in                “We all know this study could be conducted
   The bill also creates a statewide system that     funding the task force. The task force would             by the Vikings without legislative involvement,”
keeps track of all the people legally permitted      issue its report by Oct. 31, 2001 after studying         he said. “This is not just the camel’s nose under
to carry a concealed weapon.                         issues related to proposals to construct a new           the tent. This is the camel in the tent.”
   HF1360 provides a $45 fee for new permit          facility.                                                   Krinkie also was critical of the university
applications, $35 of which would go to the              The committee adopted an amendment of-                being involved in the proposal since it has
state. Permits would have to be renewed ev-          fered by Rep. Eric Lipman (R-Lake Elmo) that             10 years left on its Metrodome lease.
ery three years at a cost of $15, $3 of which
                                                                                                                 Rep. Mike Osskopp (R-Lake City) said he has
would go to the state.
                                                                                                              opposed public funding for stadiums in the past
   Those costs are higher than reflected in the
                                                                                                              but the study would ensure that the Legislature
original bill.
                                                                                                              be involved in “every inch of this thing.”
   In addition, the bill has been amended to
                                                                                                                 “If the bill was proposing even 10 cents of
grandfather in existing permit holders. They
                                                                                                              taxpayer funds I’d be leading the charge
must still re-apply when their permits expire,
                                                                                                              against it,” Osskopp said.
but Boudreau said they would come in gradu-
ally over the course of the first year rather than
all at once.
   Boudreau said officials anticipate 50,000
                                                                                                                    Mississippi Whitewater Trail
permit applications the first year and 20,000
                                                                                                                 An urban whitewater trail created by the
each subsequent year. She said fees would
                                                                                                              Legislature in 1998 is ready for the next stage
cover the costs of administering the bill,
                                                                                                              of development.
though an up-front appropriation of $1.6
                                                                                                                 A bill that would provide pre-construction
million is required to begin.
                                                                                                              funding for the Mississippi Whitewater Trail was
   In the Ways and Means hearing, Commit-
                                                                                                              heard by the House Environment and Natural
tee Chair Rep. Dave Bishop (R-Rochester)
                                                                                                              Resources Finance Committee April 2.
asked whether sheriffs will be able to conduct
                                                                                                                 HF1269, sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Kahn
accurate background checks, given that there
                                                                                                              (DFL-Mpls), would appropriate $683,000 —
are several thousand criminal records in sus-
                                                                                                              about one-half of which would be earmarked
pense that do not register in the state system.
                                                                                                              to secure federal funding of $1 million. The
   “I find that troubling,” Boudreau said, “a
                                                                                                              bill will be considered for inclusion in the
problem I’m hopeful that we can find a way
                                                                                                              committee’s omnibus finance bill.
to correct.”                                         Mike Kelly, left, executive vice president of the Min-
                                                     nesota Vikings, testifies April 4 before the House
                                                                                                                 The trail, to be built below the Stone Arch
   Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-
                                                     Governmental Operations and Veterans Affairs             Bridge in Minneapolis in the lower St. An-
Mpls) expressed concern whether the bill’s fees
                                                     Policy Committee for a bill that would establish a       thony Falls area, will run through a river chan-
will cover costs, especially given the fees for      panel to review proposals and make recommen-             nel bordered by a newly created island across
other state permits and licenses.                    dations for new sports facilities. Richard               from the University of Minnesota steam plant.
   “We ask people to pay more for a fishing          Pfutzenreuter, associate vice-president of the Uni-
                                                     versity of Minnesota’s Office of Budget and
                                                                                                              This channel will be 2,000 feet long and
license than we are for obtaining a gun
                                                     Finance, sits to his right.                              40 feet wide with a vertical drop of 25 feet.

12        April 6, 2001
                                                                                                                       High school savings
                                                                                                               In the past few weeks, thousands of fans
                                                                                                            have made their way to St. Paul to watch the
                                                                                                            many high school athletic tournaments that
                                                                                                            take place in March. Some might have been
                                                                                                            surprised at the cost of tickets.
                                                                                                               The House Taxes Committee Sales and In-
                                                                                                            come Tax Division heard two bills March 29
                                                                                                            that would exempt events sponsored by the
                                                                                                            Minnesota State High School League from
                                                                                                            sales tax.
                                                                                                               HF960, sponsored by Rep. Bob Milbert
                                                                                                            (DFL-South St. Paul), and HF1686, sponsored
                                                                                                            by Rep. William Kuisle (R-Rochester), would
                                                                                                            expand a current sales tax exemption on regu-
                                                                                                            lar season games to regional and state tour-
                                                                                                            nament athletic and academic competitions.
                                                                                                               According to information provided by the
                                                                                                            high school league, $491,645 was the amount
                                                                                                            of sales taxes collected between July 1999 and
Bill Tilton of the Mississippi Whitewater Park Development Corporation uses a drawing April 2 to show
                                                                                                            July 2000. Attendance at those events during
members of the House Environment and Natural Resource Finance Committee where the 2,000-foot
long, 40-foot wide whitewater channel along the east side of the Mississippi River would be located         the same time period was more than 500,000
below the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis.                                                                 people.
                                                                                                               Milbert said there was no good reason for
   The re-creation of a rapids below St. Anthony      mentally disadvantaged constituent who re-
                                                                                                            differing treatment in current law that ex-
Falls will be controlled by a headgate so water       ceived a $193 property tax refund check from
                                                                                                            empts regular season games but taxes tourna-
levels can be adjusted for different activities and   the department and promptly filed it away
                                                                                                            ment games.
levels of skill. The trail will accommodate           only to rediscover the check three years later.
                                                                                                               “This is a very significant and unexpected
whitewater rafting, canoeing, and kayaking for           Under current law the right to the property
                                                                                                            expense for a family. It is very reasonable of
people of all skill levels. Plans include the cre-    tax refund lapses if the check is not cashed
                                                                                                            us to remove the discrimination,” he said.
ation of a green space along the trail with walk-     within two years after it is issued.
                                                                                                               Kuisle said he talked with his brother, who
ways, picnic areas, and a fishing pier.                  McElroy told the House Taxes Committee
                                                                                                            is a high school athletic director in Rochester,
   A feasibility study projected an economic          Sales and Income Tax Division March 29 that
                                                                                                            and said the sales tax exemption would gen-
impact of $2 million to $2.5 million annually.        his bill would allow the department to re-issue
                                                                                                            erate enough savings to allow the school to
   The overall cost of the trail and surround-        tax refunds to an individual taxpayer who dem-
                                                                                                            hire an assistant coach.
ing park is estimated to be about $15 million.        onstrates there is reasonable cause to do so.
                                                                                                               “The cost is getting almost prohibitive in
Federal funding of $10 million has already               The bill also would require the department
                                                                                                            going to these events,” he said.
been authorized for the design and construc-          to report to the Department of Commerce any
                                                                                                               Although both bills were similar, the De-
tion of the trail under the Water Resources           tax refund checks more than one year old that
                                                                                                            partment of Revenue preferred the language
Development Act of 2000.                              have not been cashed so they can be listed as
                                                                                                            of HF1686; therefore, Rep. Elaine Harder (R-
   “This is both a recreational project and a         unclaimed property.
                                                                                                            Jackson) said it would be considered further
river restoration project,” said Bill Tilton, chair      According to the Department of Revenue,
                                                                                                            for possible inclusion in the omnibus tax bill.
of the Mississippi Whitewater Park Develop-           1998 property tax refund checks totaling
ment Corporation, a nonprofit organization            $549,000 have yet to be cashed and have thus
that has spearheaded the project. “It gives us a      lapsed. For the 1999 sales tax rebate, checks worth
chance to get back to the falls.”                     a total of $458,000 have not been cashed.
                                                                                                                           Preferred rate
   The park and trail would be managed by                Rep. Andy Dawkins (DFL-St. Paul) asked
                                                                                                               Existing state tax law provides that the value
the Department of Natural Resources. “This            the likelihood of uncashed checks of large
                                                                                                            of land is based on its “highest and best” use.
is a new kind of venture for us,” said Dennis         amounts still being out there, making the pos-
                                                                                                               The House Taxes Committee heard a bill
Asmundson, of the DNR Trails and Waterways            sible cost of the bill unexpectedly expensive.
                                                                                                            April 3 that would establish the “Minnesota
Division, speaking in support of the bill.               McElroy said the bill is limited to personal
                                                                                                            Environmental Preservation Property Law”
                                                      refund checks and does not apply to businesses.
                                                                                                            that would allow certain property owners to
                                                         The committee adopted an amendment
                                                                                                            apply for preferential valuation of their land.
                                                      clarifying the “reasonable cause” standard that
5
     TAXES                                            would allow the department to re-issue a
                                                                                                               Rep. Roxann Daggett (R-Frazee), the spon-
                                                                                                            sor of HF2121, said the bill’s provisions were
                 Check again                          check. In the original bill, the criteria were
                                                                                                            patterned after the state’s current Green Acres
                                                      based upon “the disability or diminished ca-
  Because the topic is taxes it might be tempt-                                                             tax program.
                                                      pacity of the taxpayer, extreme hardship, or
ing to throw material received in the mail from                                                                That program allows owners of certain ag-
                                                      other good cause.”
the Department of Revenue into a drawer. But                                                                ricultural land to pay property taxes on the
                                                         The committee took no further action on
sometimes that doesn’t pay off.                                                                             land based on agricultural use rather than the
                                                      the bill, but Rep. Elaine Harder (R-Jackson),
  Rep. Dan McElroy (R-Burnsville) said he is                                                                commonly higher market value.
                                                      the division chair, said it would be considered
sponsoring HF1357 on behalf of a develop-                                                                      Daggett said several property owners in
                                                      for possible inclusion in the omnibus tax bill.
                                                                                                                                          Session Weekly   13
Otter Tail County received a letter from the          Workman explained that one barge can               Kahn suggested Congress examine the us-
county assessor informing them that in de-         carry the same load as 58 trucks, and that wa-     ing better equipment and scheduling as ways
termining the value of their property contain-     terway improvements could therefore remove         the shipping industry could improve its effi-
ing lakeshore or river frontage, the influence     traffic from more expensive highways.              ciency without requiring increased spending.
of that water frontage had to be taken into           Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Mpls) offered an            Workman accused opponents of trying to
account.                                           amendment that would have included lan-            forestall waterway expenditure indefinitely
   Previously that frontage had not been con-      guage encouraging Congress to appropriate          with disingenuous calls for study. “I’m not the
sidered due to the size and use of the             funds only after “a thorough and completed         most fiscally conservative member in the
property.                                          review of the scientific and economic data re-     body,” retorted Kahn. “But this is like throw-
   Daggett said the lakeshore involved was         garding the lock and dam system.”                  ing money into the river to see if the problem
more of a slough or swamp and that the body           Countering assertions by proponents that        goes away.”
of water could not be used for recreational        the matter had been sufficiently studied, Kahn        In the Senate, the bill awaits a hearing in
purposes.                                          said doubt had been cast upon a U.S. Army          the Environment and Natural Resources
   In order to qualify for the lower valuation     Corps of Engineers’ study promoting water-         Committee.
provided in the bill, the land would have to be    way expansion. She said a member of the
homesteaded by the owner, his or her spouse,       Corps had been fired after publicly denounc-
or a child of the owner. The bill also requires    ing the study’s methodology and that several
                                                                                                                 Railroad quiet zones
that the property owner has owned the land         independent analyses concluded waterway
                                                                                                         Cities and towns may soon have the option
for at least seven years prior to the applica-     companies had unduly influenced the results.
                                                                                                      of creating railroad “quiet zones” within which
tion for benefits.                                 “We want Congress to consider accurate in-
                                                                                                      locomotives would be forbidden to blow
   Land that qualifies for the program would       formation,” she said.
                                                                                                      whistles. Rep. Dennis Ozment (R-Rosemount)
have to consist of forestland, woodland, mead-        Workman, who chairs the House Transpor-
                                                                                                      is sponsoring HF595 to “try to make it clear
owland, slough, or a wasteland. The revenues       tation Policy Committee, and Rep. Dennis
                                                                                                      that local communities can make quiet zones.”
derived from the property in the previous year     Ozment (R-Rosemount), chair of the House
                                                                                                         He told a March 30 meeting of the House
could not exceed $5 per acre and would have        Environment and Natural Resources Policy
                                                                                                      Transportation Policy Committee meeting
to continue to be less than $5 per acre in each    Committee, each denied having studied alter-
                                                                                                      that some local jurisdictions declined to cre-
year that the property is enrolled in the          native strategies for increasing river traffic
                                                                                                      ate such zones out of concern that doing so
program.                                           volume, the ultimate goal of additional
                                                                                                      would violate the law. The committee ap-
   Jenny Engh, an assistant commissioner with      expenditure.
                                                                                                      proved the bill and referred it to the House
the Department of Revenue, said the depart-
                                                                                                      Transportation Finance Committee.
ment is concerned about equity issues that           LIVING    DONOR                                     Also of concern is that quiet zones might
could occur because the taxes would be shifted
                                                                                                      require the construction of expensive traffic
onto other properties within the jurisdiction.
                                                                                                      barriers at railroad intersections with streets.
   Keith Carlson, a lobbyist for the Metropoli-
                                                                                                      The bill would permit local governments to
tan Inter-County Association, spoke against
                                                                                                      spend county state-aid and municipal state-
the bill saying it would provide tax reductions
                                                                                                      aid funds to buy, construct, and install grade
to individuals who own an asset that is rap-
                                                                                                      crossing signals and barriers on county state-
idly appreciating.
                                                                                                      aid highways and municipal state-aid streets.
   The committee took no action on the bill,
                                                                                                         Brian Sweeney of the Burlington Northern
but Rep. Ron Abrams (R-Minnetonka), the
                                                                                                      and Santa Fe Railroad endorsed the bill. He
committee chair, said it would be considered
                                                                                                      explained that forthcoming federal rules
for possible inclusion in the omnibus tax bill.
                                                                                                      would soon require locomotives to sound their
                                                                                                      horns at every public intersection other than
                                                                                                      those designated “quiet zones.”

5
     TRANSPORTATION                                                                                      Ozment said that decisions about railroad
                                                                                                      quiet zones under his bill should and would
        ‘Modernizing’ waterways                                                                       be “between local communities, railroads, and
  The full House adopted a non-binding                                                                the federal government.”
resolution urging Congress to authorize fed-
eral funding “for the modernization of water-
ways” during the April 4 floor session.
  Rep. Tom Workman (R-Chanhassen) spon-                                                                      Lifetime trailer registration
sored the resolution, which neither appropriates                                                         A plan to limit the number of times a per-
money, nor changes state law. It does encourage                                                       son must pay for registering a trailer with the
Congress to spend millions of dollars updating                                                        state will be considered for possible inclusion
                                                                             PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID
the “Upper Mississippi River System.”                Randall Callies of Stillwater tells the House
                                                                                                      in the House Transportation Finance
  Workman emphasized that HF208 has re-              Commerce, Jobs, and Economic Development         Committee’s omnibus bill.
ceived the support of U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar         Policy Committee April 3 how he donated a           At the April 2 meeting, committee mem-
(DFL-Chisholm). “(He) believes this should
                                                     kidney and strongly urges them to pass a bill    bers evaluated a proposal that would allow
                                                     requiring employers to give paid leave for       owners of trailers weighing 3,000 pounds or
be distributed and passed in all states around       organ donation.
the Mississippi River.”                                                                               less to register them for the life of the vehicle.
                                                                                                      Currently those trailers must be registered
14        April 6, 2001
with the state every two years with the fee             Committee Chair Rep. Carol Molnau (R-            endangers people or property, it would be a
based on total gross weight.                          Chaska) reassured Kalis, saying the Legislature    misdemeanor punishable by 90 days in jail and
   Rep. Mary Liz Holberg (R-Lakeville) is             could raise registration fees on approximately     up to a $1,000 fine.
sponsoring HF1281, which would provide for            800,000 such trailers in Minnesota.
a one-time registration tax of $55 for trailers
when registered in the state for the first time.
   The bill provides that the tax for a currently                                                          ALCOHOL       MONITORING
registered trailer is $25 if the owner wishes to                       Shifting left
register it for the remaining life of the trailer.       Drivers on roads with more than one lane
   If an owner does not want permanent regis-         in the same direction might soon be required
tration, the first biennial tax is $10 through June   to move left when passing an emergency ve-
30, 2003. After that, trailers must be issued per-    hicle parked on the right shoulder.
manent registration at the first opportunity, at a       Rep. William Kuisle (R-Rochester) is spon-
cost of $20, according to the bill.                   soring legislation in memory of Minnesota
   For owners of trailers whose registration          State Patrol Cpl. Ted Foss, who was killed dur-
does not need to be renewed until after July 1,       ing a routine traffic stop on Interstate 90 near
2003, the tax would be $20 and permanent              Lewiston in August 2000. Foss was speaking
registration must be issued.                          with the occupants of a minivan he had just
   The state Department of Transportation             pulled over when a semi-tractor trailer
estimates that income from trailer registration       slammed into him and the minivan.
would exceed $20 million in the upcoming                 At the April 3 meeting of the House Trans-
biennium, more than double the figure that            portation Policy Committee, Kuisle described
would be collected if lifetime registration were      HF801 as “an attempt to look at a serious situ-
not adopted. Projected revenue under the pro-         ation.” The bill was approved and now moves
posed change would remain greater than rev-           to the House floor.
enue under the current system until                      The bill would also permit drivers on two-
approximately 2020. In that year, the two             lane roads to move into the left lane while
trailer registration plans are forecast to gen-       passing stopped emergency vehicles. Under
erate the same revenue.                               existing law, drivers may operate vehicles on
   Driver and Vehicle Services, a subdivision         the left side of a road only to pass or to avoid
                                                                                                                                     PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID
of the Department of Public Safety, released a        a road closure.
                                                                                                           A device that electronically monitors alcohol
statement explaining official support for the            “As vehicles get bigger and bigger, it gets       levels is displayed before the House Crime
bill. “The change will simplify the registration      harder and harder to see officers along the side     Prevention Committee April 5 as Stephen
process for owners, provide a more efficient          of the road,” Kuisle said. He added that police      Simon, director of the DWI Task Force, testi-
system for collecting taxes, as well as reduce        officers are especially concerned about driv-        fies for a bill that would fund a study of elec-
staff time needed to process registrations,” it       ers unable to see officers around large trucks       tronic alcohol monitoring recidivism and
                                                                                                           conditional release violation rates.
said.                                                 and sport utility vehicles.
   Rep. Henry Kalis (DFL-Wells) predicted                Failing to move over into available lanes
that permitting one-time registration could           would be a petty misdemeanor, punishable by
jeopardize long-term registration revenue.            a fine up to $300. If the same offense
“Some states did it, and are sorry,” he said.




                                       Minnesota’s U.S. Senators
    U.S. Senators
    Senator                                               Senator                                           417 W. Litchfield Ave.
    Mark Dayton (DFL)                                     Paul Wellstone (DFL)                              Willmar, MN 56201
    818A Hart Senate Office Building                      136 Hart Senate Office Building                   (320) 231-0001
    Washington, D.C. 20510                                Washington, D.C. 20510                            Fax: (320) 231-0006
    (202) 224-3244                                        (202) 224-5641
    Fax: (202) 228-2186                                   Fax: (202) 224-8438                               P.O. Box 281
                                                                                                            105 S. Second Ave.
    Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building                 Suite 100 North                                   Virginia, MN 55792
    1 Federal Drive, Suite 298                            2550 University Ave. W.                           (218) 741-1074
    St. Paul, MN 55111                                    St. Paul, MN 55114                                Fax: (218) 741-8544
    (612) 727-5220                                        (651) 645-0323                                    E-mail:
    Fax: (612) 727-5223                                   Fax: (651) 645-0704                               senator@wellstone.senate.gov
    Web site: http://www.senate.gov/~dayton               1-800-642-6041                                    Web site: http://www.senate.gov/~wellstone




                                                                                                                                          Session Weekly      15
     T ISSUE: CRIME
 A    5 5 5




                                                                                                                O’Malley said methamphetamine manufac-
Stopping trafficking                                                                                         turing has progressed gradually from
                                                                                                             California to the Midwest in recent years. It
                                                                                                             settled first in Missouri and spread quickly to
Legislators propose grants for local law enforcement to curb the                                             Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois.
growth of clandestine methamphetamine labs in Minnesota                                                         It’s now spreading north to Minnesota,
                                                                                                             O’Malley said, because Iowa officials have been
BY MICHELLE KIBIGER                                      The bill provides that grants be distributed        successfully curbing behavior with public


W
          hen a 12-year-old girl stumbled upon        in a balanced manner among rural, suburban,            awareness campaigns and enforcement
          a portable methamphetamine lab in           and urban drug task force agencies. Most of            methods.
          the woods near Baxter a couple sum-         the state’s counties participate in the statewide         As a result, meth “cookers” are moving
mers ago, Rep. Dale Walz (R-Brainerd), the            narcotics task force.                                  north.
police officer the girl’s father called, was thank-      Statistics show that nationally, law enforce-          Recipes are relatively easy to obtain. In fact,
ful that it hadn’t been a young child who found       ment seized eight times as many labs in 1999           step-by-step instructions are available on the
it.                                                   as they did in 1995. In Minnesota, agencies            Internet. In addition, those who make the drug
    A smaller child, Walz testified at the April 3    seized 13 labs in 1995, compared to 134 in             successfully tend to share their success with
hearing of the House Judiciary Finance Com-           2000.                                                  others.
mittee, might have tasted the volatile chemi-            Tim O’Malley, special agent with the Min-              Duluth Police Chief Scott Lyons testified
cals, which can kill if ingested.                     nesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, tes-           that an important part of the bill allows for
    Walz says that because methamphetamine            tified that through March 26, agencies in the          the money to pay for public awareness cam-
can be so easily made, labs are popping up            state had seized 62 labs, placing them on a            paigns. He said law enforcement needs to in-
across the state and the problem is getting out       track to seize as many as 300 statewide this           form discount and hardware stores, where
of hand for law enforcement. He proposed a            year.                                                  many of the ingredients for methamphet-
bill (HF1777) intended to buffer some of the                                                                 amine manufacturing are available, to watch
costs local governments incur when they have                                                                 out for people buying large quantities of
to take down a meth lab, investigate the case,                                                               certain materials.
and prosecute the perpetrator.                                                                                  In addition, law enforcement agencies need
    “Law enforcement has to get on top of it,”                                                               to educate the public about what goes into the
Walz said. “The only thing we can do is con-                                                                 manufacturing process, in case they stumble
trol it, and the only thing I can think to do is                                                             upon a lab, like the girl in Walz’s district did.
appropriate money to local governments to                                                                       Lyons said there are so many methods —
control it.”                                                                                                 both hot and cold — that a lab can literally
    However, other members are concerned                                                                     pop up anywhere.
that by appropriating money for local law en-                                                                   “It’s like a hotdish,” he said. “There isn’t one
forcement to complete specific types of inves-                                                               specific way to make methamphetamine.”
tigations, such as gang strike forces, narcotics                                                                The costs associated with taking down a
enforcement, and others, the state is merely                                                                 clandestine lab are difficult to determine,
setting up a series of specialized police forces.                                                            O’Malley said, because of the variables that
    “I guess it’s old fashioned to think that the                                                            exist. He said the clean up alone can cost be-
sheriff would have enough money to do all                                                                    tween $5,000 and $6,000 per lab. However,
law enforcement,” said Rep. Dave Bishop (R-                                                                  each case requires different levels of investi-
Rochester).                                                                                                  gation, prosecution, and involvement of
    Walz’s bill would appropriate $1.096 million                                                             different government agencies.
during the 2002-03 biennium in the form of                                                                      Each lab bust requires 40 trained law en-
grants to local law enforcement for the purpose                                                              forcement officers, O’Malley said. Sometimes
of paying costs related to clandestine metham-                                                               they obtain the help of a chemical assessment
phetamine labs. The money could be used for                                                                  team from the state to determine what is in
increased law enforcement or investigation costs                                                             the lab, and the damage associated with it. Fire
and training courses, materials or public aware-                                                             crews often stand by in case of fire or
ness campaigns.                                                                                              explosion.
    According to the bill, the money could not                                   PHOTO BY ANDREW VON BANK       If children are involved, the Department of
be used to clean up a lab site or dispose of the      Duluth Police Chief Scott Lyons testifies before the   Human Services comes along.
chemicals seized. In addition, it could not sup-      House Judiciary Finance Committee April 3 in sup-         If the lab is self-contained and has not
                                                      port of a bill that would provide methamphet-
plant local spending related to labs.                                                                        Continued on page 22
                                                      amine lab law enforcement grants.

16        April 6, 2001
     T ISSUE: EDUCATION
 A    5 5 5




                                                                                                       well-prepared academically, and they are ex-
Educating teachers                                                                                     ceptional teaching candidates,” she wrote.
                                                                                                       “They are also wonderful role models for our
                                                                                                       students.”
Licensure programs at three colleges recruit minorities to                                                St. Thomas’ Collaborative Urban Educator
teach minorities                                                                                       program places people of color in urban or
                                                                                                       urban-like public elementary or middle
BY THERESA STAHL                                  $450,000 each year for St. Thomas, and               schools, and offers specialized programs in


A
       fter a few years of teaching, Roxanne      $400,000 each year for Hamline.                      science and math education licensure. Nearly
       Glawe considered leaving the St. Paul         “The need for teachers like these is growing      two-thirds of program participants are Afri-
       school system — maybe even teaching        all around us,” said William Staley, director of     can-American, one in five is Asian, and one in
altogether.                                       Concordia’s program. Staley testified April 2 to     nine is Hispanic. The program has licensed
   Many of her students needed intensive read-    the House K-12 Education Finance Committee.          almost 200 people from under-represented
ing instruction, a high level of consistency in      Concordia’s Southeast Asian Teacher Licen-        populations.
the way they were taught, and teachers who        sure program, with enrollment at 37 people,             Marcus Moten is currently student teach-
were empathetic and didn’t come and go each       has surpassed expectations of its founders,          ing as an intern from the St. Thomas program
year. It was a demanding environment that         according to preliminary analysis. Ten to 15         at Washington Middle School in St. Paul. An
caused many teachers, including Glawe, to         graduates are expected each year, and the first      African-American man, he said he has been
burn out.                                         seven graduates are teaching in metro-area           educated in both an all minority, or black,
   Then Glawe decided to participate in the       schools.                                             classroom and a predominantly white setting.
Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching, a 20-       Irene Jelacic, principal of Parkway Elemen-          “Now with me being in the classroom, I can
credit series of classes at Hamline University    tary School in St. Paul, wrote a letter to Seagren   see that I am having a really different impact
that aims to increase the number of new mi-       in support of the legislation. Nearly                on a lot of the students,” he wrote to Seagren.
nority teachers and help teachers of any back-    50 percent of Parkway’s students are South-          “I have noticed that some of the kids who are
ground succeed in urban or urban-                 east Asian children, she said. Jelacic hired three   labeled as ‘problems’ are following the
like classrooms.                                  new Hmong teachers from Concordia’s pro-             directions that I am giving them without
   Completing the certificate program helped      gram in 2000.
Glawe understand poverty, diverse ethnic             “The Concordia students come to us                Continued on page 22
groups, and how to make diversity a benefit
rather than a problem. She emphasizes that
she has higher expectations for her students
now, and as a result they perform at a higher
level.
   Glawe said all teachers who work in an ur-
ban environment need some type of training
similar to what the center offers.
   “It’s so frustrating to watch teachers treat
kids in ways they shouldn’t,” she said. “It’s
young teachers without much experience who
get hired in urban settings. We need to make
them positive influences and get them to stay
in the profession.”
   Hamline’s program, which started in 1998,
offers graduate-level courses to new and vet-
eran teachers to help them, like Glawe, become
more effective in urban-like settings. Two
other programs at colleges in the Twin Cities
metropolitan area have similar missions, one
at Concordia University-St. Paul and the other
at the University of St. Thomas.
   A bill (HF1890), sponsored by Rep. Alice                                                                                      PHOTO BY ANDREW VON BANK
Seagren (R-Bloomington), would distribute         A bill being considered by the House K-12 Education Finance Committee, would support teaching pro-
$2.7 million to the programs in the 2002-03       grams to help new teachers better understand cultural and social differences in urban school settings,
                                                  like this third-grade classroom at John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary School in St. Paul,
biennium: $500,000 each year for Concordia,
                                                  being taught by See P. Vang.

                                                                                                                                     Session Weekly   17
     T ISSUE: LAW
 A    5 5 5




                                                                                                            Legislators have struggled to balance the
Tort reform                                                                                              need to reasonably compensate victims with
                                                                                                         the desire to not unduly burden defendants
                                                                                                         who may only be marginally at fault.
Legislators seek to amend civil case law that some say is                                                   In Bishop’s original version, defendants
unfair to defendants                                                                                     found less than 50 percent responsible could
                                                                                                         be held liable for no more than their propor-
BY JONAS M. WALKER                                                                                       tion. Those more than one-half at fault could



A
     cting on one of the most contentious and long-standing, yet least                                   have been required to pay for all damages.
                                                                                                            Rep. Joe Opatz (DFL-St. Cloud) proposed
      commonly understood legal issues, the full House adopted a tort                                    amending that figure to 40 percent during
      reform measure March 29 by a 68 to 62 vote.                                                        floor debate. He summarized the tension ex-
  HF369, sponsored by Rep. Dave Bishop (R-Rochester), would modify the                                   pressed by many legislators. “Do we err on the
system of joint and several liability, which permits courts to hold defen-                               side of the victim and make a new victim, or
                                                                                                         do we err on the side of the defendant and fail
dants in civil actions responsible for a greater share of a plaintiff ’s cost than                       to make the victim whole?”
the proportion of damage for which they are responsible.                                                    Bishop sponsored the same amendment on
                                                                                                         an identical bill two years ago. He later ex-
   Bills such as HF369 are known as “tort re-      being ordered to pay more than $300,000 per           plained he supports the amendment because
form” because they amend the civil law sys-        person or $1 million per incident. Joint and          he wants to ensure the bill’s success. Last year,
tem used to compensate those injured by the        several liability is upheld for persons commit-       the House approved the measure but the Sen-
actions of others. A tort is defined as “a pri-    ting intentional wrongs.                              ate declined to follow suit.
vate or civil wrong, other than a breach of           Ideally, courts would only order compen-              This year, Sen. John Hottinger (DFL-
contract, for which the court will provide a       sation proportional to the amount of each             Mankato) is sponsoring the Senate version,
remedy in the form of an action for damages.”      defendant’s fault. But given that many defen-         SF629. It has been referred to the Senate Judi-
   Under the House bill, defendants found li-      dants are unable to adequately meet the finan-        ciary Committee, which as of April 4 had not
able for 40 percent or less of the damages in a    cial demands on their own, for example due            taken any action on the matter.
civil case would be responsible for only the       to inadequate insurance, courts sometimes
percentage of the plaintiff ’s damage that they
caused. Current law sets that proportion at
15 percent.                                                      “Do we err on the side of the victim and make a new victim, or do we
   The following scenario demonstrates how                       err on the side of the defendant and fail to make the victim whole?”
the changes in HF369 would affect a civil case.                                                                         —Rep. Joe Opatz
   Three defendants are found 55, 35, and
10 percent at fault, respectively, in damaging
a plaintiff.
   Current law would allow the court to order      order other defendants to compensate victims             Bishop’s bill has been a target for criticism
both defendants one and two to compensate the      beyond their own proportional fault. This is          in part because of the difficulty in predicting
plaintiff for up to 100 percent of the damages.    to prevent injured people from having to pay          its economic impact. He said the Department
Because the third defendant is less than           expenses unfairly incurred to them because of         of Finance was unable to forecast the impact
15 percent at fault, he or she could be held ac-   others’ negligence.                                   to Minnesota because doing so would require
countable for up to four times their actual li-       Critics of joint and several liability point out   forecasting the number of lawsuits.
ability. In this case, defendant three could be    the unfairness that defendants can be held li-           Some representatives objected to the bill’s
ordered to pay up to 40 percent of damages.        able for more than their share of a tort.             failure to be reviewed by any finance commit-
   Courts would do this generally when defen-         Regarding that point, the American Tort            tee, arguing that state and local governments
dants one or two were unable to pay or had         Reform Association wrote that “modern joint           could be required to cover costs, which would
inadequate insurance coverage. No more than        and several liability can be inequitable because      no longer be born by defendants.
100 percent compensation of a plaintiff ’s ac-     a defendant with only a small percentage of              However, the chair of the committee most
tual damage can be awarded. However, plain-        fault can be liable for 100 percent of the            likely to have an interest, Rep. Kevin Goodno
tiffs are still eligible for additional funds      plaintiff ’s damages. Joint and several liability     (R-Moorhead) of the House Health and Hu-
awarded to punish defendants or compensate         leads to a search for ‘deep pockets’ and had          man Services Finance Committee, opposed
plaintiffs for pain or emotional distress.         made governments, large corporations, and             both the bill and two attempts to refer it to
   The bill maintains existing law regarding       other insured entities bear the greatest bur-         his committee. “This is bad public policy, but
environmental torts, but eliminates a provi-       dens of liability when their involvement in an        I see no fiscal impact,” he said.
sion preventing government entities from           injury is minimal.”

18        April 6, 2001
      T ISSUE: TAXES
 A    5 5 5




                                                                                                               crease from the $5 it cost 10 years ago.
Tax transformation                                                                                                He said the cost of inspection fees are
                                                                                                               “grossly unfair” considering it isn’t unusual for
                                                                                                               the inspections to last a matter of minutes and
Legislators are considering a plan that would allow voters to                                                  there is no guarantee to the inspection.
have a mechanism to vote down property tax increases                                                              He said municipal fees are one reason that
                                                                                                               there is a shortage of building of affordable
BY DAVID MAEDA                                                                                                 housing in the state.


S
      ome consider 1971 as the year of the                                                                        “The public sector is doing a terrific job of
      “Minnesota Miracle” in which a major                                                                     driving up housing costs,” he said.
      reform to the state’s tax system was passed                                                                 Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia) said it
into law.                                                                                                      wasn’t fair to blame local government for spend-
   At the heart of the change was a reduction                                                                  ing increases. He said the state too often man-
in the reliance on local property taxes with a                                                                 dates local spending such as increasing penalties
corresponding increase in sales and income                                                                     for crimes without weighing costs of the legisla-
taxes and increased state funding for educa-                                                                   tion and without providing any more funding.
tion. As a result, the state became the primary                                                                   “We’re part of the problem. A lot of our laws
revenue collector and local units of govern-                                                                   are way too extreme and we’re not being hon-
ment became more reliant on state aid to meet                                                                  est about costs,” Rukavina said.
their needs.                                                                                                      Keith Carlson, representing the Metropoli-
   Now some lawmakers are revisiting issues                                                                    tan Inter-County Association, said the current
of local control and accountability as the state                                                               system already ensures accountability, because
once again considers changes to its tax system.                                                                county commissioners must answer to voters.
   The House Taxes Committee heard a bill                                                                         He said a reverse referendum would com-
April 4 that would attempt to provide more                                                                     plicate and delay an already lengthy process.
accountability to local spending decisions by                                                                  Currently, the county budget and levy adop-
allowing voters to have a direct mechanism to                                                                  tion process takes place from August through
vote down property tax increases.                                                                              December. A successful petition to force a ref-
   HF2160, sponsored by Rep. Bob Milbert                                                                       erendum would stretch the process through
(DFL-South St. Paul), would allow voters to                                                                    January, Carlson said.
request a reverse referendum when a county                                                                        He said county auditors already struggle to
or city adopts a property tax levy that has in-                                       PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID   meet the March 31 deadline to mail tax state-
                                                       Rep. Bob Milbert, sponsor of HF2160, presents the       ments and late mailings can affect the cash flow
creased over the certified levy amount for the
                                                       bill that would allow voters to have a direct mecha-
previous year.                                                                                                 of local governments.
                                                       nism to vote down property tax increases. The bill
   If the referendum were to pass, the previous        was heard in the House Taxes Committee April 4.            Kevin Corbid from the Association of Min-
year’s levy would be certified for the current year.                                                           nesota Counties said that property taxes are
                                                       that same period, total state aid to cities increased   used to pay for too many things. He said Min-
   The bill only applies to counties or cities with
                                                       by 62.5 percent and property taxes grew by              nesota counties are responsible for the costs
a population greater than 500, and requires a
                                                       29 percent. The rate of inflation was 39 percent.       for child welfare programs and out-of-home
petition be signed by a number equal to 5 per-
                                                          County expenditures from 1985 to 1996                health care costs more than any other state.
cent of the votes cast at the previous general elec-
                                                       increased 68.8 percent, while state aids to                Corbid said that last year 80 new county com-
tion before a referendum would take place.
                                                       counties increased 48.9 percent and property            missioners were elected and that fewer are run-
   The bill would also eliminate the require-
                                                       taxes grew by 56.2 percent.                             ning unopposed — a sign that voters are paying
ment for cities and counties with populations
                                                          Milbert said that with the removal of levy           more attention to local spending decisions.
less than 500 from holding Truth-in-Taxation
                                                       limits last year local spending increased even             Milbert said the trend towards city council
hearings and exempt those with populations
                                                       more on top of city imposed fees that he said           terms being increased from two-year terms to
greater than 500 from holding a hearing if the
                                                       have grown at an alarming rate.                         staggered four-year terms, along with the in-
property tax levy has not increased over its
                                                          An owner of a water device business,                 creasing reliance on professional city manage-
previous year’s levy.
                                                       Milbert said inspection fees are disproportion-         ment staff has also contributed to less
   The committee took no action on the bill,
                                                       ate with the cost of installation. The cost of          accountability when it comes to the costs of
but it will be considered for inclusion in the
                                                       installing devices such as water heaters and            local government.
omnibus tax bill.
                                                       softeners is usually between $50 to $115 for a             “What do we have to fear about letting
   Information provided that was compiled from
                                                       couple hours of work. A residential plumbing            people who have to pay taxes the right to vote
state auditor reports shows a 90.8 percent growth
                                                       permit application from the city of Eagan               on increases?” he asked.
in city expenditures from 1985 to 1996. During
                                                       shows a $50 permit cost, a 1,000 percent in-
                                                                                                                                             Session Weekly   19
                                                                                                                                     JANUARY 3 - APRIL 5, 2001

 G     OVERNOR’S DESK
           5 5 5
                                                                                                                                                                          CHAPTERS 1 - 12




                                                          Tracking new laws, vetoes
    Once a bill has passed both the House and                  doesn’t sign the bill within this time frame, it                     the Legislature, anything vetoed after the Leg-
Senate in identical form, it’s ready to be sent                will become law with or without his signature.                       islature adjourns is history — at least until the
to the governor for consideration. The gover-                  (Sundays are not counted in the three-day                            next year.
nor, who has several options when consider-                    time limit, but holidays are.)                                          The governor’s veto authority is outlined in
ing a bill, can:                                                  Only on appropriations bills can the gover-                       the Minnesota Constitution (Article IV, Sec-
• sign the bill and it will become law;                        nor exercise the line-item veto authority. This                      tion 23).
• veto the bill;                                               option allows the governor to eliminate the
• line-item veto individual items within an ap-                appropriation items to which he or she ob-                              This information is also available on the
propriations bill;                                             jects. As with all vetoes the governor must in-                      governor’s Web site (www.governor.state.mn.us).
• or do nothing, which can have two different                  clude a statement listing the reasons for the                        Select the “Legislative Initiatives” link, then click on
                                                                                                                                    “Legislative Log 2001.”
effects. The timing of these actions is as im-                 veto with the returned bill. Here, too, the time-
portant as the actions themselves.                             table is within three days after the governor                        Key:
    In the first year of the biennium, the im-                 receives the bill.                                                   CH=Chapter; HF=House File; SF=Senate File
portant thing to remember is that the gover-                      A two-thirds vote of the members in each
nor has three days from the time of                            house is needed to override a veto. But because
“presentment” to veto a bill. If the governor                  only the governor can call a special session of


       CH             HF          SF                                                       Description                                                     Signed          Vetoed

       Res.1         219          258*       Resolution requesting a ban on the importation of certain steel products.                                     3/15/01
       1             34           28*        Teacher licensing under current licensure rules.                                                              1/16/01
       2             421*         460        Energy assistance program federal fund expenditure authorized.                                                2/2/01
       3             213          201*       Physicians assistants infection control continuing education requirements repeal.                             2/15/01
       4             181          43*        Adult foster care license capacity age requirement and maximum admissions variances.                          2/28/01
       5             817          376*       City contract limit increases.                                                                                3/2/01
       6             106*         47         Minnesota agricultural education leadership council replacement members authorized                            3/8/01
       7             656*         231        Revisor’s Bill.                                                                                               3/15/01
       8             80*          79         Coon Lake water level control.                                                                                3/16/01
       9             393*         155        Ramsey County and St. Paul employees allowed equal competition for county jobs in city-county departments.    3/16/01
       10            357          289*       Alcohol and drug counselors licensing requirements modified.                                                  3/16/01
       11            487          433        Townships health, social, and recreational services contracts amounts increases.                              3/21/01
       12            320*         399        Property casualty insurance agents surplus lines insurance procurement authority.                             3/29/01
  *The legislative bill marked with an asterisk denotes the file submitted to the governor.




                                                               Constitutional Officers
  Governor                                                        Attorney General                                                     State Auditor
  Jesse Ventura                                                   Mike Hatch                                                           Judith H. Dutcher
  130 State Capitol                                               102 State Capitol                                                    Suite 400
  75 Constitution Ave.                                            75 Constitution Ave.                                                 525 Park St.
  St. Paul 55155 ................ (651) 296-3391                  St. Paul 55155 ................ (651) 296-6196                       St. Paul 55103 ................ (651) 296-2551

  Lieutenant Governor                                             Secretary of State                                                   State Treasurer
  Mae Schunk                                                      Mary Kiffmeyer                                                       Carol Johnson
  130 State Capitol                                               180 State Office Building                                            303 Administration Building
  75 Constitution Ave.                                            100 Constitution Ave.                                                50 Sherburne Ave.
  St. Paul 55155 ................ (651) 296-3391                  St. Paul 55155 ................ (651) 296-2803                       St. Paul 55155 ................ (651) 296-7091



  20           February 4, 2000
 B     ILL INTRODUCTIONS
       5 5 5
                                                                                                                                   APRIL 2 - 5, 2001
                                                                                                                                                     HOUSE FILES 2354 - 2419




Monday, April 2                            HF2364—Mulder (R)                           HF2373—Hausman (DFL)                     HF2384—Kalis (DFL)
                                           Education Policy                            Health & Human Services Finance          Judiciary Finance
HF2354—Olson (R)                           School start prior to Labor Day au-         Ramsey County nursing facility rate      Town road maintenance revolving
                                           thorized for certain school districts.      increase provided.                       loan fund established and money
Education Policy
                                                                                                                                 appropriated.
Teacher contract qualified economic
                                           HF2365—McElroy (R)                          HF2374—Rhodes (R)
offer labor requirements provided.
                                           Taxes                                       Judiciary Finance                        HF2385—Westrom (R)
HF2355—Hausman (DFL)                       High technology business investment         Clergy compensation provided for         Agriculture &
                                           capital gains tax exemption provided,       imparting religious rites or instruc-    Rural Development Finance
Health & Human Services Policy
                                           research and development activities         tion at correctional facilities.         Feedlots; hog feedlots environmental
St. Anthony Park nursing facility
                                           credit refund provided, and money                                                    issues study provided and money
moratorium exception provided.
                                           appropriated.                               HF2375—Erhardt (R)                       appropriated.
HF2356—Bakk (DFL)                                                                      Taxes
                                           HF2366—Harder (R)                           Deed taxes definition of consideration   HF2386—Solberg (DFL)
Higher Education Finance
                                           Jobs & Economic                             clarified.                               Health & Human Services Policy
Competitive bidding and prompt
                                           Development Finance                                                                  Genealogy researchers authorized to ob-
payment requirements extended to
                                           Connected communities grants pro-           HF2376—Carlson (DFL)                     tain certified copies of birth certificates for
University of Minnesota.
                                           vided and money appropriated.               K-12 Education Finance                   specified deceased individuals.
HF2357—Mariani (DFL)                                                                   Truancy reduction activities funding
                                           HF2367—Ness (R)                             provided.                                HF2387—Daggett (R)
Higher Education Finance
                                           Agriculture & Rural                                                                  Taxes
United family medicine residency
                                           Development Finance                         HF2377—Pawlenty (R)                      Sebeka Fire Hall construction mate-
program grant provided and money
appropriated.                              Agricultural products and produc-           Higher Education Finance                 rials and equipment sales tax exemp-
                                           tion certification program established      University of Minnesota Excellence       tion provided.
HF2358—Nornes (R)                          as permanent program, fees and li-          Commission established, report re-
                                           censing provisions modified, penal-         quired, and appointments provided.       HF2388—Tuma (R)
Transportation Policy
                                           ties imposed, and money                                                              Health & Human Services Policy
Vehicle registration 60-day exemp-
                                           appropriated.                                                                        Northfield nursing home moratorium
tion for new residents “residence”
definition modified.                                                                   Wednesday, April 4,                      exception provided and money
                                           HF2368—Kuisle (R)                                                                    appropriated.
HF2359—Stang (R)                           Environment &                               HF2378—Paulsen (R)
                                           Natural Resources Finance                                                            HF2389—Finseth (R)
State Government Finance                                                               Regulated Industries
                                           Olmsted and Dodge counties solid                                                     Agriculture &
State government finance, budget,                                                      Telecommunications access to mul-
and highway bond provisions modi-          waste recovery facility grant provided      tiple-resident dwellings provisions      Rural Development Finance
fied, and property tax reform account      and money appropriated.                     clarified.                               Agricultural processing revolving loan
repealed.                                                                                                                       account established, germ and fiber
                                           HF2369—Kuisle (R)                           HF2379—Kielkucki (R)                     recovery process funding provided at
HF2360—Wasiluk (DFL)                       Environment &                                                                        an existing ethanol facility, bonds
                                                                                       Environment &
                                           Natural Resources Finance                                                            authorized, and money appropriated.
Governmental Operations &                                                              Natural Resources Policy
Veterans Affairs Policy                    Olmsted and Dodge counties solid waste      Property owners reimbursed for dam-
                                           recovery facility grant provided, bonds                                              HF2390—Goodno (R)
Public Employees Retirement Plan                                                       age caused by snowmobiles.
                                           issued, and money appropriated.                                                      Health & Human Services Policy
exclusion provided specified trades
employees.                                                                                                                      Targeted case management services medi-
                                                                                       HF2380—Sykora (R)
                                           HF2370—Wenzel (DFL)                                                                  cal assistance coverage provided for ser-
                                                                                       K-12 Education Finance                   vices for vulnerable adults and persons
HF2361—Kubly (DFL)                         K-12 Education Finance
                                                                                       Reading program grants provided for      with developmental disabilities.
K-12 Education Finance                     Independent School District No. 482,        school district Internet-delivered
Independent School District No.            Little Falls, state aid repayment pe-       reading courses.
                                           riod extended.                                                                       HF2391—Westrom (R)
2190, Yellow Medicine, lease levy
                                                                                                                                Environment &
authorized.                                                                            HF2381—Stang (R)
                                           HF2371—Nornes (R)                                                                    Natural Resources Policy
                                                                                       Higher Education Finance
HF2362—Davids (R)                          Higher Education Finance                                                             Grant County Church Lake exempted
                                                                                       Medical education funding and en-
                                           Independent School District No. 544,                                                 from public access while in use for
Commerce, Jobs &                                                                       dowments increased.
                                           Fergus Falls, and Fergus Falls Commu-                                                aquaculture.
Economic Development
                                           nity College joint grant provided for a
Resolution memorializing Congress                                                      HF2382—McElroy (R)
                                           tech center, and money appropriated.                                                 HF2392—Huntley (DFL)
to pass legislation requiring cigarettes                                               K-12 Education Finance
                                                                                                                                Commerce, Jobs &
that are less likely to start fires.                                                   Building lease levy use expanded.
                                           HF2372—Juhnke (DFL)                                                                  Economic Development
HF2363—Gunther (R)                         Crime Prevention                                                                     Internet access catalyst grants pro-
                                                                                       HF2383—Seifert (R)
                                           Feasibility of placing felony DWI of-                                                vided and money appropriated.
Transportation Finance                                                                 Taxes
                                           fenders at existing surplus state facili-
Previous local bridge replacement and                                                  School districts required to report
                                           ties determined and cost-benefit
rehabilitation funding usage                                                           lobbying and other expenditures used
                                           analysis required.
expanded.                                                                              to support or oppose government-
                                                                                       proposed initiatives.



                                                                                                                                                       Session Weekly       21
HF2393—Finseth (R)                        HF2400—Rhodes (R)                        HF2406—Kubly (DFL)                      HF2414—Otremba (DFL)
Environment &                             Local Government &                       Taxes                                   Local Government &
Natural Resources Finance                 Metropolitan Affairs                     Homestead property tax classification   Metropolitan Affairs
Lottery ticket in lieu tax disposition    Affordable housing county and mu-        provisions expanded relating to         United States Department of Agri-
modified, state forest land additions     nicipal requirements provided and        family farms.                           culture financing program for cities,
provided, land exchanges specified,       money appropriated.                                                              counties, and towns fund uses up-
and Roseau County consolidated con-                                                HF2407—Ness (R)                         dated to include child care facilities.
servation land sale authorized.                                                    K-12 Education Finance
                                          Thursday, April 5                        Equity revenue definition modified      HF2415—Dorman (R)
HF2394—Winter (DFL)                                                                to include small schools factor and     Taxes
Health & Human Services Finance                                                    money appropriated.                     General education tax rate reduced,
                                          HF2401—Davids (R)
Worthington nursing facility rate in-                                                                                      property tax class rates reduced, mar-
                                          Taxes
creases provided.                                                                  HF2408—Johnson, R. (DFL)                ket value homestead credit provided,
                                          Ostrander wastewater treatment sys-
                                                                                   Taxes                                   and education homestead credit and
                                          tem construction materials and equip-
HF2395—Hilty (DFL)                                                                 Nicollet County courthouse construc-    education agricultural credit
                                          ment sales tax exemption provided.
Local Government &                                                                 tion materials and equipment sales      eliminated.
Metropolitan Affairs                                                               tax exemption provided and money
                                          HF2402—Pugh (DFL)
Cromwell emergency medical services                                                appropriated.                           HF2416—Kalis (DFL)
                                          Governmental Operations &
special taxing district authorized for                                                                                     Transportation Finance
                                          Veterans Affairs Policy                  HF2409—Krinkie (R)                      Minnesota Safety Council traffic safety
Carlton and Aitkin counties, and
                                          State primary election moved from                                                training and education funding pro-
property tax levies provided.                                                      Taxes
                                          September to June.                                                               vided and money appropriated.
                                                                                   Ad valorem taxes on real and per-
HF2396—Skoglund (DFL)                                                              sonal property prohibited and con-
                                          HF2403—Fuller (R)                        stitutional amendment proposed.         HF2417—Abeler (R)
Civil Law
                                          Local Government &                                                               Health & Human Services Finance
Judicial system obsolete references
updated and repealed.                     Metropolitan Affairs                     HF2410—Dempsey (R)                      Minnesota commission serving deaf
                                          Alcoholic beverages sales tax paid to    Health & Human Services Finance         and hard of hearing people funding
                                          counties, revenues dedicated to alco-    Hastings Veterans Home tunnel reno-     provided and money appropriated.
HF2397—Daggett (R)
                                          hol abuse-related costs of local gov-    vation funding provided, bonds is-
Taxes
                                          ernments, and money appropriated.        sued, and money appropriated.           HF2418—Entenza (DFL)
Maple syrup added to definition of
agricultural products relating to prop-                                                                                    Health & Human Services Policy
                                          HF2404—Abeler (R)                        HF2411—Kuisle (R)                       Cemetery registration required with
erty taxation.
                                          K-12 Education Finance                   Transportation Finance                  health commissioner and money
                                          Early graduation and half-time school    Southeastern Minnesota public safety    appropriated.
HF2398—Seifert (R)
                                          attendance provided for 12th grade       radio system construction funding
Taxes
                                          students completing all standards, and   provided and money appropriated.        HF2419—Davnie (DFL)
Yellow Medicine County redevelop-         general education revenue reallocated
ment tax increment financing district                                                                                      Commerce, Jobs &
                                          to all-day kindergarten.
extension authorized.                                                              HF2412—Solberg (DFL)                    Economic Development
                                                                                   Judiciary Finance                       Housing program funding provided for
                                          HF2405—Hilty (DFL)
HF2399—Wenzel (DFL)                                                                Aitkin County homicide trials and       new and existing programs, programs
                                          Taxes                                    investigations expenses reimbursed      created, and money appropriated.
K-12 Education Finance
                                          Banning Junction area wastewater         and money appropriated.
Pupil transportation categorical aid      collection system construction mate-
restored and money appropriated.          rials and supplies sales tax exemption
                                                                                   HF2413—Boudreau (R)
                                          provided.
                                                                                   Health & Human Services Policy
                                                                                   Group residential housing monthly
                                                                                   rates provided.



Continued from page 16                                 Continued from page 17                                 tials, and needs of many of the high school stu-
contaminated the surrounding area, environ-            much argument. They are also doing the work            dents I teach in Minneapolis,” he said.
mental impact might be relatively minor.               that is being assigned and they seem to enjoy             Hamline’s program offers courses such as:
However, if chemicals have been dumped                 having me around to answer their questions.            Framework for Teaching: Changing Para-
down the drain or on land somewhere, or have              “I believe just my presence at the school is        digms to a New Way of Thinking, Seeing, and
otherwise escaped, the Pollution Control               helping the kids to realize that there is hope         Doing; Literacy and Learning for Urban Stu-
Agency gets involved.                                  for them in the future to reach their goals as a       dents; The Roots of Violence; Linking the Ur-
   In addition, the Department of Health               professional.”                                         ban Community to the Classroom.
might be required to determine whether the                John Dunham, an English teacher at South-              “Because of this class,” Dunham said, “my
home where the lab was can be inhabited or             west High School in Minneapolis, wrote to              exposure to real life experiences of different
requires further cleanup.                              Lillian Baker-Kent, executive director of              cultural groups (in my case, African-Ameri-
   The state expects to get about $2.6 million         Hamline’s program, about what he learned in            can, Latino-Hispanic, and Tibetan students)
during the 2002-03 biennium in federal grants          a class through a licensure program.                   has proved invaluable.”
for drug task forces, as well.                            “‘The Real World, Social and Environmental             HF1890 will be considered for inclusion in
   Walz’s bill will be considered for inclusion        Issues Affecting Urban Learners’ (course) gave         the committee’s omnibus bill.
in the committee’s omnibus bill.                       me useful insight into the backgrounds, poten-




22         April 6, 2001
 C   OMMITTEE SCHEDULE
      5 5 5
                                                                                                                        APRIL 9 - 21, 2001




                                                     until approved.                                       remaining duties transferred to commissioner of
  Schedule is subject to change.
                                                     HF830 (Slawik) Ramsey and Washington                  commerce, light capacity scales inspection provided,
  For information updates, call House Calls          counties property owner personal information          unfair cigarette sales act administration transferred
  at (651) 296-9283.                                 disclosure notice continued.                          to commerce, and money appropriated.
  All meetings are open to the public.               HF440 (Knoblach) Probate; background                  HF1955 (Davids) Insurance producer licensure
  Sign language interpreter services:                investigations provided on guardians and              procedures and qualifications provided and
  (651) 224-6548 v/tty.                              conservators, access to data on maltreatment of       criminal penalty prescribed.
  To have the House committee schedule               vulnerable adults authorized, and court               HF1007 (Davids) Gas sales below cost prohibited
  delivered to your e-mail address, send an          procedures and requirement authorized.                and enforcement authority provided.
  e-mail message to                                                                                        HF2258 (Lindner) Housing finance and
  join-houseschedule@ww3.house.leg.state.mn.us       GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS &                             development programs consolidated, loan
  or direct your Web browser to http://              VETERANS AFFAIRS POLICY                               forgiveness time period lengthened, tenant
  ww3.house.leg.state.mn.us/scripts/                 Basement Hearing Room                                 income limits eliminated, project-based rental
  lyris.pl?join=houseschedule and fill               State Office Building                                 assistance authorized, aggregation of earnings
  out the subscription form on the                   Chr. Rep. Jim Rhodes                                  authorized, and technical changes provided.
  Legislature’s Web site.                            Agenda: HF1019 (Workman) State contract               HF1589 (Howes) Bid and performance bond
                                                     procedures modified, highway construction and         thresholds modified for economic development
                                                     maintenance bids and records posted                   projects.
MONDAY, April 9                                      electronically or over the Internet, seasonal         HF2225 (Nornes) Workers’ compensation
                                                     highway weight limitations modified, and              technical provisions modified, special
                    7:30 a.m.                        clarifying changes provided.                          compensation fund interest revenue deposited
                                                     HF1938 (Kahn) Administration Department               in fund, pilot program extended, and penalties
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES FINANCE
                                                     provisions modified.                                  paid to Department of Labor and Industry.
10 State Office Building
                                                     HF2201 (Kahn) Bicycle commuting by state              HF422 (Seagren) Loan repayment program
Chr. Rep. Kevin Goodno
                                                     agency employees promoted.                            established to improve recruitment of excellent
Agenda: HF1053 (Abrams) Private health care
                                                                                                           teachers in science, math, industrial technology,
coverage regulations revised, specified regulatory
                                                     JOBS & ECONOMIC                                       special education and in rural areas, and money
controls transferred, and managed care plan
                                                     DEVELOPMENT FINANCE                                   appropriated.
requirements established.
                                                     200 State Office Building                             HF1259 (Erickson) Fingerhut, Inc., of Mora
HF1581 (Goodno) Healthy kids learn
                                                     Chr. Rep. Dan McElroy                                 employees provided extra unemployment
endowment fund established, health department
                                                     Agenda: Morning Hearing (8:15-10 a.m.) in Room        benefits.
provisions and programs modified, and money
                                                     200 State Office Building                             HF564 (Rhodes) Neighborhood home
appropriated.
                                                     HF846 (Clark, K.) HIV/AIDS general education          improvement loan pilot project established and
HF1123 (Mulder) Nonmetropolitan county
                                                     in the workplace funding provided and money           money appropriated.
prepaid medical assistance program capitation
                                                     appropriated.
rates increased.
                                                     HF182 (Paymar) Neighborhood Development               TRANSPORTATION FINANCE
HF2373 (Hausman) Ramsey County nursing
                                                     Center, Inc., entrepreneur training, operation, and   5 State Office Building
facility rate increase provided.
                                                     staffing grant provided, and money appropriated.      Chr. Rep. Carol Molnau
HF2394 (Winter) Worthington nursing facility
                                                     HF1631 (Mullery) Hennepin County Southeast            Agenda: HF1365 (Dorman) Clean fuel use
rate increases provided.
                                                     Asian collaborative transitional employment           required in state vehicles, grants provided motor
HF1658 (Bradley) Long-term care revolving fund
                                                     training project funded and money appropriated.       fuel retailers who install pumps to dispense
and loan forgiveness program created, nursing
                                                     HF1632 (Mullery) Blind; job assistance training       cleaner fuel, and money appropriated.
agency registration required and money
                                                     provided for counselors for the blind, and money      HF51 (Goodno) DWI; maximum blood alcohol
appropriated.
                                                     appropriated.                                         level lowered for impairment offenses involving
Note: Meeting will continue after session in 10
                                                     HF1726 (Sertich) Metropolitan economic                driving motor vehicles, recreational vehicles or
State Office Building at the call of the chair.
                                                     development association grants provided and           watercraft, hunting, handling explosives, or
                                                     money appropriated.                                   operating military vehicles.
                    8:15 a.m.
                                                     HF2366 (Harder) Connected communities                 HF1921 (Workman) Bus transit study authorized
CIVIL LAW                                            grants provided and money appropriated.               and bus transit way within part of the southwest
500N State Office Building                           Note: Morning hearing will recess and reconvene       light rail transit corridor prohibited.
Chr. Rep. Steve Smith                                in 400N State Office Building at 7 p.m.               HF595 (Ozment) Railroads; local governments
Agenda: HF1898 (Holberg) Edvest, human rights        Evening Hearing (7-10 p.m.) in Room 400N State        authorized to establish quiet zones regulating or
intake, and automobile insurance financial data      Office Building                                       prohibiting locomotive warning devices.
classified as nonpublic.                             HF1311 (McElroy) Minnesota Money                      HF2309 (Kuisle) Trunk highway project
HF1704 (Larson) Bureau of Criminal                   Transmitters Act established.                         construction considerations clarified.
Apprehension dissemination of certain juvenile       HF1859 (McElroy) Department of Economic and           HF429 (Bakk) State agencies authorized to allow
data authorized.                                     Workforce Development created; certain duties of      commercial wireless equipment on state-owned
HF1100 (Smith) Government Data Practices Act         the Departments of Trade and Economic                 property, and money appropriated.
expanded to include metropolitan area towns.         Development, Economic Security, and Labor and
HF490 (Kuisle) County economic development           Industry transferred, and money appropriated.
assistance application data designated nonpublic     HF1293 (Davids) Public service commissioner’s

                                                                                                                                            Session Weekly   23
                     10:15 a.m.                        statewide tax base; appropriating money.              HF2336 (Harder) Relating to family and early
                                                       HF1079 (Slawik) Relating to education finance;        childhood education; modifying child care
ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL                                  providing for a grant to school district No. 6067,    assistance employment eligibility.
RESOURCES FINANCE                                      Tri-District; authorizing state bonds;                HF2229 (Bernardy) Relating to education; early
10 State Office Building                               appropriating money.                                  childhood; modifying the definition of child;
Chr. Rep. Mark Holsten                                 HF951 (Slawik) Relating to education; increasing      establishing a pool of up to 2 percent of the
Agenda: HF1761 (Holsten) Stream protection             equity revenue.                                       annual appropriation to provide assistance to
and improvement loan program grant funding                                                                   children age 14.
provided and money appropriated.                       Property Tax Division/TAXES                           HF206 (Opatz) Relating to education;
HF1073 (Clark, J.) Minnesota river trail               200 State Office Building                             appropriating money for an after-school
established and money appropriated.                    Chr. Rep. Ron Erhardt                                 educational enhancement pilot program for low-
HF691 (Hackbarth) Motor vehicle transfer fee           Agenda: HF1402 (Erhardt) Homestead,                   income youth in the St. Cloud area.
eliminated.                                            agricultural, and seasonal recreational property      HF2265 (Skoe) Relating to libraries; providing a
HF2191 (Ozment) Local road wetland                     exempted from general education tax; property         grant for the Fosston Public Library accessibility
replacement funding provided and money                 tax class rates reduced; homestead credit program     project; appropriating money.
appropriated.                                          established, school district levy computation
HF1612 (Kelliher) Water appropriation permit           modified, and money appropriated.                     LOCAL GOVERNMENT &
provisions modified and fees established.              HF2330 (Howes) Property tax payment by                METROPOLITAN AFFAIRS
                                                       commissioner of natural resources required in         200 State Office Building
HIGHER EDUCATION FINANCE                               counties having a reduced tax base due to acreage     Chr. Rep. Jerry Dempsey
300S State Office Building                             in state ownership.                                   Agenda: Not in final agenda order.
Chr. Rep. Peggy Leppik                                 HF2295 (Mullery) Tax court jurisdiction               HF2214 (Mares) Major league professional
Agenda: HF2377 (Pawlenty) University of                provided in specified Hennepin County property        baseball stadium financed, private funding
Minnesota excellence commission established,           tax cases.                                            required, interest-free loans and temporary tax-
report required, and appointments provided.            HF2397 (Daggett) Maple syrup added to                 free zone provided, site selection commission
HF2371 (Nornes) Independent School District            definition of agricultural products relating to       created, disposition of the Metrodome provided,
No. 544, Fergus Falls, and Fergus Falls                property taxation.                                    and money appropriated.
Community College joint grant provided for a                                                                 HF1952 (Rhodes) Affordable housing
tech center, and money appropriated.                   Sales and Income Tax Division/TAXES                   requirements authorized in subdivision
HF2290 (Opatz) MnSCU facilities acquisition            500N State Office Building                            regulations, regulatory relief required to housing
provisions and prior St. Cloud State University        Chr. Rep. Elaine Harder                               developers who voluntarily meet affordability
capital improvements funding source modified.          Agenda: HF2237 (Bernardy) Expands the                 thresholds, and money appropriated.
Witnesses: Laura King, Chief Financial Officer,        dependent care credit on individual income taxes.     HF1146 (Ozment) Salt distribution stockpiles
MnSCU; Roy Saigo, President, St. Cloud State           HF377 (Harder) Extends credit for taxes paid to       design, construction, and use requirements
University; Kurt Kalm, Chair, St. Cloud State          other states to taxes of German Lander.               established.
Foundation Board.                                      HF2308 (Kuisle) Exempts purchases for certain         HF2403 (Fuller) Alcoholic beverages sales tax
                                                       road projects from sales and use taxes.               paid to counties, revenues dedicated to alcohol
K-12 EDUCATION FINANCE                                 HF2346 (Daggett) Provides an individual income        abuse-related costs of local governments, and
5 State Office Building                                tax subtraction for health insurance premiums.        money appropriated.
Chr. Rep. Alice Seagren                                HF2261 (Daggett) Exempts certain sales to             Other business.
Agenda: HF2376 (Carlson) Relating to education         benefit certain charitable organizations from the     Note: The committee may hear other bills on
finance; promoting school success through              sales and use tax; provides that certain employer     Monday; watch electronic and paper bulletins. If
enhanced pupil attendance; providing funding           distributions to persons who have made payroll        there are bills not heard by 2:15 p.m., the meeting
for truancy reduction activities.                      or retirement deductions for combined                 will recess and reconvene in 500N State Office
HF1887 (Abeler) Relating to special education;         charitable organizations are not lotteries.           Building after session, at the call of the chair.
establishing regional centers on autism-related        HF2387 (Daggett) Exempts the purchase of
disorders.                                             construction materials and equipment used in          REGULATED INDUSTRIES
HF2041 (Cassell) Relating to education;                constructing a fire hall in the city of Sebeka from   10 State Office Building
appropriating money for the commission on              sales and use taxes.                                  Chr. Rep. Ken Wolf
national and community service for the service         HF2176 (Milbert) Clarifies the taxation of certain    Agenda: HF1817 (Workman) Utility facilities
learning program.                                      nonmixed municipal solid waste disposed of in         regulation modified in railroad rights-of-way.
HF2382 (McElroy) Relating to education;                a landfill.                                           HFXXXX (Paulsen) Multiple dwelling unit
expanding the use of the building lease levy.          HF2234 (Erhardt) Increases the maximum long-          complexes television services providers access
HF2235 (Bakk) Relating to education;                   term care insurance credit, reduces the lifetime      rights clarification.
appropriating money for Independent School             benefit requirement, and extends the credit to        And other bills to be announced.
District No. 696, Ely, for a transitional              employers.
transportation grant.                                                                                         After Local Government meeting, at the call
HF2361 (Kubly) Relating to education;                                     12:30 p.m.                                         of the chair
authorizing a lease levy for Independent School
District No. 2190, Yellow Medicine East.               FAMILY & EARLY CHILDHOOD                              Subcommittee on Metropolitan Council
HF731 (Pugh) Relating to education finance;            EDUCATION FINANCE                                     and Agencies/LOCAL GOVERNMENT &
increasing the funding for debt service                5 State Office Building                               METROPOLITAN AFFAIRS
equalization aid; lowering the property tax levy       Chr. Rep. Barb Sykora                                 500N State Office Building
for new school buildings; appropriating money.         Agenda: New Life Academy student presentation.        Chr. Rep. Mark Buesgens
HF2012 (Bernardy) Relating to education finance;       HF680 (Rhodes) Relating to appropriations;            Agenda: To be announced.
increasing the state commitment to the debt service    Children, Families and Learning; appropriating
equalization aid program; lowering the initial local   money for a grant to provide transitional housing
levy; fixing the equalizing factor to the average      services.

24        April 6, 2001
                     3 p.m.                                              10:15 a.m.                          *This bill will be heard for informational
                                                                                                             purposes only.
THE HOUSE MEETS IN SESSION.                          CRIME PREVENTION                                        Note: If the agenda is not completed, it will be
                                                     Basement Hearing Room                                   continued at 3 p.m. in 200 State Office Building.
                                                     State Office Building
TUESDAY, April 10                                    Chr. Rep. John Tuma                                                         12:30 p.m.
                                                     Agenda: HF2122/SF1711 (Leppik) Crime of
                     8 a.m.                          counterfeit drivers license and identification          AGRICULTURE & RURAL
                                                     cards and materials.                                    DEVELOPMENT FINANCE
***NOTE TIME AND ROOM***                             HF1289/SF1274 (Dawkins) Prostitution crimes             10 State Office Building
TRANSPORTATION POLICY                                aggressive initiative ; increased criminal penalties;   Chr. Rep. Bob Ness
10 State Office Building                             money appropriated.                                     Agenda: To be announced.
Chr. Rep. Tom Workman                                HF1908/SF1297 (McGuire) Gunshot wound
Agenda: HF1054 (Johnson); SF257 (Day)                reporting requirement modified.
I-394 “sane lanes” use by single-occupant vehicles                                                           CAPITAL INVESTMENT
                                                     HF2291/SF1727 (Skoglund) Implementing an                5 State Office Building
study and report required, and money                 automated crime victim notification system.             Chr. Rep. Jim Knoblach
appropriated.                                        Note: Additional bills may be added.                    Agenda: To be announced.
HF852 (Howes) Motor vehicle filing fees
modified and clarifying changes provided.
                                                     ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL                                   COMMERCE, JOBS &
HF1728 (Workman); SF1986 (Kelly, R.C.)
                                                     RESOURCES POLICY                                        ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Transit assistance fund expenditures restriction;    10 State Office Building                                200 State Office Building
motor vehicle sales tax revenues allocation          Chr. Rep. Dennis Ozment                                 Chr. Rep. Greg Davids
modification, constitutional amendment.              Agenda: HF110 (Wagenius) Water quality                  Agenda: HF1821 (Kuisle) Relating to commerce;
HF362 (Westrom); SF326 (Vickerman) Diesel            standards risk evaluation and report required.          allowing licensing exemption for certain sales of
fuel minimum biodiesel fuel content specified.       HF2306 (Jennings) Wastewater and drinking               horse trailers and temporary sales of recreational
                                                     water funding requests coordinated and                  vehicles.
                    8:15 a.m.                        rulemaking authorized.                                  HF322 (Rhodes) Relating to health; modifying
                                                     SF266/HF371 (Workman) Aggregate resource                the Minnesota Utilization Review Act.
EDUCATION POLICY                                     protection and development included in local
200 State Office Building                                                                                    HF1953 (Rhodes) Relating to housing; streamlining
                                                     government land use comprehensive plans.                the residential development process; authorizing
Chr. Rep. Harry Mares
                                                     HF877 (Bakk) Specified solid waste transfer             the state building official to have final interpretive
Agenda: HF1015 (Mares) Family, early
                                                     station project repayment obligations waived.           authority of the State Building Code; authorizing
childhood, and K-12 education programs
                                                     HF1782 (Otremba) Long Prairie River declared            the construction codes advisory council to establish
administrative and funding provision
                                                     a canoe and boating route.                              a technical advisory group; requiring a report;
modifications.
                                                                                                             establishing the State Building Code as the building
                                                     STATE GOVERNMENT FINANCE                                standard for the state of Minnesota; authorizing
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES POLICY                       300N State Office Building
***NOTE ROOM***                                                                                              municipalities to require developers to include
                                                     Chr. Rep. Philip Krinkie                                affordable housing; modifying the requirements
5 State Office Building
                                                     Agenda: HF218 (Krinkie) State Government                for adoption or amendment of zoning ordinances.
Chr. Rep. Fran Bradley
                                                     Finance Bill. Section 12, Subd. 8, proposed budget      HF2362 (Davids) A resolution memorializing
Agenda: HF702 (Goodno) Local intervention
                                                     for Department of Administration’s Office of            Congress to pass legislation requiring cigarettes
grants for self-sufficiency formula modified.
                                                     Technology.                                             that are less likely to start fires.
HF918 (Otremba) Alzheimer’s Disease care
                                                     HF260 (Stanek) Criminal justice information             Other bills may be added.
facilities patient disclosures required, and money
                                                     system improvements provided including
appropriated.
                                                     fingerprinting, collection of aliases, and suspense                          2:30 p.m.
HF919 (Dawkins) Civil commitment definitions
                                                     file reporting, and money appropriated.
and procedures modified, patient rights specified,
                                                     Additional bills may be added.                          REDISTRICTING
coverage and cost of care provided, voluntary
                                                     Note: Additional meetings may be scheduled              500S State Office Building
consent procedures expanded, and court records
                                                     outside of the committee’s regularly scheduled          Chr. Rep. Erik Paulsen
sealed.
                                                     meeting time.                                           Agenda: Testimony on the Minneapolis and
HF2345 (Abeler) Oral language interpreter
                                                                                                             St. Paul Latino community.
services coverage required of health plans.
More bills may be added.                             TAXES
                                                     200 State Office Building                               Salary and Budget Subcommittee/
Note: If necessary, this meeting will continue
                                                     Chr. Rep. Ron Abrams                                    Legislative Coordinating Commission
past the normal meeting time of 10 a.m. and go
                                                     Agenda: HF2127 (Pawlenty) Creates the                   400N State Office Building
no later than 12 noon.
                                                     Biomedical Innovation and Commercialization             Chr. Sen. Roger Moe
                                                     Initiative; provides a tax credit.                      Agenda: Review/approve recommendations
JUDICIARY FINANCE                                    HF192 (Goodno) Authorizes special taxing                regarding compensation evaluation. Review/
Basement Hearing Room
                                                     districts for emergency medical services.               approve biennial budget proposal. Other
State Office Building
                                                     HF1806 (Knoblach) Allows St. Cloud, Sartell,            business as approved by the chair.
Chr. Rep. Rich Stanek
                                                     Sauk Rapids, Waite Park, St. Joseph, and St.
Agenda: HF351 (Stanek) DWI; felony level
                                                     Augusta to impose a local sales and use tax to          Immediately following the Salary and Budget
driving while impaired offense established.
                                                     fund certain projects.                                    Subcommittee meeting (approximately
                                                     *HF1451 (Larson) Minneapolis-St. Paul                                    3:15 p.m.)
                                                     International Airport expansion impact
                                                     provided, airport mitigation planning authorized
                                                     and airport impact zones established, mitigation
                                                     fund created, and money appropriated.

                                                                                                                                              Session Weekly    25
Legislative Coordinating Commission               WEDNESDAY, April 11                                      HF9 (Ruth) Motor vehicle sales tax revenue
400N State Office Building                                                                                 dedicated to highway user tax distribution fund,
Chr. Rep. Steve Sviggum                                                7:30 a.m.                           and constitutional amendment proposed.
Agenda: Report from the Subcommittee on                                                                    HF1286 (Ruth) Traffic flow improvements
Salary and Budget regarding adoption of           HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES FINANCE                          funded to eliminate bottlenecks in metro area,
compensation evaluation recommendations.          10 State Office Building                                 at-risk interregional corridors outside metro area
Report from the Subcommittee on Salary and        Chr. Rep. Kevin Goodno                                   improved, annual reports required, and money
Budget regarding biennial budget proposal.        Agenda: HF1303 (Boudreau) Commissioner of                appropriated.
Other business as approved by the chair.          Human Services authorized to collect drug                HF1965 (Vandeveer) Greater Minnesota
                                                  rebates, medical assistance provisions modified,         interregional corridor improvements,
                         3 p.m.                   demonstration project for family services                metropolitan area bottlenecks, and transit
                                                  established, and MinnesotaCare coverage                  advantages funding provided, and money
LOCAL GOVERNMENT &                                extended to Indian health service facilities.            appropriated.
METROPOLITAN AFFAIRS                              HF812 (Bradley) Suicide prevention goals,                HF1944 (Holberg) Light rail; special taxing
500S State Office Building                        programs, duties and studies required; mental            districts created to finance operating costs of
Chr. Rep. Jerry Dempsey                           illness transition plans established; provider           light rail transit.
Agenda: To be announced.                          payment adjusted; mental health services and             HF1498 (Larson) Minneapolis and Richfield
                                                  treatment coverage requirements provided; and            Highway No. 62 construction and reconstruction
 After Local Government meeting, at the call      money appropriated.                                      delayed and report required.
                of the chair                      HF1531 (Bradley) Young adult transitional
                                                  services provided, community-based mental                                   10:15 a.m.
Subcommittee on Metropolitan Council              health services for adults increased, and adult
and Agencies/LOCAL GOVERNMENT &                   rehabilitative and crisis stabilization provider         CIVIL LAW
METROPOLITAN AFFAIRS                              qualifications and established.                          Basement Hearing Room
500S State Office Building                                                                                 State Office Building
Chr. Rep. Mark Buesgens                                                8:15 a.m.                           Chr. Rep. Steve Smith
Agenda: To be announced.                                                                                   Agenda: HF1169 (Dorman) Employer safety
                                                  GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS &                                committee requirements modified and penalty
                         4 p.m.                   VETERANS AFFAIRS POLICY                                  limits for violations increased.
                                                  Basement Hearing Room                                    HF205 (Nornes) Gas theft from motor fuel retail
***NOTE TIME AND LOCATION***                      State Office Building                                    business civil remedies provided.
JOBS & ECONOMIC                                   Chr. Rep. Jim Rhodes                                     HF1145 (Boudreau) Veterinary medicine cease
DEVELOPMENT FINANCE                               Agenda: To be announced.                                 and desist orders authorized.
5 State Office Building                                                                                    HF661 (Stang) Accountancy act of 2001
Chr. Rep. Dan McElroy                             JOBS & ECONOMIC                                          established, rulemaking authorized, and penalties
Agenda: HF2298 (Clark, K.) Opportunities          DEVELOPMENT FINANCE                                      imposed.
industrialization center programs funding         200 State Office Building                                HF2244 (Abrams) State funding of trial courts
provided and money appropriated.                  Chr. Rep. Dan McElroy                                    provided in unfunded judicial districts.
HF2320 (Knoblach) Job training program grants     Agenda: HF1725 (Gunther) WomenVenture                    HF1256 (Holberg) Best interests of the child
made available to employers who hire qualified    business development programming grants                  factors clarified relating to custody proceedings.
low-income graduates of nonprofit job training    provided and money appropriated.                         Note: Any unfinished business will be conducted
programs.                                         HF1270 (Entenza) Currency exchanges, real                at 5 p.m. in 500S State Office Building.
HF739 (Osskopp) Grand Excursion 2004              estate brokers, real property appraisers,
planning and promotion funded, and money          residential contractors, and collection agencies         ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL
appropriated.                                     continuing education, fees, costs, duties, rights        RESOURCES FINANCE
HF675 (Swenson) West Newton reimbursed for        and recovery fund amounts regulated.                     10 State Office Building
costs of St. George community wastewater          HF1789 (Lindner) Employment support services             Chr. Rep. Mark Holsten
treatment system, and money appropriated.         for persons with mental illness grants provided          Agenda: HF94 (Haas) Fish and game law gross
HF932 (Swenson) Regional sludge management        and money appropriated.                                  overlimit violations criminal penalties
demonstration project appropriated money.         HF1799 (Sertich) Centers for independent living          established, and restitution values determined.
HF700 (Lieder) Ada 1997 flood recovery work       grants provided and money appropriated.                  HF1591(Ozment) Aquatic restoration grants
bond interest reimbursement grant provided        HF1872 (Marquart) Vocational rehabilitation facilities   authorized, administrative penalty orders
and money appropriated.                           grant procedures technical changes provided.             provided for commercial aquatic activity, decoy
HF721 (Larson) Richfield redevelopment grants     HF1834 (Marquart) Breckenridge and East                  regulations and turtle licensing modified,
provided and money appropriated.                  Grand Forks grants provided to reimburse                 conservation law enforcement provided, and
HF2011 (Dawkins) Urban Indian housing             temporary financing in anticipation of FEMA              penalties prescribed.
program funding provided and money                financing for 1997 flood recovery projects and           Note: If agenda is not completed, the committee
appropriated.                                     money appropriated.                                      will reconvene after session in the Basement
HF2306 (Jennings) Wastewater and drinking                                                                  Hearing Room, State Office Building.
water funding requests coordinated and            TRANSPORTATION FINANCE
rulemaking authorized.                            5 State Office Building                                  HIGHER EDUCATION FINANCE
HF2338 (Osthoff) St. Paul Port Authority          Chr. Rep. Carol Molnau                                   300S State Office Building
customized job training funding provided and      Agenda: HF1306 (Howes) Minnesota                         Chr. Rep. Peggy Leppik
money appropriated.                               Conservation Corps program and decorative                Agenda: HF2241 (Stang) Stadium review
HF1930 (Rukavina) Northeast Minnesota             forest products provisions modified, sustainable         commission established to evaluate sports
economic protection trust expenditures limited.   forest resources provisions repeal delayed, study        stadium construction proposals.
                                                  required, civil penalties imposed, and money
                                                  appropriated.

26       April 6, 2001
K-12 EDUCATION FINANCE
5 State Office Building
Chr. Rep. Alice Seagren
Agenda: To be announced.

TAXES
200 State Office Building
Chr. Rep. Ron Abrams                                         The art of teaching is too often taken for   Another example is House page Robert
Agenda:HF2158 (Abrams) Met Council Transit                granted. If not for teachers like Socrates, Cook’s professor of culture and mythology
funding.                                                  Plato, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Leonardo who had such a manic demeanor and pas-
HFXXXX (McElroy) Abolishes the property tax               da Vinci, the creation of ideas and impart- sion for his job that he garnered strong
levy for transit.                                         ing them would still be in the Dark Ages writing skills and a love for the written
HF697 (Holsten) Provides a class rate reduction           of disbelief.                                 word from most of the 22 students and a
for certain property bordering public waters.                Of the 134 legislators in the House, 20 few slackers in the class.
HF2339 (McElroy) Exempts current value of utility         list their occupation as teacher or educa-      Page coordinator Andrew Padula, who
generation personal property from the general             tor. While all become “teachers” to the gen- speaks Japanese, dedicated time in Japan
education levy; reduces the class rate on utility         eral public by the end of session, lawmakers to teaching English and grammar. Mean-
generation personal property; exempts certain new
                                                          begin as students who must learn as they while, Susan Moore, reading coordinator
increased capacity and increased efficiency utility
                                                          debate and decide what should become at Rosemount Middle School, gets seventh
personal property from property tax; requires the
PUC to adjust utility rates for reduced utility           law.                                          and eighth-graders committed to notewor-
property taxes; establishes an electric utility              Laws are the outcome of what lawmak- thy topics of importance to a larger world
generation attached machinery personal property           ers have learned through instruction, around them. Likewise, Kate North at Black
tax replacement trust fund; provides for a rebate if      study, and commitments to voters. Not un- Hawk Middle School in Eagan is devoted
an electric generation facility shuts down; authorizes    usual are many leg-                                                   to energizing cre-
issuance of bonds; provides a state guarantee on          islators who on                                                       ativity in her art
certain local bonds; appropriates money.                  occasion initiate                                                     students      and
HFXXXX (McElroy) Provides that certain                    “teaching the class”                                                  others.
personal property of an electric utility is exempt        during a House                                                           One          of
from taxation; provides state aid payments to             session to educate                                                    Minnesota’s first
replace the revenue loss by local governments;
                                                          or clarify issues for                                                 teachers, Harriet
provides a state guarantee for certain bonds;
appropriates money.
                                                          their peers. Among                                                    Bishop, came from
                                                          them are: Reps.                                                       Vermont in 1847
                     12:30 p.m.                           Alice Seagren (R-                                                     to educate Kaposia
                                                          Bloomington),                                                         Indian youth and
AGRICULTURE POLICY                                        Carlos Mariani                                                        others in South
10 State Office Building                                  (DFL-St. Paul), A group of teachers poses for the camera circa St. Paul.
Chr. Rep. Tim Finseth                                     Dave Bishop (R- 1900.                                                    A long-time
Agenda: HF1763 (Olson) Relating to drainage               Rochester), and Mary Murphy teacher of note, retired 83-year-old Ruth
by transferring a public drainage system to a             (DFL-Hermantown).                             Bethel of Miami, Fla., nurtured thousands
public water management authority.
                                                             Others include Reps. Harry Mares (R- of wary students to lead fruitful lives.
                                                          White Bear Lake), Peggy Leppik (R-Golden        Furthermore, today, Joyce Burnham of
FAMILY & EARLY CHILDHOOD
                                                          Valley), Lyndon Carlson (DFL-Crystal), Pelican Rapids High School, gives speech
EDUCATION FINANCE
5 State Office Building                                   and Leslie Schumacher (DFL-Princeton). students opportunities to learn more about
Chr. Rep. Barb Sykora                                        Teachers — whether by profession or lesser known women of Minnesota.
Agenda: To be announced.                                  duty — are the very core and foundation         Many teachers are volunteers — like
                                                          of all society. Good teachers are passion- House staff members Edward Burdick and
LOCAL GOVERNMENT &                                        ate, caring, objective, fair, dedicated, and Patrick Duffy Murphy who teach the leg-
METROPOLITAN AFFAIRS                                      committed to imparting true and univer- islative process to new members and in-
200 State Office Building                                 sal knowledge — not the propaganda of terns, or the father of a House staffer who
Chr. Rep. Jerry Dempsey                                   what they think truth should be.              taught his daughter to play golf, and an-
Agenda: To be announced.                                     Most teachers are unique idealists who other who gives free piano lessons.
Note: The committee will reconvene in 200 State
                                                          are strongly dedicated to sharing and im-       Good and honest teachers are noble.
Office Building after session at the call of the chair.
                                                          proving the knowledge of others. For ex- They are to be held in high esteem and
                       3 p.m.                             ample, New York teacher Ruth Morgan, commended for their devotion and dedi-
                                                          through her own stamina and drive, got cation to society.
THE HOUSE MEETS IN SESSION.                               an entire senior class of near dropouts
                                                          from the inner city to attend college.                          —LECLAIR GRIER LAMBERT
THURSDAY, April 12                                                                                             Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society


No committee hearings scheduled.

FRIDAY, April 13
House offices closed.

                                                                                                                                            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: TIM PAWLENTY
      MINORITY LEADER: THOMAS W. PUGH




                                         MIN N E S OTA     I       N        D         E        X
                                                                                                                                                               FOR MORE INFORMATION
Local government lobbyist expenditures                                                                                                                         For general information, call:
                                                                                                                                                               House Information Office
Amount of dollars spent in 1999 by local governments in direct and                                                                                             (651) 296-2146 or
  indirect lobbying, ............................................................................................................ 4,101,192                    1-800-657-3550
  Increase over 1998, as percent .............................................................................................. 13.9
  Dollars spent in 1998, in millions .......................................................................................... $3.6                           To obtain a copy of a bill, call:
Number of cities that directly employed staff and/or contracted with                                                                                           Chief Clerk’s Office
  professional lobbyists, in 1999 ..................................................................................................28                         (651) 296-2314
  Amount they spent ......................................................................................................$1,038,130
  Largest amount (Minneapolis) .................................................................................... $213,501                                   To find out about bill introductions or
                                                                                                                                                               the status of a specific bill, call:
  Second largest (Richfield) ............................................................................................. $191,919
                                                                                                                                                               House Index Office
Number of counties that directly employed staff and/or contracted with
                                                                                                                                                               (651) 296-6646
  professional lobbyists, 1999 .......................................................................................................12
  Amount they spent ......................................................................................................... $907,960                         For an up-to-date recorded message
  Largest amount (Hennepin) ......................................................................................... $324,728                                 giving committee meeting times and
Number of school districts that directly employed staff and/or contracted                                                                                      agendas, call:
  with professional lobbyists, 1999 .............................................................................................10                            Committee Hotline
  Amount they spent ......................................................................................................... $372,697                         (651) 296-9283
Number of metropolitan agencies that directly employed staff and/or
  contract with professional lobbyists, 1999 ............................................................................. 4                                   The House of Representatives can be
                                                                                                                                                               reached on the World Wide Web at:
  Amount they spent ......................................................................................................... $320,548
                                                                                                                                                               http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us
  Largest amount (Metropolitan Airports Commission) ....................................... $148,573
Amount paid in 1999 by local governments to associations that represented                                                                                      Teletypewriter for the hearing impaired.
  their interests ..................................................................................................................$6,015,709                 To ask questions or leave messages,
  Numbers in 1998 respectively ..................................................................................$5,488,216                                    call:
  Portion of the 1999 dollars spent on lobbying activities, as percent .......................... 24                                                           TTY Line (651) 296-9896 or
  In 1998 ................................................................................................................................................24   1-800-657-3550
Number of local units of government who relied entirely on their employees to
represent them at the Legislature .................................................................................................. 7                         Check your local listings to watch
  Number that relied on contract lobbyists .............................................................................41                                     House committee and floor sessions
  Number that had both ................................................................................................................... 6                   on TV.
Amount spent in 1999 on lobbying expenditures by associations                                                                                                  Senate Information
  representing local governments, in millions .................................................................... $1.8                                        296-0504
  Percent funded through dues of association members .............................................. 77.8                                                       1-888-234-1112
Most dollars spent by a local government organization lobbying in 1999
  (League of Minnesota Cities) ....................................................................................... $216,599                                Senate Index
                                                                                                                                                               296-5560
  Second (Metropolitan Inter-County Association) ................................................ $160,482
  Third (Minnesota School Boards Association) ....................................................... $145,247                                                 This document can be made available in
                                                                                                                                                               alternative formats to individuals with disabilities
                                                                                                                                                               by calling (651) 296-2146 voice, (651) 296-9896
Source: 1999 Local Government Lobbying Expenditures report, Office of the State Auditor,                                                                       TTY, or (800) 657-3550 toll free voice and TTY.
March 2001.

								
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