MARCH 21, 2003
VOLUME 20, NUMBER 11
In this issue:
RENEWABLE FUELS, APPRENTICES
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES BUDGET, AND MORE
Session Weekly is a nonpartisan
publication of the Minnesota House of
Representatives Public Information
Services. During the 2003-2004 Legislative
Session, each issue reports daily House ac-
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175 State Office Building Local Government 15
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LeClair G. Lambert
Michelle Kibiger FEATURES
Assistant Editor At Issue: Employment — Lawmakers are considering a fee for apprentice-
Mike Cook ship sponsors to help boost dislocated worker fund programs. • 20
Art & Production Coordinator
Paul Battaglia At Issue: Energy — Proponents say renewable fuels could save the state in
Writers terms of both energy costs and energy consumption. • 21
Miranda Bryant, Patty Janovec,
Jeff Jones, Tom Lonergan People — Rep. Chris DeLaForest (R-Andover) considers his role as a legis-
lator an extension of his lifelong commitment to public service. • 22
People — Rep. Char Samuelson (R-New Brighton) brings a range of health
care and senior care experience as a new member of the House. • 23
Andrew Von Bank, Kristine Larsen
Office Manager People — Rep. Dan Severson (R-Sauk Rapids) enters a new phase of his
Nicole Wood life as a legislator, having spent many years in military service. • 24
Christy Novak, Joseph Rude People — Rep. Katie Sieben (DFL-Newport) says her youth gives her a
fresh perspective as a member of the House. • 25
Session Weekly (ISSN 1049-8176) is published
weekly during the legislative session by the
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offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes It’s a Fact: Heavy load 4 Reflections: Road development 35
to Session Weekly, Public Information
Bill Introductions (HF906 – HF1091) 26 Minnesota Index: Tax time 36
Services, Minnesota House of Representatives,
175 State Office Building, St. Paul, Committee Schedule (March 24-28) 31
Printed on recycled paper which is 50% recycled,
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On the cover: The Capitol dome is reflected in a pool of melting snow March 14 when the
temperature exceeded 60 degrees.
— Photo by Andrew Von Bank
2 March 21, 2003
F IRST READING
★ ★ ★
“While a $3 or $6 co-payment may not seem
like a lot of money to you and me, for people
Getting an earful living on very low incomes, it creates a signifi-
cant barrier,” said Sue Abderholden of the Na-
tional Alliance for the Mentally Ill, testifying
Care providers, those receiving state assistance express con- about the effects of new co-payments required
cerns about governor’s budget for health and human services from state Medical Assistance clients. “If you had
three medications and a doctor’s visit, you may
be looking at paying 2 to 3 percent of your in-
BY JEFF JONES best pinch its pennies from the perspective of come per month. On a legislative salary, that
eeks before Gov. Tim Pawlenty re- the groups it partners with to provide services. would be equivalent to almost $80 a month,”
leased his proposal for shoring up Bradley turned to that pile upon release of Abderholden said.
a projected $4.2 billion state budget Pawlenty’s budget plan for fiscal year Administration officials said the Health and
deficit for the upcoming biennium, the House 2004-05. Health and human services pro- Human Services departments were returning
Health and Human Services Finance Commit- grams are the second biggest piece of the state’s to their role as “safety net” agencies. In a letter
tee was hearing testimony about it. spending pie, and with K-12 education fund- to the committee, Human Services Commis-
Dubbed “Do More With Less” hearings, ing mostly immune from the budget knife, sioner Kevin Goodno said his department
committee members heard pleas and sugges- those programs received the largest spending “worked to identify those people who are ‘most
tions from state agencies, local governments, reductions in the governor’s proposal. vulnerable’ and services that are ‘most criti-
residents, hospitals, insurance companies, so- Under the plan, the state would save cal’ to their well being. Anything falling out-
cial service providers, and not-for-profit $1.1 billion, or 12 percent of the projected side this definition was reduced or eliminated
groups of all stripes. Most explained the im- 2004-05 funding, in the Human Services De- in order to preserve these core services.”
portance of the services their organization partment alone, by reducing spending levels Some DFLers said they think the sheer vol-
provides and encouraged continued support. and raising fees. ume of cuts is unrealistic.
“Lots of middle class families that have chil-
dren with disabilities will be summarily hurt
by this budget,” said Rep. Thomas Huntley
(DFL-Duluth). “There’s mentally ill people
that won’t get their pharmaceuticals. 50,000
people are going to lose health insurance. Most
of those are working people.”
Bradley agrees the governor’s numbers are
staggering. “I think my caucus likes most of
what the governor’s done,” he said. “But there’s
some areas where we have trouble and we’re
doing everything we can to sort of mitigate
some of those troubles that we have.”
And that’s where his five-inch stack of ideas
“We tried to pull out from those the ideas
that really were relevant, ideas that had some
merit, had substance to them, that we thought
were reasonable, and compiled that into a kind
of ‘Here’s your set of opportunities, go out and
engage with the appropriate advocate groups,
PHOTO BY ANDREW VON BANK industry groups or whoever and see what you
Lisa Salinas of Eagan testifies about the Consumer Support Grant Program before the House Health can come up with.’”
and Human Services Policy Committee March 19 as her son, Erik, who has cerebral palsy, looks on. “The system can hopefully be reformed a
Many also supplied suggestions on how the Bills reflecting the administration’s propos- bit so that when the monies return, which they
cash-strapped state might deliver services als were reviewed in the Health and Human will, we can return to greener days,” said
more efficiently, provide oversight more effec- Services Policy Committee March 18 and com- Rep. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka). “Then we can add
tively, distribute funding more flexibly, and mittee members heard several additional money back in a better way and it will go even
hopefully, save money more easily. hours of public input over the next two days. farther and serve better.”
Committee Chair Rep. Fran Bradley Critics called the funding reductions ex- Abeler said he hopes to reduce the impact
(R-Rochester) estimated that after eight hours treme and said the governor was balancing the of budget reductions on people with disabili-
of hearings, he had a pile of paper five inches budget on the backs of some of Minnesota’s ties. He said there is wide disparity among
thick detailing how state government could most vulnerable citizens. counties in how much funding is provided for
Session Weekly 3
the disabled to receive individualized care.
Under the governor’s proposal many nurs-
ing homes would pay higher fees to the state
and be required to reduce rates or decrease
capacity in their facilities. Grant funding for
Meals on Wheels and senior dining programs Heavy load
would also be eliminated. Interim committee investigated misconduct in 1930s Highway Department
“We are being told to go into next year and
Practices in the Minnesota Department $3 million was spent on equipment rental
either reduce the number of nursing home beds
of Highways were under close scrutiny by alone over a three-year period from 1936
or take a 4 percent reduction (in state funding),”
an interim committee appointed in 1939, to 1938. Two projects in particular ac-
said Barbara Ruppe, a nursing home adminis-
chaired by Sen. A.O. Sletvold. Shortly after counted for many of the funds – work along
trator in St. Paul. With rapidly rising insurance
taking office, then-Attorney General J.A.A. Highway 61 along the North Shore total-
costs, she said, her facility would have to dramati-
Burnquist, who would later become gov- ing more than $700,000 and $311,000 on a
cally reduce its staff to make up for the lost funds.
ernor, ordered an audit of the department’s Houston County highway.
“I am concerned that you are asking us to be
books as part of an overall investigation of The practice did not allow for the state
more efficient, when the best indicator of the type
state government. to capture federal funds, the report noted,
of care residents receive is the actual time direct
The department, which became the mod- and it left nearly $2.5 million in unused aid.
care staff spend with them.”
ern-day Transportation Department, was The committee also found the depart-
Plans in the bill regarding the state’s welfare
alleged to be ignoring laws governing con- ment expended nearly $1 million on “emer-
system would require anyone applying for the
struction project practices, abusing politi- gency” contracts authorized to the
Minnesota Family Investment Program to meet
cal ties in hiring practices, and generally commissioner’s discretion in a case requir-
with a job counselor to develop an employment
wasting dollars that officials said should be ing immediate action.
plan. Recipients attending school would be re-
designated for road projects. Purchases of greater than $500 were
quired to work 25 hours a week. Families’ cash
According to the committee’s report to regularly authorized without public bid-
grants would not increase if they have another
the 1939 Legislature, “Under past depart- ding processes, as well, according to the in-
child while on the program, under the proposal.
mental practices, it is often found difficult vestigation. Among those purchases were
Justine White, a disabled mother of two from
to place direct responsibility for waste of very large amounts of bituminous road
Lake Elmo, testified that a cut to welfare recipi-
state funds. Millions of dollars have been material – enough to patch large segments
ents who also receive Supplemental Security In-
paid out without verified or even written of highway and for routine maintenance.
come would make it impossible for her to afford
claim therefor by the claimant.” However, the costs exceeded going rates by
her family’s rent. “When I hear that the governor
The report detailed four areas of concern more than $8 per ton – nearly three times
wants to take $175 a month out of my children’s
in the department: personnel, equipment the regular rate.
MFIP grant because I get SSI, the first thing I
rentals, “emergency” contracts, and “The last commissioner’s scheme of
thought was, ‘How will I take care of my chil-
purchases. equipment rentals and emergency con-
dren?’ We are barely getting by now. … That’s
As far back as 1933, the committee tracts hereinbefore reported compels con-
almost 20 percent of my income.”
found, the commissioner of the Highway clusions that are inescapable,” the report
The proposal would combine the General
Department had ordered all maintenance said. “The system was designed to favor, and
Assistance Medical Care and MinnesotaCare
and shop employees to receive the local did largely favor certain individuals. It was
health insurance programs and would limit
county Farmer-Labor committee’s ap- carried out in violation of statute. The di-
subsidized insurance eligibility for single
proval in order to retain their jobs. A large rect financial loss to the state reached a sum
adults to those making less than 75 percent of
number could not gain that approval and running into millions of dollars, a sum,
federal poverty guidelines, which were $18,100
were let go, the report said, and they were which cannot here be accurately computed.
for a family of four in 2002. Those between
replaced by those hand-picked by Farmer- No laudable purpose can be cited.”
75 percent and 175 percent could pay full price
Labor committees. Though the report does not specifically
for the same coverage. Parents earning below
“The engineers could neither hire nor name those to blame for the misuse of
200 percent of federal poverty guidelines could
fire without political approval,” the report funds, it does name a number of officials
receive subsidized coverage. Parents making
said. “Discipline was a thing of the past and who did not have any participation in the
up to 275 percent could pay full price.
morale was lowered. actions. It also suggests that most of the
Another part of the governor’s plan is to
“Under this system, it was shown that the engineers and maintenance personnel did
reduce state payments to medical providers.
department payrolls were heavily over- nothing wrong in performing their duties
Representatives of Minnesota hospitals said
loaded with incumbents who performed no for the department.
they would have to raise prices for insured
useful service to the state.” However, a number of others headed to
patients or shut their doors. Brock Nelson tes-
According to the report, the payroll for court. At the time the report was released,
tified that eliminating health coverage for un-
central office maintenance was 122 em- one criminal trial was in progress, several
documented immigrants alone will cost
ployees. Six months later, that number was indictments were pending, and 10 civil ac-
St. Paul’s Region’s Hospital $2.25 million a
down to 49, which the report indicated was tions for recovery were underway.
year when they come in for emergency care.
sufficient for full division operations. The committee also recommended leg-
“When you cut out eligibility, people don’t
Next, the report suggested the depart- islative relief, in the form of limiting when
go away,” Rep. Huntley said. “They’re still go-
ment used equipment rental practices to certain powers could be exercised and tight-
ing to go to the hospital. They’re still going to
grant construction projects without pub- ening laws requiring a public bid process.
get health care treatment. It’s simply a matter
lic bid letting, as required by law. More than (M. KIBIGER)
of who pays for it,” he said.
4 March 21, 2003
MARCH 13 - 20, 2003
★ ★ ★
said Rep. Marty Seifert (R-Marshall). clerks found to be selling cigarettes to youth
ARTS The bill now moves to the House Capital under 18 years old. Also left to local control is
Investment Committee. the number of days a business’s tobacco li-
Dollars for art
A companion bill (SF910), sponsored by cense may be revoked, should suspension be
A plan to limit the amount of money spent
Sen. Claire Robling (R-Jordan), awaits a hear- invoked.
on art in state buildings was approved by the
ing before the Senate State and Local Govern- Some cities have imposed fines and license
House State Government Finance Committee
ment Operations Committee. revocation periods so extreme that businesses
have lost substantial income, and in some
In 1983, the Legislature enacted a law that
cases have had to close, Gerlach said.
is the basis for the Minnesota Percent for Art
Tom Schlangen, who owns a New Hope con-
in Public Places Program. Under the program,
state buildings with a construction or reno- ★
BUSINESS venience store, said the city suspended his li-
cense for three days in 1999 following his
vation appropriation of at least $500,000 may
Consistent penalties second compliance check failure. Customers
designate up to 1 percent of the construction
An effort to make uniform the penalties as- who couldn’t buy cigarettes from him took
budget to the purchase or commission of
sessed for selling cigarettes and tobacco prod- their business elsewhere, which also affected
ucts to minors was approved March 18, but gasoline and car wash sales.
Sponsored by Rep. Chris Gerlach (R-Apple
without a measure that would have required Schlangen said he has lost $50,000 a year
Valley), HF575 would make the appropriation
use of electronic age verification machines. since then because he never regained those
for art be the lesser of $100,000 or the 1 per-
HF561, sponsored by Rep. Chris Gerlach customers, who in the convenience store busi-
cent. The bill would not affect any building for
(R-Apple Valley), was approved by the House ness are creatures of habit.
which appropriations have been made.
Commerce, Jobs, and Economic Development “These are (the result) of cashier errors,” he
“I’m not opposed to art in buildings,”
Policy Committee. It now moves to the House said. “No one wants to sell to minors.”
Gerlach said. “I’m just questioning the
Local Government and Metropolitan Affairs But allowing cities to impose their own pen-
Committee. alties, which are often times more strict than
He said that under current law the new
The bill was amended several times, and state mandates, has had a proven positive ef-
$39 million building for the Bureau of Crimi-
drew testimony by convenience store owners fect on adolescent smoking, said Jean Forester,
nal Apprehension allows for $390,000 in art
who favored it and health professionals who a University of Minnesota professor.
($361,200 has been budgeted), and a new
opposed it. The bill would impose a $75 fine for the first
building to house laboratories for the depart-
Current law allows cities to exceed state violation, a maximum of $200 for the second
ments of Agriculture and Health with its
mandated minimum fines for businesses and violation, and a $500 fine, a license
$60 million price tag would allow for $600,000
in art. “This bill is prudent financial manage-
ment as buildings become more expensive,” FLAG
Robert Booker, executive director of the
Minnesota State Arts Board, which adminis-
ters the program with the Department of Ad-
ministration, spoke against the bill. He said
some of the large numbers for art relate to the
size of some buildings, like the Judicial Center
or the Minnesota History Center, which com-
bined had more $720,000 allocated for art
when they were constructed.
“If this bill passes we would see an art re-
duction in the largest, most prestigious state
buildings,” Booker said.
Rep. Jim Rhodes (R-St. Louis Park) said
some of the 1 percent now allocated could go
towards the cost of the building itself. “We can
still have art in the buildings,” he said. “It’s a
question of what can we afford.”
Gerlach said a similar law in Wisconsin calls
for two-tenths of 1 percent of a building’s ap- PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID
propriation to go towards art, but the money Historical Society textile curator Ann Frisma, right, lays a heavily fragmented Civil War flag of
may become part of that state’s budget- the Ninth Minnesota Infantry on a table during a condition examination March 19 of the 21
balancing solution. Civil and Spanish American War flags that are on display in the Capitol Rotunda. Fonda
It would be tough to explain to constituents Chomsen, left, a specialist in flags and banners of Textile Conservator Associates in Keedysville,
Md. assists with with the examination. Capitol Site Manager Carolyn Kompelien, center, watches
how the state can spend hundreds of thou-
as the curators work.
sands of dollars on art, while at the same time
cutting funding for things like nursing homes,
Session Weekly 5
suspension of up to seven days, or both for a Tougher penalties and encourages states to pass it in hopes of
third violation. Identity thieves who victimize multiple cracking down on the crime.
An amendment removed a measure that people would face an increased penalty if a bill “These lower-level crimes need to be dealt
would have required sellers to verify customer heard March 13 by the House Judiciary Policy with and we don’t have a real good venue in
age through a driver’s license age verification and Finance Committee becomes law. the federal courts,” Pugh said.
machine. Such machines can retain driver’s Under HF431, if eight or more people are The bill allows Minnesota prosecutors to file
license information, and therefore constitute directly victimized by the information theft, the mail theft charges in either the county where
an invasion of privacy, said some legislators. accused can be sentenced to up to 20 years in the theft occurred or the county where the vic-
The bill does require, however, limited use of prison and face a $100,000 fine. The same pen- tim lives or works in order to give them more
information obtained from driver’s licenses alty applies if any identity theft crime results flexibility in prosecuting the crime.
when retailers choose to use such machines. in more than $35,000 in losses to the victims. The bill now moves to the House floor. Its
The bill does not yet have a Senate “We’re going after the ring-type situations,” Senate companion (SF514), sponsored by
companion. said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Doug Meslow (R- Sen. Wes Skoglund (DFL-Mpls), awaits action
White Bear Lake). He said his bill sends the in the Senate Crime Prevention and Public
message that identity theft is no less impor- Safety Committee.
CRIME tant than other theft crimes.
Using another person’s identity without
Reporting, prosecuting identity theft permission while committing a crime would Making methamphetamine
When Dawn Lewis Anderson realized her be considered an aggravating factor under the Accompanying Minnesota’s sharp increase
credit card information had been stolen, she bill, and courts would be allowed to add ap- in methamphetamine usage is an increase in
immediately called the police. But she was told propriate additional penalties to a sentence. the number of children being subjected to the
her local police department wouldn’t take her Another provision would allow courts to dangerous chemicals used to create the illegal
complaint because the crime wasn’t commit- impose consecutive sentences for defendants drugs, Minnesota law enforcement and health
ted in their jurisdiction. Anderson told a with six or more previous criminal convic- officials told a House committee on March 17.
House committee March 13 that without tions. Meslow said the provision would pri- The methamphetamine labs springing up
knowing just where or how the information marily affect property offenders with a long across the state, especially in rural areas, are
was stolen, she had few places to turn. criminal history. dangerous places full of highly reactive sub-
A bill approved by the House Judiciary Because the bill would have a fiscal impact stances, causing a risk to anyone near them.
Policy and Finance Committee would make it on the state Corrections Department, commit- And more and more, said Paul Stevens of the
easier for victims to report the crime, and pros- tee members will consider it for inclusion in Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension,
ecutors to charge the perpetrator. the committee’s omnibus finance bill. officials investigating such labs are finding
Sponsored by House Majority Leader Erik A Senate companion (SF254), sponsored by children on the premises.
Paulsen (R-Eden Prairie), HF821 would allow Sen. Leo Foley (DFL-Coon Rapids), awaits a Labs can be set up virtually anywhere.
local law enforcement agencies to take reports hearing in the Senate Crime Prevention and “They’re cooking (methamphetamine) in their
of identity theft from people living or working Public Safety Committee. bathtubs and basements…while children are
within their jurisdiction even if the crime oc- running free,” Flanagan said.
curred somewhere else. It also permits prosecu- Seeking to deter the trend, the House Judi-
tors to bring charges against identity thieves in ciary Policy and Finance Committee approved
Mail theft punishment
either the county where the theft occurred or the a bill (HF652) that would make manufactur-
The House Judiciary Policy and Finance
county where the victim lives or works. ing a controlled substance in the same build-
Committee approved a bill March 13 that
Paulsen said his bill would allow flexibility ing as a child under age 14 an act of child
would create the crime of mail theft in
for law enforcement and eliminate a lot of endangerment, punishable by up to five years
headaches for victims. in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Sponsored by Rep. Tom Pugh (DFL-South
Bill Gillespie, executive director of the Min- The bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Lesch (DFL-
St. Paul), HF463 would impose a three-year
nesota Police and Peace Officers Association, St. Paul), said prosecutors currently must pro-
felony sentence and a fine of up to $5,000 for
called the bill “something that should have vide proof that immediate bodily harm is being
stealing or opening mail addressed to some-
occurred a long time ago.” Currently, he said, done to a child before endangerment charges
a person has to return to the place where their can be filed. But the harmful effects of expo-
Pugh said it is increasingly common for
identity was stolen to file a police report. sure to the chemicals used in methamphet-
identity thieves to obtain and use private in-
Such reports, he said, are crucial not only amine manufacturing are often not
formation contained in letters stolen from
for prosecuting crimes, but for victims to re- immediately evident, he said. In addition, the
mailboxes or post offices. That information
ceive relief from banks or insurance compa- risk of labs exploding puts anyone nearby in
can include photographs, ID cards, bank or
nies. “A bank or company wants a 7-digit immediate danger.
credit card numbers, medical information, and
number,” he said, referring to the complaint “These are not geniuses,” Stevens said of the
social security numbers.
number that is a part of any police report. drug makers, who tend to be young adults of-
“It’s an epidemic out there right now,” Pugh
Under the bill, reports filed in a county other ten with young children. He said the bill would
than where the crime took place would not enable prosecutors to bring the charges against
While already a federal crime, Pugh said fed-
count towards that county’s property crime anyone, not just a parent, who knowingly puts
eral courts and prosecutors do not have the
statistics. children at risk by bringing them in contact
resources to deal with any but the biggest in-
The bill, which has no Senate companion, with such dangerous activities.
stances of mail theft. He said the United States
next goes before the full House. The bill will next go before the full House.
Postal Service crafted the language in his bill
A Senate companion (SF597), sponsored by
6 March 21, 2003
Sen. Staveer Chaudhary (DFL-Fridley), awaits Chief Paul Phillip. “We know what they’re do- are receiving Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
a hearing in the Senate Crime Prevention and ing. They know we know what they’re doing. He also said that the unique nature of each
Public Safety Committee. But they also know there’s nothing we can do brain injury makes treating them very expen-
about it,” he said. sive. A moderate injury can cost $3 million per
One of the challenges in combating the year, while a serious one may cost an estimated
Punishing drug manufacturers problem is that most of the necessary ingredi- $10 million to $14 million annually.
A bill designed to help the state prosecute ents are readily available to consumers, Phillip Abeler said the brain injury fund began ini-
would-be methamphetamine manufacturers said. The bill would create a list of chemicals tially as a pilot project with a four-year dem-
gained the support of House Judiciary Policy — from decongestant tablets to sulfuric onstration grant from the federal government.
and Finance Committee members March 19. acid — that are commonly used to make meth- He also said the individuals causing these in-
Attorneys and law enforcement officials told amphetamine. Someone convicted of carrying juries are drivers who are breaking the law.
lawmakers the dramatic rise in methamphet- one of the listed substances with intent to pro- Officials from the Department of Public
amine usage and production in Minnesota is duce methamphetamine would be eligible for Safety said that 32,000 driver’s licenses were
becoming a serious health, safety, and envi- 15 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000. revoked in 2002. Statistics regarding how many
ronmental risk to many communities, espe- The committee expressed support for the are reinstated each year were not available at
cially in rural areas. bill and will consider it later for possible in- the meeting.
Southern Minnesota counties are being es- clusion in its omnibus finance bill. Rep. Mary Liz Holberg (R-Lakeville) asked
pecially hard-hit by an influx of manufactur- The bill’s Senate companion (SF500), spon- when the additional reinstatement fee would be
ers crossing the border from Iowa, which has sored by Sen. Wes Skoglund (DFL-Mpls) high enough that the state would lose revenue
stricter methamphetamine laws, according to awaits a hearing in the Senate Crime Preven- because it would preclude individuals from ac-
Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi. tion and Public Safety Committee. tually applying to have their licenses reinstated
HF416, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Anderson and would instead drive illegally. She said court
(R-Austin), takes a cue from Iowa statutes by officials have approached her suggesting they
making it a felony to attempt to manufacture have struggled to recover those costs.
Funds for brain injuries
methamphetamine. Currently, police must Rep. Bill Kuisle (R-Rochester), the commit-
A bill that would increase the fee charged to
catch someone in the act before they can be tee chair, said it’s important that the state not
individuals seeking to have a driver’s license
charged with a felony, Anderson said. lose revenue in the long run because the sur-
reinstated following incidents of drunken
Even if officers discover someone carrying charges are too expensive.
driving, vehicular homicide, or failing a chemi-
large quantities of chemicals and equipment cal test was heard March 18 by the House
used to make the drug, current law doesn’t give Transportation Finance Committee.
them the authority to act, said Austin Police The committee will consider the bill for pos-
sible inclusion in its omnibus finance bill. ★
The bill (HF395), sponsored by Rep. Jim
Abeler (R-Anoka) would increase the rein-
A bill that would require public schools to
statement fee from $250 to $300 and would
emphasize sexual abstinence in health educa-
reallocate proceeds as follows:
tion classes was approved March 18 by the
• 17 percent to the trunk highway fund,
House Education Policy Committee.
• 56 percent to the general fund,
Sponsored by Rep. Sondra Erickson
• 7 percent in a separate account to the state
(R-Princeton), HF580 would amend state law
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for
to require that school districts “provide stu-
laboratory and investigation related to
dents with a curriculum and instruction in ab-
drug activity and gambling, and
stinence until marriage premised on risk
• 20 percent in a separate brain and spinal cord
avoidance.” Current law requires a school
injury account for resources and to main-
district’s health education program on sexu-
tain a registry.
ally transmitted infections and diseases to in-
Under current law, the breakdowns are 20
clude “helping students abstain from sexual
percent, 56 percent, 8 percent, and 5 percent
activity until marriage.”
“This is taking what’s already in the law and
In addition, the bill would provide for the
emphasizing it,” Erickson said. “I’m sending a
funds in the brain injury account to be divided
so that 86 percent be disbursed by the com-
The bill was referred to the full House.
missioner of health to community-based or-
During a vigorous debate, opponents and
ganizations to provide services and resources
supporters of the bill disagreed on such issues
to injury victims and their families and so that
as condom use, whether schools encourage
14 percent would be used to maintain an in-
students to be sexually active, and if abstinence
programs are an effective method in teaching
A surcharge of $145 is added to the current
PHOTO BY ANDREW VON BANK sex education.
Austin Police Chief Paul Phillip testifies in front $250 reinstatement fee. As of July 1, that sur-
Barbara Anderson, representing the Minne-
of the House Judiciary Policy Committee charge will increase to $380.
sota Family Council, objected to comprehen-
March 19 in support of a bill that would make Tom Gode, executive director of the Brain
possessing the items to manufacture metham-
sive sex education programs in schools with
Injury Association of Minnesota, said brain
phetamine with the intent of doing so a crime. content that, she said, includes “human
injuries affect about 12,000 Minnesotans who
Session Weekly 7
reproduction, birth control methods, homo- least 25 years.” State law now allows nonprofit sored by Sen. Geoff Michel (R-Edina), awaits a
sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual organizations with a 501(c)(3) federal tax status hearing in the Senate Education Committee.
identity, orgasm, and masturbation.” She said and a year-end fund balance of $2 million to
some programs teach students “how to engage sponsor charter schools. Under the bill, a cham-
in all sorts of sex acts without guilt.” ber of commerce organization or a board of trade Substitute teachers
Bonnie Young Johnson, a health teacher in or exchange would not have to meet the More of the state’s 35,000 retired teachers
Eden Prairie, said abstinence “is not ignored $2 million financial requirement. would be eligible for short-term substitute
or slighted” in school curriculums. She said There was no opposition to the bill voiced duty under a bill passed 128-0 by the House
the bill repeats what already exists in state law at the hearing. March 13.
and “could lead to omission (of information) Jan Alswager, representing Education Min- Sponsored by Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-
rather than giving as much as possible.” nesota, the state teachers union, urged legisla- Princeton), HF219 would amend state law to
An amendment, sponsored by Rep. Jim tors to show more caution in expanding allow retired teachers to substitute for 15-day
Davnie (DFL-Mpls) that emphasized preven- charter school sponsorship. “Almost anyone periods once they are granted “a lifetime quali-
tion of sexually transmitted infections and can start a charter school at this point,” she fied short-call substitute teaching license” by
retained teaching of abstinence but removed said. The Legislature should examine charter the state Board of Teaching.
the words “until marriage” in existing law, was schools in total, she added. “What have you Erickson said “the perk” in the proposed leg-
defeated. learned? What works? What doesn’t?” islation for retired teachers would be an ex-
Rep. Nora Slawik (DFL-Maplewood) said There are nearly 80 charter schools in the emption from required completion of
teens have been sexually active “for ages. You state. They can be sponsored by school boards, continuing education credits. Only retired
can’t teach morality,” she said. “You can’t leg- intermediate school districts, private and pub- teachers granted the proposed lifetime short-
islate morality.” lic colleges and universities, community and call license would be exempt from the require-
Her bill is not “needless education,” technical colleges, as well as nonprofit ment. A retired teacher, Erickson holds a
Erickson said. “We need to provide students organizations. lifetime teaching license. She said she would
an opportunity to learn to say no.” The House Education Finance Committee not personally benefit from the bill.
Rachel Hicks, a senior from Brooklyn Park, March 19 approved a Sykora amendment that The bill would also allow licensed retired
said 55 percent of high school seniors in the limits a chamber of commerce to sponsoring teachers from accredited nonpublic schools to
state are or have been sexually active. Students a charter school that has operated for at least substitute teach on a short-term basis, as well
would “tune out” an abstinence-only message, three years. “We can’t really afford to start-up as retired teachers holding an out-of-state
she said. any new charter schools,” she said. teaching license. The bill would begin in the
A companion Senate bill (SF747), sponsored The finance committee will consider the bill 2003-04 school year.
by Sen. Betsy Wergin (R-Princeton), awaits a for inclusion in its omnibus finance bill. According to the Department of Children,
hearing in the Senate Education Committee. The bill’s Senate companion (SF611), spon- Families and Learning, about 20,000 of the
state’s 56,000 teachers will retire in the next
10 years. Finding licensed substitute teachers
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
locally has been a problem for school districts.
Charter school sponsors The bill’s Senate companion (SF491), spon-
Local chambers of commerce would be al- sored by Sen. Gen Olson (R-Minnetrista), awaits
lowed to become sponsors of public charter a hearing in the Senate Education Committee.
schools, under a bill approved March 13 by
the House Education Policy Committee.
Sponsored by Rep. Barb Sykora (R-Excel- Earlier school start
sior), the committee chair, HF697 would spe-
The school year for Rochester students may
cifically allow the St. Paul Area Chamber of
start earlier under a bill approved March 18
Commerce to sponsor the Minnesota Business
by the House Education Policy Committee.
Academy, a charter high school in St. Paul, ef-
Sponsored by Rep. Carla Nelson (R-Roch-
fective in the 2003-04 school year.
ester), HF535 would permanently exempt the
Joanne Benson, chief education officer of
Rochester school district from state restric-
the academy, said the St. Paul School District,
tions against starting the school year before
the current school sponsor, supports the
Sept. 1. The bill was referred to the full House.
change. Now in its third year, the 400-student
The district’s current school year is 192 days
high school emphasizes a business-oriented
long, including teacher and staff development
curriculum. “This will be of great benefit to
days, and extends to June 9, 2003. The bill
us,” said Benson, who is also a member of the
would permit the local school board to annu-
chamber’s board of directors.
ally adjust the school calendar.
Chamber President Larry Dowell said if the
Jerry Williams, superintendent of Roches-
bill becomes law, “there won’t be a rush of lo-
ter Public Schools, said 2,000 of the districts
cal chambers to sponsor schools.” PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID
students are involved in school activities prior
The bill would amend state law to allow non- Lisa Graham Keegan of the Education Lead-
ers Council answers questions after making to the traditional post-Labor Day opening of
profit organizations with a 501(c)(6) federal tax
a presentation on the federal No Child Left the school year. Other students who are in-
status to “sponsor one or more charter schools Behind act to the House Education Policy volved in post-secondary summer school
if the nonprofit corporation has existed for at Committee March 20. classes have had occasions where college
8 March 21, 2003
classes have already begun while their high The department would prefer the program Single, not double, taxation
school is still in session in the spring. stay under its jurisdiction, said Jim Should the owner of a parcel of real estate
The Minnesota Association of Innkeepers Batholomew, the department’s government in two school districts have to pay taxes to
and the Congress of Minnesota Resorts op- relations director. “It’s running well,” he said. both?
pose the bill. “We can service the needs of the students.” A bill approved by the House Education Fi-
Changing the law for Rochester “has the Yvonne Novack, the scholarship program nance Committee March 18 would provide the
potential to encompass all schools in Minne- manager, said 54 percent of the schools that owner of a split residential property a proce-
sota,” said Mike Wilmer, president of the inn- benefit from the scholarship money are in the dure to have the parcel declared to be in one
keepers association. That “could be Twin Cities metropolitan area. She said one- school district.
devastating” to the state’s summer resort and third of the students receiving scholarships live Sponsored by Rep. Barb Goodwin (DFL-
tourist industry, he said. and attend colleges in the Twin Cities area and Columbia Heights), HF205 was referred to the
State statutes currently provide only one one-third attend colleges and post-secondary House Taxes Committee.
exception to the Sept. 1 school year start date, programs in Bemidji. Under the bill, a property owner could pe-
according to the nonpartisan House Research According to the Minnesota Indian Education tition the county auditor to unite the residen-
Department: if a district has at least a $400,000 Committee, 667 students receiving scholarships tial property in question into one school
construction or remodeling project that affects in 2001-02 were from northern Minnesota and district. Currently the county board must be
use of a school building. On a case-by-case 334 were from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. petitioned.
basis, the Legislature has authorized other one- The bill would take effect the day after the Goodwin said a residential block of homes
time exemptions from the start date. governor signs it into law. A Senate compan- in her legislative district are split between the
A Senate companion bill (SF391), spon- ion bill (SF258), sponsored by Sen. Rod Skoe boundaries of the Columbia Heights and
sored by Sen. Sheila Kiscaden (IP-Rochester), (DFL-Clearbrook), has been approved by one Fridley school districts. There are a few areas
awaits a hearing in the Senate Education committee and awaits action by the Senate in the state where residential properties are
Committee. Education Committee. split between school districts, Goodwin said.
Rep. Alice Seagren (R-Bloomington), the com-
mittee chair, said a similar situation existed in
Indian scholarship office Reducing school board size her district.
The House Education Policy Committee ap- The Duluth School Board would shrink in School district borders don’t necessarily
proved a bill March 13 that would move the size if a bill passed March 17 by the House “line up with municipal boundaries,” accord-
state’s Indian Scholarship Program to the Higher Governmental Operations and Veterans Af- ing to a nonpartisan House Research Depart-
Education Services Office and establish the fairs Policy Committee becomes law. ment summary of the bill. “In some cases, a
program’s administrative office in Bemidji. Sponsored by Rep. Thomas Huntley (DFL- house may be split so that some bedrooms are
Sponsored by Rep. Doug Fuller (R- Duluth), HF494 would reduce the board size in one school district and other bedrooms are
Bemidji), HF509 would transfer the program from nine to seven members. The bill, which in a different school district,” the summary
from the Department of Children, Families Huntley said would help “reduce the size of stated. In such cases, a portion of the house is
and Learning, based in Roseville. The bill was government,” now moves to the House floor. taxed in one district and the remainder is taxed
referred to the House Governmental Opera- The bill would allow for the district to re- in the other.
tions and Veterans Affairs Policy Committee. duce from five to three the number of at-large “Developers came in and paid no attention
Established in 1955, the Indian Scholarship members elected every four years. The four to school district boundaries, that’s how this
Program has provided an average of 1,000 other members are elected by district. happened,” Goodwin said. “A homeowner
scholarships per year for American Indian stu- The school board would have to approve the can’t vote in two school districts, but has to
dents to attend post-secondary educational in- provisions of the bill, by resolution, and the pay property taxes to two districts.” There were
stitutions. The average student award is $1,858 change would take effect for the November no testifiers for or against the bill at the com-
per year. 2003 election. Residents would not be able to mittee hearing.
State budget cuts in 2002 led to the closing of vote on the change. The bill would require the county auditor
the scholarship program’s offices in Bemidji and Speaking on behalf of the district, Ronald to issue an order within 60 days of the receipt
Duluth. The program had an office in Bemidji Soberg said its very long, narrow, and odd of the property owner’s petition to transfer the
since its inception. The Pawlenty shape could have had something to do with affected parcel into one school district as of
administration’s 2004-05 biennium budget pro- the law in 1969 that required nine members. the next July 1, and notify the affected districts.
poses $3.8 million in funding for the program He said the school district has held several The transfer would subject the property to all
with its administration to remain in Roseville. public meetings discussing the reduction, and of the taxes of the new school district.
Peter White, chairman of the Leech Lake there has been no response from the public. There is no Senate companion to the bill.
Band of Ojibwe, spoke in favor of the bill. “It Rep. Marty Seifert (R-Marshall) expressed
was disturbing to me that (Bemidji) was taken concern about the public having no say in the
away,” he said. “Education should not be sub- matter, noting the committee is known for “let-
ject to politics.” He said 70 percent of the state’s ting the people decide for themselves.”
Indian people live within a 60-mile radius of Huntley said the issue has been in the news- Agreement reached
Bemidji State University, which has offered free paper, on radio, and on television throughout The House Regulated Industries Commit-
office space to the state to house the program. the area. He said he hasn’t “received one letter tee approved a bill March 19 that would allow
White said his tribal council would also help or one phone call related to the issue.” additional dry cask radioactive waste storage
the state fund the office if it were re-opened in A companion bill (SF577), sponsored by Sen. at the Prairie Island nuclear power plant near
Bemidji. The scholarship program “has im- Yvonne Prettner Solon (DFL-Duluth), awaits Red Wing.
pacted a greater number of Indian people than action in the Senate Education Committee. Sponsored by Rep. Torrey Westrom
any other program in state history,” White said.
Session Weekly 9
(R-Elbow Lake), HF775 would allow Xcel En- national storage site the Prairie Island nuclear HF394, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Wardlow
ergy, the plant’s owner, to store spent nuclear waste would be moved to is not expected to be (R-Eagan), was approved 116-11. The bill now
fuel rods in at least 11 additional dry cask stor- available for at least 14 years, according to Xcel moves to the Senate where it is sponsored by
age silos on the site. officials. Sen. Steve Kelley (DFL-Hopkins).
The bill would alter renewable energy de- The bill was referred to the House Environ- The bill would extend the maximum length
velopment initiatives mandated by 1994 leg- mental and Natural Resources Policy of a guaranteed energy savings contract from
islation the state negotiated with Xcel to allow Committee. 10 years to 15 years. Under a 1983 law, school
the existing 17 storage casks at Prairie Island. A Senate companion bill (SF794), spon- districts and municipalities can enter into
It would also return authorization for addi- sored by Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red Wing), agreements for energy efficiency improve-
tional storage capacity — beyond what the bill awaits action in the Senate Commerce and ments, such as new lighting and heating and
would provide — at either Prairie Island or Utilities Committee. cooling systems. The upgrades are paid from
Xcel’s Monticello nuclear plant to the Public the energy cost savings over a period of time;
Utilities Commission. no upfront cash payment is required. The en-
Xcel said it would have to shut down the Savings plan tity receives the full benefit of lower energy
Prairie Island plant in 2007 if the Legislature A bill making it easier for schools and mu- costs after the upgrades have been paid.
does not approve additional waste storage ca- nicipalities to enter into long-term energy sav- Extending the maximum contract length
pacity at the site. The additional storage would ings plans passed the House March 13. would make it easier for entities to purchase
keep the plant’s two nuclear units operating back-up generators, which often can’t be paid
until federal licenses expire in 2013 and 2014. off in 10 years due to the cost of the machine
The bill does not set a limit on the number of RENEWABLE
ENEWABLE FUEL and the amount of the rate rebate from the
storage casks. utility company.
Westrom said the bill attempts to balance a The bill does not require that contracts be
number of issues, from meeting the state’s fixed at 15 years; a lesser number of years
energy demand, providing annual funding for would be allowed.
a tentative settlement Xcel and the Prairie Is- In voting against the bill, Rep. Philip Krinkie
land Indian Community has reached on long- (R-Shoreview) and Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-
standing disputes regarding the plant, to St. Paul) said they thought that local units of
continued funding of renewable energy re- government should not have to wait 15 years
source initiatives. to reap the benefits of an energy savings plan.
“I think we’re going in the wrong direction Rep. Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan) said those
given the past performance of Xcel,” said Rep. against it were essentially saying that if ben-
Dan Larson (DFL-Bloomington), who op- efits can’t be realized under current law’s
posed the bill. “This is not a good decision for 10 years, the cost-savings measure shouldn’t
our state.” be instigated.
The bill would initially fund the proposed Added Rep. Rebecca Otto (DFL-Marine on
settlement between Xcel and the community St. Croix), “I think if we can encourage energy
with $25 million from a renewable energy de- savings that’s what we want to do.”
velopment fund created in the 1994 legislation. Forty-seven states in the nation have simi-
Xcel collects money for the fund from its lar statutes, with the maximum contract length
ratepayers. Community members are expected varying from 10 to 25 years.
to complete a vote on the proposed agreement
by April 17. The settlement would provide for
a health study of island residents, improve
emergency access off the island, and purchase ★
land to relocate residents that want to move.
If approved, the tribal council would not Burning permits enter electronic age
oppose additional dry cask storage at the plant. Prior to the passage of a burning permit law
The multi-million dollar settlement proposes in 1918, Minnesotans could burn whenever
annual funding for the tribe for as long as the and whatever they wanted. Today, approxi-
Prairie Island plant is operating. mately 3,000 volunteer fire wardens together
The agreement with Xcel was “not cause for with Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
celebration,” said Byron White, representing forestry offices issue more than 60,000 burn-
the Prairie Island Tribal Council. “There’s no ing permits each year at a cost to the state of
guarantee that nuclear waste will ever be re- $170,000, according DNR figures.
moved from Prairie Island.” The tribal coun- The department would like to change the
cil was a third party to a 1994 agreement the PHOTO BY ANDREW VON BANK way burning permits are issued from the cur-
Legislature negotiated with the utility. Dr. Robert Elde, dean of the College of Biologi- rent paper method to the same electronic sys-
That issue — the unknown length of time cal Sciences at the University of Minnesota, tem used to issue hunting and fishing permits.
demonstrates a working model of a hydro- “We need to move into the modern age,”
the nuclear storage casks will remain on the gen generator during a discussion of renew-
island — was cited by dozens of opponents of DNR Forestry Division Director Mike Carroll
able fuels and emerging technologies during
additional nuclear storage during many days the March 18 House Agriculture and Rural
told the House Environment and Natural Re-
of hearings the committee held on the issue. A Development Finance Committee meeting. sources Finance Committee March 19. “The
10 March 21, 2003
change is you lose a little of the neighborhood voting committee members “fails to find the The season would allow for a meaningful
connectivity, and I’ve been taking a little heat facts more probably true than not” the com- and rewarding outdoor experience for Min-
on that.” And, he added, people would have to plaint is dismissed. If that does not occur, a nesota youth, said John Schroers, legislative
pay for what once was free. hearing is necessary to obtain and evaluate the coordinator for the Minnesota Outdoor Heri-
The department has proposed instituting a evidence for and against discipline and make tage Alliance. “Kids and dogs: great combina-
tiered fee system: a final determination. The committee’s recom- tion – you can’t beat it.”
• $6 for a one-time burn; mendation for discipline can range from a rep- Mourning dove hunting would add to the
• $12 for up to four burns annually; and rimand to expulsion. The full House approximately $62 million in retail sales gen-
• $50 for an expanded use permit. ultimately decides a member’s punishment. erated annually by upland bird hunters, DNR
Rep. Denny McNamara (R-Hastings) ex- The process needs to be complete by the time Wildlife Division Assistant Director Ed
pressed concern that the new fees might cause members adjourn sine die in May 2004. Boggess said. Southern and western Minne-
people to ignore the permit requirements All materials, proceedings, meetings, hear- sota counties would stand to gain the most
altogether. ings, and committee records must be public. from the estimated 50,000 hunters who would
The DNR estimates that fees would gener- However, rules allow for the committee to meet participate, according to DNR projections.
ate approximately $400,000 annually. “Fees in executive session in three instances: to de- “This would be totally underpinned on sci-
will not over-recover costs or build up excess termine probable cause, to consider a entific wildlife management framework” and
funds,” according to a DNR fact sheet submit- member’s health records, or to protect the pri- would not affect the mourning dove popula-
ted to the committee. vacy of a victim or third party. tion levels in the state, Boggess said.
It would be a dual system for the first year, Committee rules state: “A final committee Kevin Ausland, representing the newly es-
Carroll said, meaning permits would still be determination on a complaint shall be held in tablished 60-member Dove Sportsman’s So-
available from fire wardens and approximately public except insofar as the committee votes ciety, described dove hunting as a social event
1,700 electronic licensing vendors would be to meet in executive session.” There was some similar to the state’s walleye opener.
phased in. discussion, but no consensus, on whether a “If we have an abundant renewable re-
Another benefit to the electronic delivery public meeting must be held to make the vote source, let’s use it,” he said.
system, Carroll said, would be that the depart- known. However, as a practice since those rules Opponents testified that many people con-
ment could track those issued permits and were first adopted, a final public meeting has sider mourning doves to be songbirds rather
revoke permits more easily when wildfire risks been held to release results of closed sessions. than gamebirds and questioned the ethics of
are high. An amendment offered by Rep. Tom Pugh shooting birds that yield approximately two
The committee did not take any action on (DFL-South St. Paul), would have made the votes ounces of meat.
the proposal. of committee members public. He said that ex- Howard Goldman, speaking on behalf of
ecutive session should be “to conduct frank dis- Friends of Animals and their Environment, the
cussions on sensitive issues,” and not a place to Humane Society of the United States, and the
ETHICS vote. It was rejected on a 2-2 committee vote.
Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) expressed
Fund for Animals, said that of every 10
mourning doves shot during a hunt, three are
concern that he could vote based on what was not retrieved, according to a University of Illi-
Process begins said in executive session, only to not be able nois study.
An ethics complaint filed against a House to say why he voted the way he did. “I want to “Ethical hunters will make every effort to
member must have its first hearing by April 2. be able to explain my vote,” he said. retrieve these birds,” countered Lance Ness, a
That was the word from the House Ethics Fish and Wildlife Alliance representative.
Committee at its March 17 meeting. There are no scientific or biological reasons
The committee met to lay out its rules for not to hunt mourning doves, Ness said.
the current two-year session. Those rules will
GAME & FISH “This is a prelude to hunting,” said Linda
be put into action right away to respond to the Hatfield, a wildlife rehabilitator from Minneapo-
two-count complaint filed by eight DFLers Mourning dove season lis. “It’s an opportunity for hunters to get out in
against Rep. Arlon Lindner (R-Corcoran) on Minnesota’s bird hunters would have a the field in early September and target shoot.”
March 11. It says his conduct “violates accepted mourning dove season for the first time since Sen. Pat Pariseau (R-Farmington) awaits
norms of House behavior” and “brings the 1947, under a bill (HF530) approved by the action on her companion bills
House into dishonor or disrepute.” House Environment and Natural Resources
On the House floor March 10, Lindner re- Policy Committee March 18 and sent to the
iterated his opinion that gays may not have House floor.
been persecuted during the Nazi Holocaust. A second bill (HF529) that would establish
He also is the House sponsor of a bill that both a mourning dove season and a $5
would remove sexual orientation as a pro- mourning dove stamp was approved and re-
tected class under the state Human Rights Act. ferred to the House Environment and Natu-
Lindner did not attend the March 17 ral Resources Finance Committee.
meeting. Both measures are sponsored by Rep. Tom
The next step will be a probable cause hear- Hackbarth (R-Cedar).
ing, which must occur within 21 days of the Mourning doves presently are hunted in 37
receipt of the complaint by the committee Representing the Dove Sportsman’s Society,
of the 48 contiguous United States.
Kevin Ausland testifies before the House Environ-
chair, Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton). Minnesota’s season likely would be established ment and Natural Resources Policy Committee
That happened March 12. for September after the birds nest and before March 18 in support of a bill that would create a
After that hearing, if a majority of the four they head south for the winter. mourning dove hunting season.
Session Weekly 11
(SF697 and SF698) in the Senate Environment Koochiching County wants to apply to the Research center funding eliminated
and Natural Resources Committee. federal government for a foreign trade zone, A nonprofit research center that examines
Anderson explained, but discovered that it the myriad of issues unique to rural Minne-
must first establish a port authority for mat- sota would close if its state funding is elimi-
ters related to its railroad port. nated, as proposed in Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s
GOVERNMENT Foreign trade zones are industrial sites lo- 2004-05 budget.
cated in or near U.S. Customs ports of entry The Center for Rural Policy and Develop-
Cost disclosure where merchandise is considered legally out- ment, located in St. Peter, is a nonpartisan,
A bill that its House sponsor calls a “fur- side the service’s territory. Foreign goods can nonprofit entity. Established in 1997 by the
ther reform of the rulemaking process” re- be shipped to the zone and held duty free for Legislature, it is charged with researching
ceived House approval March 13. as long as needed. In addition, U.S. quotas do Greater Minnesota social and economic issues,
Sponsored by Rep. Marty Seifert (R-Marshall), not apply to zone-imported goods. By using including health care, transportation, housing,
the bill (HF64/SF61*) passed 128-0. the foreign trade zone, a company can as- crime, and job training.
Under current law when a state agency pro- semble a product with foreign parts, store the According to Center President Jack Geller,
poses a rule change it must provide a State- product in the zone, and postpone duty pay- the Metropolitan Council and the Center for
ment of Need and Reasonableness to the ments until product sale. Urban and Regional Affairs at the University
extent that the agency can ascertain the infor- Koochiching County’s city of Ranier re- of Minnesota examine metropolitan area is-
mation, such as what the likely costs will be to ceives trains each day carrying containers from sues. But only the Center for Rural Policy fo-
make the change and who will bear those costs. Canada and points east. cuses on Greater Minnesota matters.
Administrative rules enacted by state agencies Ranier ranked third behind Detroit and Minnesota Planning does some rural re-
have the full force of law. Heron, Mich., for the number of trains and search, he added. But under a reorganization
The bill provides that the cost information containers entering northern U.S. ports of plan recently ordered by the governor, it will
must specify the portion of the total costs that entry. This is based on a count of 3,332 trains be eliminated and its duties moved to the De-
will be borne by identifiable categories of af- and 27,205 containers during a sample period partment of Administration.
fected parties, such as separate classes of gov- between October 2001 and August 2002, ac- “Who’s going to do the research on rural
ernmental units, businesses, or individuals. cording to Steve Anderson, administrator for Minnesota?” Geller said. “Who’s there?”
For example, Seifert said, “If a Department the Greater Metropolitan Foreign Trade Zone The governor’s proposed budget eliminates
of Health rule comes down in the rulemaking Commission. $150,000 in both fiscal years 2004 and 2005.
process and they are going to mandate some- Anderson said he hopes that companies will While a detailed explanation is not provided,
thing to our nursing homes, they have to spell have their train-imported products undergo Pawlenty’s plan says, “The rural policy center
that out in the Statement of Need and Rea- modification or enhancement in the Ranier does not rely solely on this money for admin-
sonableness, or if we have the Department of industrial park, allowing those products to istrative costs or program activity.”
Agriculture mandating a rule on farmers, they enter duty free. “These funds, while modest, are really our
are to identify the probable costs that will be “That’s the purpose of the foreign trade foundation,” said Geller on March 13 before
borne by the farmer.” zone,” he said. “It’s an attempt at economic the House Jobs and Economic Development
Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Mpls) success- development … thus creating jobs.” Finance Committee. Foundations and corpo-
fully offered an amendment that would also More than $250 billion worth of goods falls rations contribute $150,000 to $200,000 an-
require the costs or consequences of not under zone status in the United States, includ- nually. The committee took no action on the
adopting the proposed rule be included in a ing more than $400 million in the Minneapo- proposal.
statement. lis-St. Paul foreign trade zone, according to The center is unique in that it does not em-
“The agencies should be able to comply with Anderson. ploy researchers. Studies are instead conducted
this quite easily,” Seifert said. “I think it’s very The commission oversees six foreign trade in conjunction with universities and institutes.
fair and reasonable.” zones in Minnesota, which include the Min- According to the center’s Web site, in recent
In the Senate, where Sen. Don Betzold neapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the years it has issued reports on rural Minnesota
(DFL-Fridley) is the sponsor, the bill was Minneapolis Convention Center, 960 acres in Internet use, immigrants in rural Minnesota,
passed 65-0 March 17. If signed by the gover- the Mid-City Industrial Park in Minneapolis, employer involvement in affordable housing,
nor, the measure would take effect July 1, 2003. 13 acres in an Eagan industrial park, and 45 resource inequality in public schools, rural
acres in Bloomington. A sixth site, 12 acres in health care, and teacher shortages.
St. Paul, has never been utilized. Most recently it released an eight-page
HF199 would not apply strictly to analysis of tax-free zones and how similar
GREATER MINNESOTA Koochiching County. It would expand current zones work in Michigan and Pennsylvania. A
law to allow any city, county, town, or other bill (HF3) to establish up to 10 tax-free zones
Foreign trade zones political subdivision in Minnesota to apply for to spur economic growth in Greater Minne-
Establishment of a federal foreign trade federal foreign trade zone status. Now, only sota is making its way through the House this
zones would be possible in Koochiching port authorities and economic development session. The governor favors tax-free zones,
County under a bill that allows creation of a authorities may apply. and in fact proposed such legislation when he
port authority there. A Senate companion bill (SF67), sponsored was a state representative.
HF199, sponsored by Rep. Irv Anderson by Sen. Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids) Rep. Dan Severson (R-Sauk Rapids) said
(DFL-Int’l Falls), was approved March 13 by the awaits a committee hearing. without the center legislators would lose the
House Commerce, Jobs, and Economic Devel- vision necessary to determine what rural is-
opment Policy Committee. It now moves to the sues to focus on.
House Transportation Finance Committee.
12 March 21, 2003
university is serving more than just its stu- the committee wants to hear from campus
HIGHER EDUCATION dents. presidents about what cuts they would pro-
John S. Adams, a geography professor on the pose to meet the shortfall.
Faculty concerns Twin Cities campus, spoke about how he and Not only is McCormick concerned about
Dr. Tim Ebner carried a bag to the testifier’s his students prepared a study that looked at the short-term future but the state’s long-term
table and asked if it was OK to use props dur- the correlation between patterns of low den- quality of life as well.
ing his presentation. Once approval was re- sity development around the state and if traf- He said that when MnSCU submitted a pro-
ceived he pulled out a Tupperware container fic volumes on trunk highways near the centers posal in January to increase its base by
and put on a pair of latex gloves. are rising in response to patterns of develop- $107.6 million for the next biennium, included
He then opened the lid, reached in, and ment around those centers. He said part of in that amount was $28.3 million in strategic
pulled out a human brain. their research was used by the Minnesota De- investments. “We must be responsive to the
Ebner, chair of the University of Minnesota’s partment of Transportation for a study on needs of Minnesotans,” he said.
Neuroscience Department at the Academic transportation and growth. For example, he said the state is now short
Health Center, was one of six university profes- “We see our roles as people that need to give about 3,000 nurses, a number expected to
sors to tell the House Higher Education Finance back and share our areas of expertise,” said double by 2008. He said the system now has a
Committee March 19 about the importance of Guy Charles, a political science professor on waiting list of about 1,000 people waiting to
their work to the state and what would happen the Twin Cities campus. get into a nursing program. Part of the strate-
as a result of proposed budget cuts. Fred Morrison, a law professor at the Twin gic investment would facilitate an increase in
The committee took no action at the meeting. Cities campus, expressed concern that the the nursing program to produce 440 more reg-
In his department, Ebner said students and budget cuts could mean top faculty members istered nurses by 2005. “Without the additional
professors are looking at how different areas may leave for other universities. He used funds we’ll not be able to expand as quickly
of the brain operate, from the basics to the very Charles as an example, saying he has had other as we hoped in this area.”
complex. He said the university is becoming offers, “but so far we’ve been able to keep him It was also noted the cuts could hurt the
well known in the area of Alzheimer’s research. here.” system’s part-time students and prevent some
As a whole, “The medical school has been He said a proposed biennial wage freeze may students from low-income families from at-
transformed in recent years and major bud- keep top professors on campus for a year, but tending college. “We need to be cautious not
get cuts would hurt the trajectory we are on,” he isn’t so sure about two. to underserve the underserved,” said Wilson
Ebner said. Bradshaw, president of Metropolitan State
It isn’t just in the medical areas that the University.
Leaders of the Minnesota State Colleges and The committee took no action on the
Universities (MnSCU) system are likely to proposal.
make some difficult choices in the next few
Speaking before the House Higher Educa-
tion Finance Committee March 13, Chancel- ★
lor James McCormick said that the 2004-05
biennial budget proposed by Gov. Tim
A program that aims to prevent
Pawlenty would reduce the system’s base by
homelessness through a number of measures
$174 million. When combined with the money
would receive $2.6 million during the next two
Pawlenty wants to take from the system and
fiscal years, under a bill heard March 18.
put into the state grant program, McCormick
Sponsored by Rep. Tony Sertich (DFL-
said the number increases to $204 million.
Chisholm), HF541 will be considered for in-
The governor also is proposing a 15 percent
clusion in the House Jobs and Economic
cap on tuition increases for MnSCU, unlike
Development Finance Committee’s omnibus
the University of Minnesota where the gover-
nor is only encouraging that a tuition increase
The family homeless prevention and assis-
stay within 15 percent.
tance program is administered by the Minne-
McCormick said that if MnSCU imple-
sota Housing Finance Agency. It received a
ments the maximum tuition increase, the sys-
2002-03 appropriation of $7.5 million, of
tem would still be $34 million short of meeting
which $250,000 was one-time funding
the $204 million total. Mary Choate, chair of
through federal Temporary Assistance for
the MnSCU Board of Trustees, said the board
Needy Families (TANF) funds.
has not decided what the tuition increase
The program is a flexible grant program
would be. If the shortfall were made up all in
designed to assist families, youth, and indi-
staff cuts, McCormick said that number would
viduals who are homeless or are at risk of
be around 1,900 jobs.
Dr. Tim Ebner, chair of the Neuroscience Depart- homelessness. The program has three objec-
ment at the University of Minnesota’s Academic
“We will balance our budgets but at the ex-
tives: preventing homelessness; shortening the
Health Center, shows a human brain to the House pense of programs that create good jobs and
length of stay in homeless shelters by obtain-
Higher Education Finance Committee March 19 quality of life,” McCormick said. He said no
ing safe, affordable housing; and eliminating
as part of a presentation on what some faculty decisions have yet been made on cuts.
are doing and the importance of their work to repeated episodes of homelessness.
Rep. Gene Pelowski Jr. (DFL-Winona) said
Minnesotans. In fiscal year 2002, the program gave grants
Session Weekly 13
to 16 coalitions serving 57 counties. This as- the transitional housing program for 2002-03. to request an opinion, which Borrell said
sisted 8,003 households, which includes more Clark said the TANF appropriation was would be less costly than taking the issue to
than 17,000 children, at an average cost of known to be a temporary measure. “We have court. “A fee of $200 might keep government
$427. The median income of people served was a hole in our safety net that is going to be state- entities from seeking an opinion,” he said.
$7,740, according to the Minnesota Coalition wide,” she added. The commissioner’s issuance of an opinion
for the Homeless. According to Michael Dahl, executive direc- would not be binding. A person could take a
Many individuals and families need financial tor of the Minnesota Coalition for the Home- complaint to the attorney general if he or she
support provided by the coalitions to help them less, 1,000 people are turned away each night were not satisfied with the commissioner’s
survive until their unemployment check arrives, from shelters. That number would double opinion. Any attorney general’s opinion would
said Richard Amos, program manager for St. without further funding, he said. An additional take precedence over one issued by the com-
Stevens Housing Services in Minneapolis. 13,000 people are on the verge of becoming missioner. Borrell stressed the bill doesn’t limit
Amos said he receives phone calls every day homeless in Minnesota. a person from taking the issue to court.
from people who have been laid off, who have Two formerly homeless people testified in Mark Anfinson, an attorney with the Min-
spent all their savings, and already asked rela- support of the bill. Karine and Tony Barnett nesota Newspaper Association, said the bill
tives for money. One was a nurse with cancer said they left Chicago and arrived in Minne- attempts to create a “simple, cheap, quick
who was too fatigued to work and therefore sota with $5 and six children. The Stearns mechanism.” He said he’s dealt with thousands
couldn’t afford housing costs. Others are on County Sheriff ’s Department directed them to of questions about the open meeting law, and
the verge of losing their homes due to an in- the Housing Coalition of the St. Cloud Area. as the law gets more complex, it’s “not a good
ability to pay their mortgage. “From that point on it’s been all uphill,” said deal for the average citizen.”
“To say ‘no’ hurts my heart,” Amos said, Tony Barnett. Rep. Loren Solberg (DFL-Grand Rapids)
adding that not enough money exists to help The family lived in a homeless shelter for said he was concerned about whether the com-
all in need. five months, then in transitional housing for missioner of administration was the “proper
In rural areas, helping a family stay in its three months. With the help of the coalition, person to advise a city.”
home is crucial as there are often fewer hous- the couple has secured permanent housing Don Gemberling, director of public infor-
ing opportunities than in a metropolitan area, and jobs. mation policy and analysis for the Department
said Gale McEvoy, representing Three Rivers The transitional housing program has of Administration, said he’s dealt with ques-
Community Action and the Southeast Min- proven effective, according to the Department tions for more than 30 years on the open meet-
neapolis Housing Network. of Children, Families and Learning. Of those ing law because “citizens couldn’t get quick
A Senate companion bill (SF196), spon- who successfully complete the mandatory self- answers.”
sored by Sen. Ellen Anderson (DFL-St. Paul), sufficiency component of the program, 95 per- Solberg responded that the law is going to
awaits a hearing before the Senate Finance cent move into independent housing. The be around a long time after Gemberling would
Committee. average income per participant increases be with the department. Gemberling re-
26 percent at program completion. sponded it’s up to him to hire and train a per-
A Senate companion bill (SF185), spon- son to continue to deal with the open meeting
sored by Sen. D. Scott Dibble (DFL-Mpls), law. If he didn’t hire a competent person, he
Providing shelter awaits a hearing before the Senate Finance wouldn’t be doing his job, he said.
Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-Mpls) recalls win- Committee. The bill now moves to the House Civil Law
ter solstice as the day homeless people who Committee.
died in Minnesota were honored in a memo- A Senate companion (SF316), sponsored by
LAW Sen. John Marty (DFL-Roseville), awaits ac-
tion in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“It was a very human reminder of why we
need the funding,” Clark told the House Jobs Open meeting law
and Economic Development Finance Com-
The House Governmental Operations and
mittee March 18 in pitching an emergency Legislative removal
Veterans Affairs Policy Committee approved
shelter and transitional housing bill she is A bill removing legislators from member-
a bill March 19 that would allow the commis-
sponsoring. The bill (HF272) will be consid- ship on commissions or boards with execu-
sioner of administration to issue a written
ered for inclusion in the committee’s omni- tive powers is headed to the House floor.
opinion regarding the open meeting law.
bus bill. Sponsored by Rep. Philip Krinkie (R-
Rep. Dick Borrell (R-Waverly), the sponsor
HF272 would provide $3.7 million in Shoreview), HF703 was approved by the
of HF564, explained that the bill would give
2004-05 for the transitional housing program, House Governmental Operations and Veter-
“much more access to an average citizen.”
and $1 million for a homeless shelter grant ans Affairs Policy Committee March 18.
If a resident contested the action of a gov-
program. The Department of Children, Fami- Under the bill, the following boards would
erning body that had a closed meeting, the
lies and Learning currently administers both, have to remove legislators: Capitol Area Ar-
person could avoid court costs by filing a com-
though they will be transferred to the juris- chitectural and Planning Board, Agriculture
plaint with the commissioner of administra-
diction of the newly created workforce devel- Education Leadership Council, Agriculture
tion. The commissioner would then have
opment department in July. Utilization Research Institute, St. Anthony
20 days to issue an opinion, but that deadline
The money would replace a one-time ap- Falls Heritage Board, Amateur Sports Com-
could be extended for one additional 30-day
propriation of $3.7 million that expires mission, and the Iron Range Resources and
period, if needed. If no opinion is to be issued,
June 30. That funding originated when the Rehabilitation Board.
the commissioner must say so within five days
Legislature dedicated federal Temporary As- Krinkie said the bill is necessary because he
of receiving the complaint.
sistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to deems the board to be in conflict with the
There would be a yet-to-be-determined fee
14 March 21, 2003
Minnesota Constitution’s separation of pow- unsuccessful bid. The bill would still disallow form of light-rail transit or rapid-bus transit
ers provisions. awarding damages, but would allow attorney along the corridor to alleviate congestion.
As an example, he referred to Article 4, Sec- fees, provided the contractor wins the lawsuit I-94 traffic is anticipated to increase 48 per-
tion 5 which states, “No senator or represen- and the court deems that awarding attorney cent by 2020, said Sue Haigh, Ramsey County
tative shall hold any other office under the fees is appropriate. commissioner. Expansion options and addi-
authority of the United States or the state of Local government units are required by law tional bus capacity for I-94 are limited because
Minnesota, except that of postmaster or of to request bids when monetary thresholds are of its landlocked position.
notary public. If elected or appointed to an- met for the sale or purchase of supplies, ma- The corridor is expected to generate 38,000
other office, a legislator may resign from the terials, and equipment (including rentals), or transit passenger trips per day by 2020, Haigh
Legislature by tendering his resignation to the the construction, alternation, repair, or main- said, which is higher than anticipated rider-
governor.” tenance of property. State law requires that the ship for the Hiawatha corridor when the
Only boards that have legislators appointed lowest responsible bidder be chosen for the project was in the final planning stages.
by the Senate, House, or governor, and have job. The word “responsible” allows for con- The bill would provide $2.65 million in
executive powers such as directing state mon- sideration of the bidder’s work quality. bonding funds for capital costs related to tran-
ies, would have to remove members. Dean Thompson, legislative chair of the sit development in the area, including plan-
Krinkie said the situation came to light af- Minnesota Bar Association’s construction law ning, final environmental impact statements,
ter examining how the Amateur Sports Com- section, said prior to 1997 the law allowed and preliminary engineering.
mission may have appropriated money not awarding attorney fees. And today attorney The project will require about $10.6 million
within the legislative intent originally deter- fees may be awarded if a bidder successfully for planning and preliminary engineering.
mined for the funds. The commission spends sues the state. That state portion was previously allocated but
money out of the state’s general fund, and But the League of Minnesota Cities and the was cut in Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s first round of
operates like an executive agency. The House, Minnesota School Boards Association op- unallotments. The money is necessary to cap-
Senate, and governor each appoint one mem- posed the bill, saying it would lead to an in- ture $8 million in federal money.
ber to the commission. crease in the number of lawsuits. Haigh said that preliminary studies estimate
Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Mpls) said the “We think they have some sort of encour- a transit option in the area would require
original organization of the commission had agement to bring these kinds of action,” said $13.4 million per year to operate – or
no intention of including legislators on the Tom Deans, legal counsel for the association. $2.8 million more than current options along
board. Countered Thompson, “There is absolutely the University Avenue route.
Rep. Loren Solberg (DFL-Grand Rapids) no evidence that this has led to more suits.” In addition, studies show a rapid bus tran-
raised concern with respect to the Iron Range Rep. Rebecca Otto (DFL-Marine on the St. sit option would cost $240 million to develop
Resources and Rehabilitation Board. He said Croix) was concerned that the bill would cost and light-rail would cost $840 million. But
the funds supporting the board are derived taxpayers more money by forcing municipali- studies show the bus capacity would be insuf-
from property taxes of the area. He said with ties to pay attorney fees. And Rep. Carlos ficient to alleviate congestion, Haigh said.
one exception of a fund where the board di- Mariani (DFL-St. Paul) said it’s not always Several business leaders from Minneapolis,
rects the commissioner to spend money, the clear which bidder is the lowest, as contrac- St. Paul, and the neighborhoods along the cor-
board only has the power to advise a commis- tors often do not properly complete compli- ridor testified in favor of the bill, saying it pro-
sioner of where to spend dollars. cated and lengthy bidding papers. vides necessary infrastructure for economic
Krinkie said if a board doesn’t want legisla- A Senate companion bill (SF414), spon- development and viability.
tors removed, then it needs to be made a non- sored by Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook), awaits Committee members suggested business
state agency. action in the Senate State and Local Govern- and local leaders should consider ways for
The bill has no Senate companion. ment Operations Committee. funding the corridor transit in advance of re-
ceiving approval to avoid a funding crunch
when it may be finished years down the road,
as the state is now facing with the Hiawatha
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ★
METRO AFFAIRS corridor line set to open later this year.
The bill’s Senate companion (SF249), spon-
Paying fees Central corridor transit
sored by Sen. Mee Moua (DFL-St. Paul) awaits
Contractors who win lawsuits against coun- A bill that would create a transitway for ei-
ties, cities, school districts, and other local gov- ther light-rail or bus transit along the Inter-
ernment units could be awarded attorney fees state 94 corridor was heard March 19 by the
by the courts, under a bill approved March 18. House Transportation Finance Committee.
HF444, sponsored by Rep. Howard HF271, sponsored by Rep. Alice Hausman Cedar Avenue busway
Swenson (R-Nicollet), was approved on a split (DFL-St. Paul), may be considered as part of A bill that would authorize $5 million in
vote by the House Local Government and the committee’s bonding recommendations bonds for a bus transitway along Cedar Av-
Metropolitan Affairs Committee. It now moves for later this year or the 2004 bonding bill. enue in the southern Twin Cities metropoli-
to the House Civil Law Committee. The Central Corridor extends along Uni- tan area was heard by the House
The bill amends the Uniform Municipal versity Avenue from downtown St. Paul, Transportation Finance Committee March 19
Contracting Law, which currently states that through the University of Minnesota, to down- and will be considered for possible inclusion
when the validity of a municipal contract is town Minneapolis. It would connect with the in the committee’s bonding recommendations.
challenged that the court shall not award dam- Hiawatha line near the Metrodome. Studies are The transitway would extend along Cedar
ages or attorney fees, but may award the un- currently underway in the 11-mile corridor to Avenue and serve the Mall of America and the
successful bidder the costs of preparing an develop additional transit options, either in the communities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, and
Lakeville. Specifically, the line would help
Session Weekly 15
money to the commissioner of transportation,
NO-HANDS DRIVING rather than the Metropolitan Council.
The Senate companion (SF619) is sponsored
by Sen. Becky Lourey (DFL-Kerrick). It awaits
action in the Senate Finance Committee.
Radio communication between law enforce-
ment and safety personnel during a terrorism
emergency would be helped under a bill ap-
proved March 19.
Under the 2002 state anti-terrorism act, 23
Minnesota counties were given temporary
authority to sell bonds to design, construct,
and acquire public safety communication sys-
tem infrastructure and equipment for use on
the statewide, shared public safety radio
PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID
HF756, sponsored by Rep. Jim Rhodes (R-
MTC bus driver Mark Kitzrow controls the speed of the TechnoBus while surrounded by moni-
tors of a global positioning system and navigational technology steer the bus. After a road is
St. Louis Park), would expand the law to give
mapped out with a computer, the bus can drive within centimeters of its programmed route all counties temporary authority to sell bonds
without going off course. The House Transportation Policy Committee got a first-hand look to fund the system. It was approved by the
and ride March 19 on the bus developed by the University of Minnesota’s Intelligent Transpor- House Local Government and Metropolitan
tation Systems Institute. The institute developed the TechnoBus to relieve drivers’ stress dur- Affairs Committee and now advances to the
ing rush-hour traffic when buses driving on shoulders come within inches of stopped cars.
House Taxes Committee.
The updated system is crucial during large,
bring commuters north and south across the The bill (HF481), sponsored by Rep. Doug multiple-jurisdiction emergencies. Currently,
Minnesota River and create additional con- Meslow (R-White Bear Lake), will be consid- law enforcement and safety personnel, such as
nections for those communities to the metro- ered for possible inclusion in the committee’s snowplow operators, must communicate
politan transit system. bonding recommendations either for this ses- through a dispatcher, which is difficult during
The bill (HF570), sponsored by Rep. Chris sion or for the 2004 bonding bill. high radio traffic periods.
Gerlach (R-Apple Valley), would provide The Rush Line Corridor Busway would ex- “Obviously, in the time we’re living in now
$2 million to match federal funds and $3 mil- tend 80 miles north along Interstate 35E be- it’s more important than ever,” Rhodes said.
lion for planning, development, and some sta- tween St. Paul and Hinckley. The money could Some Twin Cities metropolitan area coun-
tion and other improvements. be used for right-of-way acquisition, planning, ties have already updated their equipment
Gerlach testified that the Legislature pro- engineering, and matching federal funds, ac- under the federal anti-terrorism act, said Brian
vided $500,000 in 2001 to study the circum- cording to the bill. Erickson, a captain with the Minnesota State
stances surrounding a dedicated busway in the Meslow testified development in the corri- Patrol.
area. The Metropolitan Council supported dor is part of the Metropolitan Council and “It has worked very well,” Erickson said.
those planning efforts with an additional the state Department of Transportation long- In response to a question from Rep. Frank
$400,000. Gerlach also said Congress has range plans. By 2020, population in the area Hornstein (DFL-Mpls), Erickson said the
pledged an additional $1 million to develop is expected to increase by 24 percent, employ- majority of promised federal homeland secu-
the project. ment by 27 percent, and work trips by 45 per- rity funds have yet to arrive. However, plan-
Buses would travel primarily on shoulders cent, Meslow said. ning for the update system continues, he
and in existing high-occupancy vehicle lanes In addition, planners expect traffic in the added, as some federal funds are expected.
until a dedicated busway is complete, Gerlach area to jump 25 percent in that same time In last session’s bonding bill, $13 million
said. period. was allocated for a statewide public safety ra-
The bill’s Senate companion (SF518), spon- “The counties and the communities along dio communications system, but former Gov.
sored by Sen. Dave Knutson (R-Burnsville) the line have come together to try and deal with Jesse Ventura vetoed it.
awaits action in the Senate Finance Committee. this” growing congestion issue, said Ramsey The bill has no Senate companion.
County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt.
The line would go through four counties. Cur-
rently, bus service to the area is very limited,
Northern metro transit option she said. Allowing more blue lights
A bill that would provide $1 million in Initially the project proposed in the bill al- A bill that would allow emergency vehicles
bonding proceeds for a bus transitway in the lowed for a transitway, which could include buses to display blue lights passed the House 129-0
northeastern metropolitan area was heard or rail. The bill was amended in the committee on March 13.
March 19 in the House Transportation to include a busway only, and to appropriate the The bill (HF314), sponsored by Rep. Dale
16 March 21, 2003
Walz (R-Brainerd), now moves to the Senate, gain $1.2 million in fiscal year 2004 if the fee his or her state income tax forms that $5 go to
where it is sponsored by Sen. Carrie Ruud becomes law, and $800,000 in each of the fol- help candidates for state office pay for cam-
(R-Breezy Point). lowing three years. The measure would take paign expenses. The individual decides if the
Specifically, the bill would allow all emer- effect for the 2003 tax year, if approved. $5 is for a political party or for the state gen-
gency vehicles to place flashing blue lights fac- Several representatives expressed concern eral campaign fund, which is distributed
ing toward the front of the vehicle on the about the fee, including Rep. Jerry Dempsey among candidates of all major political par-
passenger side only. Blue lights are currently (R-Red Wing). “This is kind of in a sense a ties. The check-off does not reduce the
only allowed on snowplows and transporta- punishment,” he said, questioning whether an taxpayer’s refund or amount owed.
tion maintenance equipment. incentive to file electronically would be more As proposed, the program would change to
“Blue is a much more visible light, especially appropriate. a taxpayer-designated amount. Individuals
in inclement weather,” Walz said. He also said would be allowed to contribute up to $25 and
he didn’t know of any opposition to the bill. married couples up to $50. The amount des-
During committee discussion earlier in the Campaign write-off ignated by the taxpayer would be reduced from
session, several members questioned whether Minnesota taxpayers contributing to can- that individual’s refund or be added to the
it would be confusing to motorists if an emer- didates for state office and to political parties amount owed the state.
gency vehicle used blue lights when they may would be on their own to a larger degree if The department is assuming that the num-
be accustomed to only seeing plows or main- changes to campaign contribution laws are ber of individuals utilizing the check-off
tenance vehicles with blue lights. Walz indi- approved. would drop by half, should the proposal be
cated the motive of the bill was to increase The changes, proposed in Gov. Tim adopted. Therefore, instead of the state subsi-
safety, and he didn’t anticipate that kind of Pawlenty’s 2004-05 budget, drew concern dizing campaigns, it would earn an estimated
confusion being a problem. March 19 before the House Taxes Committee. $600,000 in each of the next four fiscal years,
According to the Department of Revenue, beginning with 2004.
the amount taxpayers could write-off for con- According to Salomone, the number of in-
dividuals utilizing the check-off has dropped
TAXES tributions to state office candidates and po-
litical parties under the Political Contribution from 22.3 percent in 1974 to 8.2 percent in
Refund program would be reduced from 2002.
Extra filing fee The committee took no action on the pro-
100 percent to 50 percent.
Tax preparers who continue filing state in- posals, but will consider them for inclusion in
Currently, individuals and married couples
come tax returns on paper as opposed to elec- its overall omnibus bill.
can receive a 100 percent cash refund for con-
tronically would be charged $5 per claim,
tributions to candidates for state office and
under a bill that is in keeping with Gov. Tim
political parties. The maximum refund is $50 Racing tax break
Pawlenty’s 2004-05 budget proposal.
for an individual and $100 for a married Auto racing tracks could get a tax break by
The provision is included in HF751, spon-
couple. being eligible for the Minnesota Open Space
sored by Rep. Ron Abrams (R-Minnetonka),
The Political Contribution Refund costs the Property Tax Law, under a bill considered
chair of the House Taxes Committee. It was
state about $5 million each year. The depart- March 19 by the House Taxes Committee.
presented to the committee March 19 by the
ment is assuming that the number of con- The committee did not act on the bill, but
Department of Revenue.
tributors would drop by one-third if the will consider including it in its overall omni-
Though Abrams is sponsoring the bill, he
proposal were adopted. Therefore, it assumes bus bill.
said he doesn’t approve of the tax preparer fee.
the state cost would decrease to $2.7 million Under HF421, sponsored by Rep. Mark
About 200,000 people using tax preparers still
in fiscal year 2004, and to an average of Buesgens (R-Jordan), auto racing would be
file their claims via the postal service. The fee
$3.2 million in fiscal years 2005, 2006 and counted as a recreational use eligible for open
would likely be passed on by preparers and
2007. space valuation and tax deferment. Current
would therefore be a charge to individuals for
Revenue Commissioner Dan Salomone said law allows the value of private outdoor recre-
filing their taxes, he said.
taxpayers in 2000 filed for write-offs for 39,500 ational open space and parkland to be deferred
“I wouldn’t be counting on this one,”
individual and 58,500 campaign contribu- if its value has increased due to the value of
Abrams said, indicating that the provision may
tions, for a total state cost of $5.2 million. In adjacent property, such as residential or com-
not be included in the committee’s omnibus
2001, taxpayers filed for write-offs for 20,900 mercial land.
bill. However, he acknowledged that remov-
individual and 55,500 campaign contribu- Eligible properties continue paying taxes,
ing it would force him to find the budgeted
tions, for a total state cost of $4.2 million. but do so based on the current market value.
Some legislators said reducing the write-off The difference between this tax rate and what
Since 2000, tax preparers have been required
reads like protection for incumbents because would be charged under the higher rate is de-
to file returns electronically if they filed more
it lessens the pool of money for first-time cam- ferred. The deferred taxes constitute a lien on
than a certain number of returns the previ-
paigners who aren’t as likely to gain big the property. Taxes must be paid when the
ous year. In 2000, the threshold was 500. It
contributions. property no longer qualifies for deferment,
decreased in 2001 to 250, and in 2002 to 100.
“I do think the Legislature will be criticized and are levied for the last seven years that the
However, penalties have not been assessed
for protecting incumbents,” said Rep. Ann property was assessed under the open space
to preparers who have chosen not to file
Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington). law.
The governor is also proposing changes to The deferment only benefits property when
According to the department, it costs $5 to
the vehicle by which contributions to the elec- taxes have risen due to the value of neighbor-
process a paper claim and $1.24 to process an
tions campaign fund are made. ing property. For instance, a racetrack in a ru-
Currently, an individual may designate on ral area would not benefit from HF421 if the
The department estimates the state would
Session Weekly 17
value of adjacent land were assessed at a lower County officials testified that new regulations Activity bus drivers
rate. from the agency are difficult to nail down and A bill that would extend a short-term pro-
According to Gerald Brandenhoff, an attor- seem to be more burdensome than previous vision regarding drivers of school activity
ney representing Elko Speedway and other regulations placed upon local governments. buses now moves to the Senate, after receiving
privately owned tracks, auto-racing tracks are Raudys said there are three major areas the House approval March 13.
frequently surrounded by high-end homes agency regulates that transportation projects On a vote of 127-0, HF259, sponsored by
“and that tends to unfairly raise the tax.” affect: noise regulations, air quality, and storm Rep. Bill Kuisle (R-Rochester), would remove
In the case of Elko, said Rep. Ron Abrams water. The latter has been regulated since the the July 1, 2003 sunset date for a 2001 provi-
(R-Minnetonka), the speedway was built “in early 1990s and affects all kinds of construc- sion regarding who may drive school activity
the middle of nowhere” and has become sur- tion projects, including roads, housing devel- buses. Under the 2001 law, people with class
rounded by development in the past 30 years. opments, and others. D driver’s licenses may drive the special ve-
“It’s a significant issue,” Brandenhoff said. Since the early 1990s, Raudys said, phase I hicles without a commercial driver’s license
There are five asphalt and 10 dirt auto rac- regulations have governed transportation endorsement under certain criteria.
ing tracks in Minnesota. project permits. Though they may be easier to Those criteria include that they must only
Recreational uses currently eligible for the understand, they’re fairly restrictive, he said, drive the vehicles to and from an activity, not
open space law include golf, skiing, lawn bowl- and don’t allow for local governments to use operate a bus route, they must pass a back-
ing, croquet, archery, and firearms ranges. a range of options to deal with the issues. Phase ground check, they must not have committed
The bill has no Senate companion. II regulations, he said, are now in effect, and certain driving offenses including drunken
govern industrial, municipal, and construc- driving, and must have certified they met the
tion impacts on storm water. requirements.
Though some local governments are ini- The law was initially brought as a way to
TRANSPORTATION tially objecting to changes, Raudys said he accommodate coaches, daycare center teach-
thinks they will actually be good in the long ers, and others who had occasion to transport
Environmental regulations run because they allow for more flexibility. students to and from activities, such as games
Representatives from the state Department Permits are typically issued 48 hours after or field trips, but were not certified as com-
of Natural Resources (DNR), Pollution Con- applications are received, he said. The agency mercial drivers. Generally, a person must have
trol Agency (PCA), and Board of Soil and will only deny a permit if there is a significant a commercial driver’s license to operate the
Water Resources appeared before the House problem with the application. special vehicles, including small buses, 15-
Transportation Finance Committee March 18 Wetland concerns were addressed by Ron passenger vans, and other 10+ passenger ve-
to discuss environmental regulations that af- Harnack, executive director of the Board of hicles.
fect the progress of road construction projects. Soil and Water Resources. Harnack said the In addition, the bill would require drivers
County officials testified March 12 regard- board has worked since 1996 to streamline of special activity vehicles to meet the require-
ing what they perceive to be onerous require- requirements of the state’s Wetland Conser- ments that all other school bus drivers are re-
ments regarding permits and mitigation of vation Act. In fact, the board has enacted poli- quired to meet with regard to criminal
environmental concerns. They called for a cies whereby local governments merely need backgrounds, particularly certain sex offenses
number of regulations to be changed, but to report the wetlands they need to replace, and and drug offenses that might not appear on a
committee members wanted more informa- the board takes care of facilitating that criminal background check.
tion from the aforementioned departments replacement. Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown)
regarding why the regulations are in place. The board works with a number of state and offered an unsuccessful amendment on the
All three agencies testified that efforts have federal agencies to make sure all replacement House floor to reinstate the sunset date for the
been made to try and streamline the process requirements are met. In essence, locals only program. She said that given the difficult bud-
by which local governments obtain permits for have to report to the board for wetland issues, get times school districts face, the Legislature
road construction projects. Harnack said. However, former Gov. Jesse should give the law another two-year trial to
Tom Balcom, planning director for the Ventura vetoed funding for this year’s projects, make sure it meets their needs.
Natural Resources Department, said the de- and Harnack said without some funding, the She objected further, saying parents think
partment has an agreement between a num- board will not be able to perform any wetland their children being transported in these ve-
ber of agencies, including the state replacement projects in 2003. hicles are in the hands of a professional ve-
Department of Transportation and the PCA, Members were concerned that the agencies hicle driver and this bill would not require that.
to get involved in the planning processes for are duplicating services and requiring local The additional sunset would serve “just to
projects early and identify potential problems. governments to obtain permits from several give a measure of information to the public
Specifically, the department is concerned agencies, thereby delaying projects and driv- and to make parents feel a little more secure
about instances where projects may affect ing up costs. that it’s going to be evaluated,” Murphy said.
lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, endangered Balcom said the DNR isn’t providing du- The Senate sponsor of the measure is Sen.
plant and wildlife species, old-growth forests, plicative services, but is merely assuring that David Gaither (R-Plymouth).
and historical and cultural land features. all the bases are covered for a particular
Agencies at all levels are included in the project.
department’s efforts, Balcom said, including Extending special vehicle life
the federal government and local units of gov- A bill that would extend the legal life of cer-
ernment. If you have Internet access, visit the tain special transportation vehicles passed the
Leo Raudys, administrator for the state PCA, Legislature’s web page at: full House 129-0 March 13.
testified regarding the different water-related http://www.leg.mn The bill (HF348), sponsored by Rep. Tony
issues that may affect transportation projects. Kielkucki (R-Lester Prairie), would extend the
18 March 21, 2003
usable life for special transportation vehicles it difficult for other motorists to see, force There was no opposition to the bill voiced
from 10 years to 12 years. motorists to make right turns from the left- at the meeting.
The vehicles in question include passenger hand lanes, and make left turns from the right- A Senate companion (SF511), sponsored by
cars, station wagons, vans, and small buses, hand lanes because the bus stops are so close Sen. Linda Higgins (DFL-Mpls), awaits action
generally intended to carry 10 or fewer people to the intersection. in the Senate Jobs, Housing, and Community
including the driver. These vehicles may be After months of discussion, a site for a new Development Committee.
used for student transport, but are often main- transit hub with shelters and restroom services
tained by districts to send groups of teachers much like transit hubs in outlying communi-
or small groups to seminars or special events. ties was in the works late last fall, Hilstrom SOLDIER SUPPORT
Under current law, the life of the vehicle is said, north of the Brookdale property. How-
limited to 10 years, regardless of condition. ever, Metro Transit plans suggested the site was
Kielkucki said the extension would allow dis- only an alternative and was moving forward
tricts some flexibility to continue using ve- with plans for a hub nearer the existing tem-
hicles that are in good condition and have low porary hub, Hilstrom said.
miles, though they may be older. The bill specifically designates the property
Kielkucki called the bill one step in making north of the site as the intended transit hub
it easier for school districts to continue to use location – north of Bass Lake Road, east of
vehicles in workable condition, particularly in Shingle Creek Parkway, and west of Highway
times when budgets are tight. 100. The bill would also require the hub to be
Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia) ques- operational by June 1, 2004.
tioned whether Kielkucki had chosen to in- Hilstrom testified that $4 million has been
crease the useful life of a car in terms of years, allocated for the project previously. She is only
rather than using safety evaluations or mile- seeking to designate the site for the hub in her
age. He agreed that some vehicles appear in bill.
good running condition even when they are The Brookdale transit hub provides service
10 years old, but he suggested some of the to 11 bus routes.
other standards may help assess the safety of A Senate companion (SF513), sponsored by
the vehicles better. Sen. Linda Scheid (DFL-Brooklyn Park),
“You’re right, common sense does tell you awaits committee action.
to look at the vehicles,” Kielkucki said. “The
condition of the vehicle is what’s important in
The bill now moves to the Senate, where it
is sponsored by Sen. David Tomassoni ★
PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID
(DFL-Chisholm). Renaming a road
Col. Dennis Lord, left, of the Minnesota De-
The House Governmental Operations and partment of Military Affairs testifies March 20
Veterans Affairs Policy Committee approved before the House Ways and Means Commit-
Brookdale transit hub a bill March 19 that designates Victory Me- tee in support of a proposal that would au-
A bill that would require the Metropolitan morial Drive as a historic district. thorize state employees called to active
Sponsored by Rep. Joe Mullery (DFL-Mpls), military service to receive payment of a sal-
Council to relocate the transit hub adjacent ary differential. At right is 1st Sgt. William Ash.
to Brookdale Center in Brooklyn Center will HF456 now goes to the House floor.
be considered for inclusion in the House Bordering Minneapolis and Robbinsdale,
Transportation Finance Committee’s omnibus the drive established in 1921, is one of the larg-
est World War I memorials in the country. Correction
Originally, 568 elm trees were planted in A story in the March 14 issue of Session
The bill (HF511), sponsored by Rep. Debra
straight military-style rows in memory of the Weekly inadvertently described insur-
Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center), was heard
fallen soldiers from Hennepin County. In ance premiums through the Minnesota
by the committee March 19.
1928, a marker was placed in front of each tree Comprehensive Health Association as
The city has been working to relocate the
with the name, rank, and company of a sol- monthly. The premiums listed are quar-
hub since 1997, when Brookdale Center be-
dier. Dutch Elm disease forced some trees to terly.
gan discussions to expand and redevelop its
be cut down and replanted. We apologize for any inconvenience.
existing site between Highway 100, Brooklyn
Blvd., and Bass Lake Road, Hilstrom said. Since Barbara Johnson, Minneapolis city coun-
that time, Brookdale developers have actually cilor for the area, said the drive is eligible for
evicted Metro Transit from its property, she historic preservation grants by designating it
a historic district. Mullery said the grant mon- To find out who represents you
said, forcing it to build a temporary hub near
ies would help with the cost of maintenance. at the Capitol . . .
the mall property.
After reading the last stanza of the poem, In Call House Public Information
However, city officials are concerned about
Flanders Fields, Patricia Schon, past national Services at (651) 296-2146
the temporary hub because it has created traf-
president of the Department of Minnesota or 1-800-657-3550
fic hazards, they say. The buses stop in the traf-
fic lanes, said city manager Mike McCauley, Ladies Auxiliary Veterans of World War I,
and pedestrians are crossing the street at places asked the committee to “take the torch for all
other than the intersections. The buses make our veterans.”
Session Weekly 19
T ISSUE: EMPLOYMENT
A ★ ★ ★
An apprenticeship is a formal system that
In the bank combines on-the-job training with technical
instruction. The apprentice and his or her
sponsor establish a written contract, which is
A proposed fee for apprentices would pay for a program that approved and registered by the state, and speci-
trains dislocated workers for better jobs fies the length of training, school hours, skills
to be learned, and wage to be received. A spon-
sor can be an employer, group of employers,
BY MIRANDA BRYANT Industry Department, is to make the appren- public institution, or a union.
plan to sustain state oversight of the more ticeship program self-sufficient. Employers and employees benefit. Employ-
than 11,000 construction and But some legislators, as well as labor and ers contribute to the pool of available workers
occupational apprentices in Minnesota union representatives, question the plan, ask- and ensure that industry standards are upheld
while also helping the unemployed has some law- ing whether it would pit one group of work- through properly trained employees. Workers
makers concerned about competing interests. ers against another — the apprentices against benefit by gaining access to career advancing
Presented March 13 by the Department of the unemployed. opportunities and higher paying jobs.
Labor and Industry to the House Jobs and “I have a commitment to pay my mortgage, The state program is limited to oversight; it
Economic Development Finance Committee, but I don’t ask my mortgage company to pay it does not provide on-the-job training for appren-
the initiative calls for charging apprenticeship for me,” said Rep. Tony Sertich (DFL-Chisholm). tices. Training is provided either by the employer
sponsors $50 per apprentice. The revenue Countered Schwab, “The agency is truly com- or by unions, the latter of which includes train-
would go to the dislocated workers program. mitted to the program. … As you know and re- ing expenses in employer-employee negotiations.
That program helps anyone who has lost member, Gov. (Jesse) Ventura recommended the Millions of dollars are spent by the private sec-
work through a massive layoff, has exhausted program be abolished and that’s how we came tor on training each year, said Dick Anfang, presi-
their unemployment benefits, or has limited up with the funding from the workplace devel- dent of the Minnesota State Building and
opportunities to return to a similar occupa- opment fund. This would be a way it could be Construction Trades Council.
tion in their region. self-sustaining, self-supporting.” In the 2002-03 biennium, the state funded the
The committee took no action on the plan. The state’s apprenticeship program began in apprenticeship program through $1.4 million
The fee, which would generate about 1939. Since then, more than 110,000 apprentices from the workforce development fund and a
$1 million in the 2004-05 biennium, is part of have been registered in Minnesota in 105 occu- $72,000 federal grant for veterans becoming ap-
Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s proposed biennium bud- pations. Today, apprenticeship programs exist in prentices, said Cindy Farrell, the Labor and In-
get. The goal, said Grace Schwab, director of many occupations, including secretarial, auto dustry Department’s chief financial officer. The
governmental relations for the Labor and repair, printing, and carpentry fields. workforce development fund is derived from a
per-employee fee charged of all businesses in the
state to help the unemployed.
The 2004-05 budget is proposed at slightly
more than $1 million, equating to a biennium
reduction of $406,000.
To manage the cuts, Farrell said, the program
would lay off three of its eight employees and
bring the program and the labor standards divi-
sion under one director. An additional $408,000
would be saved by eliminating the Labor Edu-
cation and Advancement Program, which helps
women and minorities become apprentices.
Other operating cuts are also proposed to the
workplace service division, which oversees the
Several legislators and trade representatives
questioned how creating a new fee to help the
dislocated workers fund would help the state’s
“The main thing is it doesn’t save the general
fund any money because it’s not funded out of
PHOTO BY TOM OLMSCHEID
the general fund,” said Brad Lehto, legislative di-
Jeff Sawyer, a sheet metal apprentice at Northwest Sheet Metal in St. Paul, welds an elbow joint. The
House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee heard testimony March 13 about an ini- rector for Minnesota AFL-CIO, in an interview
tiative that would charge apprenticeship sponsors $50 per apprentice.
Continued on page 35
20 March 21, 2003
T ISSUE: ENERGY
A ★ ★ ★
develops with third parties. Two biomass en-
Again and again ergy projects supported by the fund are ex-
pected to begin operating in 2003 and 2004.
They are the St. Paul cogeneration plant that
Renewable fuels could allow state to spend less on energy will use waste wood to generate 25 megawatts
consumption, economically help parts of Greater Minnesota of electricity and the Fibrominn plant in
Benson that will utilize approximately 500,000
tons of poultry litter annually to produce 50
BY TOM LONERGAN energy development funds to be used for re- megawatts of electricity.
rom wind power on the Buffalo Ridge to search on solar, hydrogen, and biomass capa- Paul Kramer, vice president of Rahr Malt-
a waste wood cogeneration plant in bilities. The bill would allow about $4 million ing Co., in Shakopee, told committee mem-
downtown St. Paul, renewable energy — annually from the renewable fund to support bers about a biomass-to-energy project his
scattered in small developments throughout research at the University of Minnesota. family-owned company is developing. The
the state — is building a promising founda- As the fourth largest producer of ethanol in company has been producing malt from bar-
tion in Minnesota. the country, the state is poised to use the corn- ley since 1847.
“Renewable energy provides an opportunity based fuel additive for other energy resources, By using corn stalks, other crop residue and
to develop an economic base and economic according to the Minnesota Corn Growers low value agricultural byproducts, the biom-
strength in rural Minnesota,” said Greg Association. ass plant would produce 20 megawatts of elec-
Cuomo, head of the West Central Research and “Ethanol may be one of the best forms of tricity – enough power for 8,000 homes,
Outreach Center at the University of energy to provide hydrogen used in fuel cell Kramer said. The biomass project would en-
Minnesota-Morris. technology,” said Gene Sandager, treasurer of sure the long-term viability of the company,
Cuomo and Robert Elde, dean of the the corn growers group. Fuel cells are the tech- protect the jobs of 100 people, and increase
university’s College of Biological Sciences, were nology of converting
among a group of presenters that gave members hydrogen to electric-
of the House Agriculture and Rural Develop- ity without combus-
ment Finance Committee a summary March 18 tion. Using ethanol as
on renewable energy and fuels in the state. the hydrogen source
Cuomo said plans are in the works for a re- in fuel cell technol-
newable energy center that will develop hybrid ogy, Sandager said,
energy production utilizing wind, biomass, and produces electricity
hydrogen. “Western Minnesota has the resources and water. “The pro-
we need,” he said. The center will be “a living labo- cess creates no other
ratory,” Cuomo said, providing a bridge between emissions or pollu-
university researchers, state residents, and indus- tion,” he said.
try to “encourage development of a new energy The state-funded
industry.” Agricultural Utiliza-
PHOTO BY KRISTINE LARSEN
Elde suggested the state “capitalize on in- tion Research Insti-
Advocates for renewable resources gathered in the Capitol Rotunda
digenous resources” such as biomass in its for- tute evaluates
March 19 to discuss the importance of local water planning.
ests, wind energy in southwest Minnesota, agricultural products
solar power, and hydrogen to “foster develop- and processing co-products as potential re- employment by up to 22 jobs, he said. Kramer
ment of renewable energy.” newable fuels. Biomass energy sources are encouraged the committee to “develop islands
He said such an approach would “help re- abundant in the state and show great promise of reliable power” across the state.
verse the economic drain” in rural Minnesota as economical sources of renewable energy, Developing renewable sources to be part of
and allow the state to keep its energy consump- said Al Doering, a staff member from the re- the state’s energy future will continue to be
tion dollars, “rather than shipping dollars out search institute’s Waseca lab. “There is a lot of “very, very challenging,” said Edward Garvey,
to Montana and Wyoming for coal.” potential for farmers out there,” he said. deputy commissioner of the state Commerce
The 20th century’s industrial economy, Biomass development has been part of the Department.
based on fossil fuel-generated energy, was state’s renewable energy development fund More than 70 percent of the state’s electric-
based on “photosynthesis that occurred that was established in 1994 legislation allow- ity comes from coal-fired sources, 20 percent
50 million years ago,” Elde said. New technolo- ing nuclear waste dry cask storage at Xcel is provided by nuclear plants, and the remain-
gies are emerging, he said, to “convert last Energy’s Prairie Island plant. The fund gener- ing 10 percent is “everything else,” Garvey said.
summer’s photosynthesis into energy.” ates $8.5 million a year from the utility’s The power source must be reliable, affordable
A bill (HF775) approved by the House ratepayers, based on $500,000 per each of the and environmentally sensitive, he said. “The
Regulated Industries committee March 19, 17 dry cask storage units at the plant site. need is very important and worthwhile of
which would provide additional nuclear waste The Public Utilities Commission must ap- exploration.”
storage in the state, also calls for renewable prove renewable energy projects that Xcel
Session Weekly 21
★ ★ ★
require women to receive specific information
Expanding his commitment at least 24-hours before obtaining an abortion.
Civil Law Chair Mary Liz Holberg
(R-Lakeville) sponsors the bill. “He did a re-
DeLaForest moves to new aspect of public service as a state ally wonderful job chairing that committee
legislator, after years in military service with a very tough issue,” Sviggum said.
DeLaForest is sponsoring legislation that
would create an anti-terrorism account in the
BY JEFF JONES important to his Anoka County constituents, state’s budget funded by sales of a special
Talk of legislators “battling it out” over the DeLaForest says. As a member of both the “United We Stand” license plate. Money from
state budget, gun control, and other heated House Transportation Policy and Transporta- the account would go to the state’s National
issues that come before them doesn’t sound tion Finance committees — and a daily com- Guard and law enforcement units for special
quite right to Rep. Chris muter — he hopes to steer state funding to anti-terrorism projects and training.
DeLaForest (R- road projects in his area to help bring trans- “I’m a veteran, so I have been involved in
Andover). The freshman portation infrastructure up to date. various anti-terrorism programs on the con-
lawmaker served four DeLaForest co-sponsored legislation to re- sumer end of the policy,” he said. “Having a
years in the U.S. Army at peal the Profile of Learning and he said resi- dedicated source of revenue to help secure
Ft. Knox, Ky., and he says dents of his district want to ensure quality Minnesota’s borders and thus America’s bor-
images of war shouldn’t education while making sure their tax dollars ders is really one of the foremost priorities of
be applied to the politi- are spent wisely. government.”
cal process. He also said he sees himself as an advocate Though he never saw combat during his
Rep. Chris DeLaForest
“In a very real sense, it for outdoors enthusiasts in his area. “There are military service, DeLaForest said he under-
trivializes the experience of those who have a lot of sportsmen and anglers in Anoka stands the feelings of troops involved in the
experienced actual combat,” he said. “While we County, myself included. And so we are very current conflict in the Middle East. “The
deal with very complex and very powerful is- interested in ensuring Minnesota remains a people who least want war are soldiers. The
sues here in the Legislature, it really isn’t life
or death. At the end of the day, opponents of
an issue and proponents of an issue can still “In a very real sense, it trivializes the experience of those who have
shake hands and be friends.” experienced actual combat. While we deal with very complex and very
“Politics is a contact sport,” he says, “but it powerful issues here in the Legislature, it really isn’t life or death. At the
definitely is not the same thing as real bullets
end of the day, opponents of an issue and proponents of an issue can
DeLaForest sees his job as a legislator as still shake hands and be friends.”
another expression of his commitment to pub- — Rep. Chris DeLaForest
lic service and expects his Army background
to come in handy in his work here.
“When you’re under the kind of stress that quality place to enjoy those pursuits,” he said. people who are required to carry a rifle into
military training can force on you, you learn a His job as an attorney specializing in labor combat hope least that they will be asked to
lot about the human condition and human relations earned him a seat on the House Civil do so,” he said. “But America has challenges
nature,” he said. “And I think that has served Law Committee, where he has the distinction and guaranteeing our security and guarantee-
me particularly well as a candidate and now of being the committee’s vice-chair in only his ing peace in the world often entails a price to
hopefully as a legislator in forming the kind first term. be paid.”
of personal relationships that are necessary to “It was a little bit of a surprise to be ap-
be successful.” pointed to Civil Law and it was very much of DISTRICT 49A
DeLaForest’s political career extends from a surprise to be appointed vice-chair of that
his college days at St. John’s University, where committee,” he said. 2002 population: 36,574
in addition to ROTC programs, he was a mem- The man in charge of committee assign- Largest city: Andover
ber of the College Republicans. His degree is ments, House Speaker Steve Sviggum County: Anoka
in political science, and after his active duty (R-Kenyon), said DeLaForest has the exper- Location: northern Twin Cities suburbs
military service he was campaign manager for tise, talent, and enthusiasm for the job. “I see Top concern: “Anoka County is in des-
Rep. Kathy Tingelstad (R-Andover). He be- Chris as being a real leader and up-and-comer perate need for a real infusion of trans-
came a candidate himself when redistricting within the Republican majority for years to portation funding to help bring
created an open seat in his area last spring. come,” Sviggum said. infrastructure up to 21st century
Already, DeLaForest has had to lead the standards.”
“Rep. Tingelstad encouraged me to step up to
committee through some contentious issues, — Rep. Chris DeLaForest
the plate and run,” he said.
Transportation tops the list of issues including the abortion-related bill that would
22 March 21, 2003
★ ★ ★
New Brighton City Council, Samuelson is also
Desire to serve concerned with proposals to reduce aid to lo-
cal governments. “Phasing it down I think is
definitely the way to do it, rather than just
Having helped serve people throughout her life, Samuelson chopping it off,” she said.
is now doing the same in the House of Representatives New Brighton Mayor Steve Larson said he
hopes Samuelson and other legislators will
find a way to let residents determine the level
BY JEFF JONES nance committees, and the chair of the finance of services they want from their government.
Though her life’s work has centered on pro- committee, Rep. Fran Bradley (R-Rochester), “Char was always a person concerned with the
viding care to the elderly, freshman Rep. Char says he is glad to have her. rights of citizens,” Larson said.
Samuelson (R-New Brighton) is not a stranger Bradley said that Samuelson brings a strong In her free time, Samuelson enjoys staying
to the legislative process. base of knowledge to the committees and she active. During the winter months, she enjoys
As an administrator is quick to learn new concepts and ideas that bowling, and in good weather she walks and
for HealthEast senior are crucial to the legislative process. “She’s re- plays golf. “I’m a horrible, horrible golfer. But
care division, she suc- ally a gutsy person,” Bradley said. “She doesn’t I do it anyway.” she said.
cessfully lobbied legisla- shy away at all from jumping into areas that Most of all, Samuelson and her husband,
tors for a bill to move the may be controversial. She sees the needs for Gerald, like to travel. She says their favorite
company’s Bethesda major reforms.” destination is the coast of Maine. “We try to
Care Center for senior In thinking through those reforms, go back there as much as possible,” she said.
services to a new loca- Samuelson said she struggles with how gov- “We kind of go back to the same old haunts
tion in South St. Paul. As ernment and health care should properly mix. and do the same things, and just relax.”
Rep. Char Samuelson a result of the legislation, “I think it’s important for government to For now though, the rigors of legislative life
she said, the center is doing well and serving be involved, and the question is how involved occupy her attention full-time. Samuelson says
the needs of citizens in that area. should government be?” she said. “I know that she didn’t realize how busy life gets at the Capi-
Serving people, especially the elderly, has with the demographics the way they are and tol. “You’re busy from the time you get here
always been at the heart of Samuelson’s work. an influx of older people, we’re looking at ways ‘til the time you get home. Maybe you can
She began her career as a registered nurse at — through insurance or other means — of sneak in a lunch or an apple to keep you
Mounds Park Hospital and worked in chemi-
cal dependency centers and nursing homes
before returning to school for an
“I think it’s important for government to be involved, and the
administrator’s license. question is how involved should government be (in healthcare)?”
Since then, she has worked for Unicare and — Rep. Char Samuelson
HealthEast health systems and after an unsuc-
cessful run for the Legislature in 2000, she be- paying for long-term care and services. Be- going,” she said. “But it’s productive busy and
gan consulting for a variety of clients in the cause it’s very costly.” I think that’s real important.”
area of long-term care. She currently works She said she hopes to explore “good ideas”
for Health Service Innovations, a consulting that may break the traditional model of car-
firm that provides a broad range of services ing for the elderly such as long-term care in-
including nursing home administration, se- surance, alternative care grants, and elderly
nior citizen housing research, executive 2002 population: 36,953
waivers that allow people to have services in
searches, and interim feasibility studies. Largest City: Fridley
their homes or assisted living facilities. “We Counties: Anoka, Ramsey
Having worked both one-on-one with pa- need to look for methods that cost less but still
tients and as an administrator, Samuelson said Location: northeastern Twin Cities
meet the needs of our individuals,” she said. suburbs
she has a hard time deciding which she enjoys Samuelson describes her committee expe- Top Concern: “Health care and commu-
more. But all of her work, she says, stems from rience so far as “very good, but very scary.” nity based services, because I think it’s
a desire to serve others. That desire comes from “The good part of it is, I think we’ve been edu- very important to have community-
“just a basic concern and care for other people, cated quite well,” she said. The scary part is the based services for our elderly and our
to try to make a difference — a positive differ- decisions committee members will be forced to disabled.”
ence in what happens to people.” make about how to reconcile funding for im- — Rep. Char Samuelson
She sees her new role in the Legislature as portant services with the state’s projected bud-
another way to continue that mission. She is get deficit. “Behind every dollar is a face. We’re
glad to put her expertise to work on the House not dealing with inanimate type objects,” she said.
Health and Human Services Policy and Fi- Having been a nine-year member of the
Session Weekly 23
★ ★ ★
proposes a 4 percent cut to the salaries of leg-
Coming home islators and the state’s constitutional officers
– governor, lieutenant governor, attorney gen-
eral, secretary of state, and state auditor – for
After living outside of Minnesota during many years of mili- 2004-05. Their salaries were increased begin-
tary service, Severson jets into the House of Representatives ning in 2003 based on provisions in a 2001 law.
Severson said he agreed to sponsor the
House companion to a bill (SF220) first in-
BY TOM LONERGAN and Sauk Rapids are part of the district that troduced by Sen. Dave Kleis (R-St. Cloud),
When Rep. Dan Severson (R-Sauk Rapids) Severson described as, “conservative, strong because, “we need to lead by example. My mili-
was 9 years old, his brother-in-law took him pro-life, and growing economically.” He said tary background taught me to always lead from
up in a Cessna 172 for his first plane ride. he wants to provide “good representation of the front, not behind.” Neither bill has had a
“I always wanted to fly,” said the 48-year- the conservative values of the district” and “be committee hearing.
old freshman House member representing the voice for economic development.” Legislators are paid $31,140 annually, an
District 14A, north of St. Cloud. Minnesota has a tradition as an “innovative, amount not increased since a 5 percent bump in
After earning a degree forward-thinking state with a very progressive 1999. Salaries for constitutional officers, except
in physics from St. education system,” Severson said. However, he the governor, now range from 65 percent to
Cloud State University, added, the state’s “aggressive tax policy” and 95 percent of the governor’s $120,303 salary.
Severson was trained as regulations have placed “constraints on busi- Moving every three years during his mili-
a Naval officer. Commis- ness. We’ve kind of put the kibosh on eco- tary career brought his family closer together,
sioned in 1979 to con- nomic development.” Severson said. His daughter and son attend St.
duct flight training, he’s As a member of the House Jobs and Eco- Cloud State University. He met his wife, Cathy
more than fulfilled his nomic Development Finance Committee, he Jo, on a blind date arranged by their parents.
Rep. Dan Severson boyhood dream. plans to support legislation to create tax free She’s a real estate broker who, Severson said,
During 22 years in the zones for qualifying businesses. In addition, “put me through college,” while working as a
Navy, Severson flew fighter jets as a non-com-
bat pilot, was a squadron leader, and spent
three years in Washington D.C. in naval per-
“We’re not seeing business in a friendly way. The state’s message to
sonnel and policy development. The latter ex- business, he said, is not, ‘We’re here to help.’ It’s more like, ‘You’re
perience gave him “a taste for the political honored to be able to operate in our state.’”
structure,” Severson said. — Rep. Dan Severson
Following his retirement from the military in
2000, Severson and his family moved back home
to Minnesota. He worked in a business creating Severson said he’d like to see the state relax dental assistant in the 1970s.
new applications for light emitting diodes. some other requirements on business such as As he completes his third month in the House,
Severson still flies regularly, although not dur- workers’ compensation and unemployment Severson said he enjoys the “personal interface
ing winter. He said he misses “flying fast airplanes insurance compensation. with different people.” The best part of the job,
and pulling a lot of G’s (g-forces).” “We’re not seeing business in a friendly way,” he said, is, “I’m finally beginning to feel that I
In his first run for public office last Novem- Severson said. The state’s message to business, can get on top of what’s been going on.
ber, Severson beat his DFL opponent by 315 he said, “is not, ‘We’re here to help.’ It’s more “Probably the hardest thing is trying not to
votes. Last spring, it took 10 ballots for him to like, ‘You’re honored to be able to operate in look stupid.”
gain the Republican endorsement for a newly our state.’”
redistricted House seat over former five-term Severson is also a member of the House DISTRICT 14A
Rep. Steve Dehler. Redistricting had placed Local Government and Metropolitan Affairs
Dehler in the same district as Rep. Doug Stang and Transportation Policy committees.
2002 population: 36,887
(R-Cold Spring). Dehler moved so he could “Economic development and transporta-
Largest city: Sauk Rapids
run in the new district. tion are linked,” said Severson, who favors a Counties: Benton, Stearns
Stang said he and Severson share similar multi-modal approach to transportation plan- Location: central Minnesota
concerns on economic development in cen- ning. “Rail has a place in our future.” He sup- Top concern: “Property values in central
tral Minnesota, education equity funding, and ports the development of the Northstar Minnesota have increased 93 percent
the area’s transportation needs. “Dan worked commuter rail line from St. Cloud to Minne- over the past 10 years. The cost of hous-
extremely hard campaigning,” Stang said. “I apolis. Starting the project “will be tough in ing for seniors on fixed incomes has sky-
was impressed at how aggressive he was. He’s this economic environment,” Severson said, rocketed as a result. I want to freeze
realizing the campaigning doesn’t really end. but the potential economic impact will be “a property valuations to allow seniors to be
That’s going to serve him well.” real positive.” able to stay in their homes.”
He’s the lone sponsor of HF487, which – Rep. Dan Severson
Small cities such as Rice, St. Stephen, Sartell,
24 March 21, 2003
★ ★ ★
trying to learn about the tax structure,” Marko
A fresh perspective said. “I really respect and admire somebody
who really wants to get in there and learn as
much as they can.”
Sieben says her youth is an asset as a new legislator in finding Marko also said that Sieben exhibited the
new ways to solve state concerns ability to connect with people on the campaign
trail, particularly because of her age. “One of
the best parts was seeing how she could really
BY MICHELLE KIBIGER same as kids today are being offered,” she said. invigorate the young people at getting involved
Given her family tree, it may not be a sur- As for property taxes, Sieben said she’s con- in politics and relating the importance of that
prise that Rep. Katie Sieben (DFL-Newport) cerned about the affect local government aid to them,” Marko said.
decided to run for the House of Representa- cuts may have to three communities in her Sieben views her youth as a way to bring a
tives. Her father, Mike, district: Newport, St. Paul Park, and South St. different perspective to the Legislature. She
served in the House Paul. She said many of the homes in the area said she and other younger colleagues have the
from 1973 to 1982 and did not benefit as much from property tax re- opportunity to look toward the future and
uncle, Harr y, was lief laws in the past few years, and now their determine what they hope the landscape of
Speaker of the House for taxes may increase to cover the lost state aid. education, communities, transportation, and
several years in the early “I’m really concerned about property taxes other facets of public life will be like for fu-
1980s. going up,” she said. “It’s forcing our seniors ture generations.
But Katie Sieben, who especially, or people on fixed incomes, out of “I think being younger,” Sieben said, “I can
Rep. Katie Sieben
was 5 when her father their homes. So that’s something that I want bring a different perspective perhaps just be-
finished his tenure in the to call attention to and work on proposals that cause of when I grew up.”
House, says she wasn’t looking to hold public make it more easy for people to stay in their She’s also been spending a lot of time reach-
office. She was enjoying serving the public as homes and try to mitigate the affects of prop- ing out to groups of students and young girls
a member of U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton’s staff. erty tax increases.” to help interest them in the Legislature and the
An open seat presented an opportunity she Sieben serves on both the House legislative process. She recently sponsored a
felt she couldn’t let pass her by.
“Running for office wasn’t something that
was on the forefront of my mind,” said Sieben, “I can be a voice for the people in my district and speak up
who celebrates her 26th birthday March 23. about things that I feel are important.”
“So then when the seat opened up people — Rep. Katie Sieben
started talking to me about it, I figured this
was a once in a lifetime opportunity where this
is an open seat in the town where I’m from.” Transportation Policy and Taxes committees. girls’ day at the Capitol.
Sieben has lived her entire life in District From the perspective of a first-term legisla- Said Marko, “I think the young people of
57A, with the exception of a few years away at tor, Sieben is enjoying the experience as a way Minnesota have a wonderful role model.”
Colorado College and in Washington, D.C. to learn much more about the legislative pro-
working for Dayton. She says that knowledge cess and convey that to her constituents. From
of the district gives her a good perspective on her experience in Sen. Dayton’s office, she said,
the issues that concern residents. she learned that it’s key to build good relation-
2002 population: 36,710
High among those concerns are education ships with colleagues to help get things done.
Largest city: Cottage Grove
and property taxes. “I can be a voice for the people in my dis-
Counties: Dakota, Washington
Constituents perceive that many students trict and speak up about things that I feel are Location: southeastern Twin Cities
are receiving decreased educational opportu- important,” she said. suburbs
nities, either because their families can’t afford Sen. Sharon Marko (DFL-Cottage Grove), Top concern: “I’m really concerned about
the costs of extra-curricular activities or be- who formerly represented Sieben’s district in property taxes going up. Really, I just see
cause of decreased course offerings, she said. the House, said she admires Sieben’s drive and it as a shift onto the community — com-
It also seems, she said, that the education stu- ambition. New legislators often have a great munities that are least able to afford it
dents are getting in the public schools is not deal of new information to understand and are going to bear the brunt of it.”
as high quality. may not ask to tackle complicated issues such – Rep. Katie Sieben
“I’m afraid that the education that I got less as taxes.
than 10 years ago in public schools is not the “She’s diving in with both feet and really
Session Weekly 25
B ILL INTRODUCTIONS
★ ★ ★
MARCH 17 - 20, 2003
HOUSE FILES 906 - 1091
Monday, March 17 HF916—Abeler (R) HF928—Nornes (R) HF937—Smith (R)
Health & Human Services Finance Health & Human Services Finance Civil Law
HF906—Holberg (R) Lead hazard reduction project funding Fergus Falls veterans home dementia Child support enforcement data clas-
provided, and money appropriated. special care unit addition funding sified; and procedure, support en-
provided, bonds issued, and money forcement, and funding provisions
Student survey notice requirements
HF917—Otremba (DFL) appropriated. clarified.
Marriage dissolution orientation pro- HF929—Brod (R) HF938—Sykora (R)
gram attendance required. Local Government & Regulated Industries
Metropolitan Affairs Wine off-sale licenses authorized for
School boards directed to adopt a
HF918—Urdahl (R) Metropolitan Mosquito Control Dis- supermarkets.
policy prohibiting intimidation and
bullying, and existing harassment and Commerce, Jobs & trict provisions modified to include
Economic Development Policy the rest of Carver County, property HF939—Nelson, C. (R)
violence policies consistency
required. Economic development advisory tax levy base restored, per diems elimi- Education Policy
committee established. nated for commissioners, and other English as a Second Language instruc-
conforming changes provided. tion completion certificates provided.
Taxes HF919—Kielkucki (R)
Civil Law HF930—Hilstrom (DFL) HF940—Kelliher (DFL)
Hopkins food and beverage sales tax
Nonprofit corporation residential Local Government & Regulated Industries
authorized to fund public arts.
treatment center, group home, and Metropolitan Affairs Distributed generation cooperatives
HF909—Lipman (R) private child-placing agency liability Local approval process provided for formation authorized.
regulated. Metropolitan Council projects for
Judiciary Policy & Finance
which easements will be acquired by HF941—Hausman (DFL)
Chain of custody documentation au-
HF920—Fuller (R) eminent domain. Environment & Natural
thorized admission in evidence.
Judiciary Policy & Finance Resources Policy
Corrections Department forensic pa- HF931—Sykora (R) Off-highway vehicle usage restricted on
thologists authorized to issue death Local Government & state land, civil citation authority pro-
Governmental Operations &
certificates. Metropolitan Affairs vided, motorized trail grants-in-aid
Veterans Affairs Policy
Public contracting requirements modi- modified, and money appropriated.
Political subdivision employee city
HF921—Soderstrom (R) fied relating to labor organizations.
and county of residence defined as
Judiciary Policy & Finance HF942—Stang (R)
Sex offender treatment co-pays HF932—Vandeveer (R) Environment & Natural
HF911—Carlson (DFL) authorized. Local Government & Resources Finance
Governmental Operations & Metropolitan Affairs Natural resources and environment
HF922—Kielkucki (R) Property appraisal provided every five projects funding provided, bonds is-
Veterans Affairs Policy
Governmental Operations & years. sued, and money appropriated.
Minneapolis teachers retirement fund
association prior service credit purchase Veterans Affairs Policy
Public hospital employees exempted HF933—Borrell (R) HF943—Rhodes (R)
authorized for a specified individual.
from any salary and wage rate freeze. Civil Law Governmental Operations &
HF912—Kielkucki (R) County local welfare agency report- Veterans Affairs Policy
HF923—Westrom (R) ing of at-risk newborns provided, and State finance practices and procedures
Governmental Operations &
Local Government & Hennepin County mental health ser- modified, and state treasurer duties
Veterans Affairs Policy vices data sharing authorized in cer-
Metropolitan Affairs transferred to the commissioner of
State soldiers’ assistance fund clari- tain circumstances.
Township officer conflict of interest finance.
fied limiting benefits to state
residents. law exception provided.
HF934—Pelowski (DFL) HF944—Holberg (R)
HF924—Huntley (DFL) Higher Education Finance Local Government &
Health & Human Services Finance Teaching experience evaluation of Metropolitan Affairs
Civil Law education faculty at Minnesota State
Harassment restraining order actions Compulsive gambling prevention and Local public notice newspaper desig-
education funding provided, and Colleges and Universities required. nation requirements exception
exempted from mandatory alterna-
tive dispute resolution requirements. money appropriated. provided.
HF925—Hilty (DFL) Agriculture Policy HF945—Nelson, P. (R)
Taxes Food rule references clarified, en- Civil Law
Governmental Operations & forcement provisions clarified, and
Cloquet local sales tax authorized and Washington and Chisago county tax-
Veterans Affairs Policy milk storage requirement modified.
fund use specified. payer data disclosure sunset extended.
State contracts prohibited with tax
haven countries. HF936—Nelson, C. (R)
HF926—Holberg (R) HF946—Johnson, J. (R)
Local Government & Education Policy Commerce, Jobs &
HF915—Blaine (R) Special education pilot program es-
Education Policy Metropolitan Affairs Economic Development Policy
Metropolitan Council service im- tablished to exempt school districts Insurance guaranty association regu-
Dairy and other nutritional product from special education mandates be-
markets enhanced, availability and provement plan authority repealed. lation provided.
yond those required by federal law.
sale in public schools regulated, and
certain contract provisions prohib- HF927—Wilkin (R)
ited between beverage vendors and Transportation Policy
schools. St. Paul segment of I-35E speed limit
26 March 21, 2003
HF947—Dempsey (R) HF957—Borrell (R) Thursday, March 20 HF978—Otremba (DFL)
Governmental Operations & Taxes Agriculture Policy
Veterans Affairs Policy St. Michael tax increment financing HF968—Magnus (R) Country of origin labeling required
Red Wing environmental learning district creation authorized. of certain food products.
center employee eligibility in the pub- State highway routes modified, re-
lic employees retirement association HF958—Krinkie (R) HF979—Beard (R)
pealed, and vacated.
general employees retirement plan Regulated Industries Regulated Industries
clarified. Hydrogen energy economy goal de- Alternative forms of regulation of tele-
clared, incentive payments for hy- phone companies provisions modified.
HF948—Clark (DFL) drogen production provided,
Emergency food embargo authority
Regulated Industries hydrogen energy research and devel- HF980—Davids (R)
provided to commissioner of agri-
Minneapolis authorized to issue an opment supported, and fuel cell and Commerce, Jobs &
culture in times of national security
on-sale liquor license to the Ameri- motor vehicle excise tax exemption Economic Development Policy
or peacetime emergency.
can Swedish Institute. provided. Anti-skimming act adopted
HF970—Atkins (DFL) prohibiting use of electronic scan-
HF949—Dorman (R) HF959—Walker (DFL) ning devices to capture encoded in-
Jobs & Economic
Jobs & Economic Civil Law formation from a credit card.
Expungement of eviction informa- Development Finance
tion provisions modified. Dakota County senior assisted living
Minnesota Project Innovation grant HF981—Holberg (R)
facility funding provided, bonds is-
provided to assist businesses in ob- sued, and money appropriated. Civil Law
taining federal contracts, and money HF960—Walker (DFL) Right-of-way acquisition provided
appropriated. Commerce, Jobs & from common interest ownership
Economic Development Policy communities.
Commerce, Jobs &
HF950—Dempsey (R) Financial transaction card issuance
regulated. Economic Development Policy
Local Government & HF982—Klinzing (R)
Government-controlled or owned
Metropolitan Affairs Education Policy
insurance companies prohibited from
City or county assessors prohibited HF961—Smith (R) Charter school students allowed to
from holding additional offices. Health & Human Services Policy fully participate in extracurricular
Human services program hearing activities of resident school districts.
HF951—Walker (DFL) procedures established.
Commerce, Jobs & HF983—Lenczewski (DFL)
Itasca County local lodging tax au-
Economic Development Policy HF962—Osterman (R) Ways and Means
thorized, and municipalities within
Point of purchase debit entries on Commerce, Jobs & Inflation accounted for in the rev-
the county prohibited from impos-
customer accounts notice and autho- Economic Development Policy ing a separate tax. enue forecast.
rization requirements and procedures Unfair cigarette sales regulated.
established, and enforcement actions HF973—Brod (R) HF984—Swenson (R)
and remedies provided. HF963—Dorman (R) Commerce, Jobs &
Governmental Operations &
Education Finance Veterans Affairs Policy Economic Development Policy
HF952—Kelliher (DFL) Independent School District No. 500, Minnesota cooperative associations act
Veterans affairs commissioner autho-
Higher Education Finance Southland, disabled access levy ex- adopted authorizing businesses to or-
rized to access taxpayer identifica-
Minneapolis Community and Tech- tended. tion information to notify veterans ganize as cooperative associations.
nical College land acquisition autho- of health hazards that might affect
rized, bonds issued, and money HF964—Beard (R) them. HF985—Westrom (R)
appropriated. Regulated Industries Transportation Policy
Cleaner innovative energy sources HF974—Greiling (DFL) Gross weight restriction maximum
HF953—Anderson, B. (R) permanent pilot program established; increased for certain vehicles and
Commerce, Jobs &
Health & Human Services Policy financial and regulatory incentives, combinations on non-interstate
Economic Development Policy
Dental assistant licensure created. eminent domain, and tax exemptions trunk highways.
Waste hauling contracts regulated.
provided; and customer purchase of
HF954—Abrams (R) power supply services from pilot HF986—Zellers (R)
projects authorized. HF975—Jacobson (R)
Taxes Transportation Finance
Governmental Operations &
Public safety radio communication Northwest busway connecting Minne-
system sales and use tax exemptions HF965—Beard (R) Veterans Affairs Policy apolis to Rogers funding provided,
provided. Transportation Finance Local government pay equity respon- bonds issued, and money appropriated.
Cities authorized to impose trans- sibilities transferred to the state audi-
portation utility fees. tor, and rulemaking and fees
HF955—Solberg (DFL) HF987—Solberg (DFL)
Governmental Operations & Transportation Policy
Veterans Affairs Policy HF966—Davids (R) Counties authorized to transfer ju-
Counties authorized to have a private Governmental Operations & risdiction and ownership of vacated
Taxes county highways.
certified public accountant examine Veterans Affairs Policy
School meal sales tax exemption
books, and state auditor audit man- Veterans service office grant proce-
date removed. dures modified. HF988—Magnus (R)
HF956—Magnus (R) HF967—Swenson (R) Railroad lands replacement authorized
Education Policy when needed for a trunk highway.
Health & Human Services Finance Agriculture Policy
Minnesota State High School League
Veteran’s homes fund usage clarified Feedlot upgrade expenditure limits
authorized to determine required
relating to wood shops. modified. HF989—Jacobson (R)
pool depth for high school diving in
pools constructed before 1995.
Roseville tax increment financing dis-
Session Weekly 27
HF990—Howes (R) HF1001—Boudreau (R) HF1012—Osterman (R) HF1022—Eken (DFL)
Education Policy Health & Human Services Policy Jobs & Economic Higher Education Finance
Independent School District No. Adverse health care events reporting Development Finance Regressive tax, tuition, and fee in-
2170, Staples-Motley, property de- system established, certain health data Job training program grants provided creases and new regressive taxes or
tached to form a new school district. classified, and money appropriated. and money appropriated. fees prohibited.
HF991—Fuller (R) HF1002—Solberg (DFL) HF1013—Olson, M. (R) HF1023—Abeler (R)
Environment & Natural Transportation Finance Transportation Finance Education Finance
Resources Finance Mille Lacs County Highway 169 rec- Public debt allowed for loans for per- School bus emission reduction en-
Bemidji; Paul Bunyan state trail con- reational bridge funding provided, sonal rapid transit systems and con- couraged and repairs and technolo-
struction funding provided, bonds and money appropriated. stitutional amendment proposed. gies to protect students from
issued, and money appropriated. emissions by school districts
HF1003—Strachan (R) HF1014—Olson, M. (R) permitted.
HF992—Erickson (R) Governmental Operations & Education Finance
Health & Human Services Policy Veterans Affairs Policy School districts and Department of HF1024—Kuisle (R)
Birth records filed for birth resulting Political subdivision compensation Children, Families and Learning pro- Governmental Operations &
in stillbirth. limit exclusion provided. hibited from accepting federal or non- Veterans Affairs Policy
governmental grants where the actual State contracting and state printing
HF993—Solberg (DFL) HF1004—Solberg (DFL) costs of implementing the program services provisions modified.
Transportation Policy Local Government & exceed the amount of the grant.
Counties authorized to designate Metropolitan Affairs HF1025—Lenczewski (DFL)
county highways as cartways. Real property acquisition by exchange HF1015—Rukavina (DFL) Local Government &
authority expanded. Governmental Operations & Metropolitan Affairs
HF994—Swenson (R) Veterans Affairs Policy Local government state age eligibility
Agriculture Policy HF1005—Westerberg (R) State motor vehicle leasing for the clarified for building components of
Ethanol development provisions Commerce, Jobs & exclusive use of any state official or the region-wide public safety radio
modified. Economic Development Policy employee except the governor and communications system.
No-fault personal injury protection prohibited.
HF995—Cox (R) automobile coverage amended, HF1026—Kohls (R)
Regulated Industries health care provider prompt billing HF1016—Wilkin (R) Health & Human Services Policy
Notice and plan requirements modi- incentives provided, and insurance Health & Human Services Policy Medical assistance capitated payment
fied for excavating around utility fa- fraud reduced. Medicare supplement insurance regu- option authorized for waivered ser-
cilities, emergency exception allowed, lated and state law conformity with vices, day training and habilitation
and damage report rules required. HF1006—Boudreau (R) minimum federal standards provided. services, and intermediate care facil-
Governmental Operations & ity services for persons with mental
HF996—Wilkin (R) Veterans Affairs Policy HF1017—Abrams (R) retardation or a related condition.
Commerce, Jobs & Help America Vote Act conformity Education Finance
Economic Development Policy provided, complaint process created, Referendum revenue cap increased HF1027—Hoppe (R)
Automobile no-fault personal injury and penalty imposed. by the rate of inflation. Regulated Industries
protection coverage modified, arbi- Emergency 911 telecommunications
tration provisions changed, and in- HF1007—Erhardt (R) HF1018—Hackbarth (R) provisions modified governing fee
surance fraud reduced. Transportation Policy Environment & Natural submission procedures and audits.
Highway 62 treatment as interstate Resources Policy
HF997—Mullery (DFL) system highway required for purposes Petroleum tank release cleanup fund HF1028—Mullery (DFL)
Governmental Operations & of municipal approval. provisions modified. Commerce, Jobs &
Veterans Affairs Policy Economic Development Policy
Plumbers and pipefitters local pen- HF1008—Zellers (R) HF1019—Davids (R) Tenant applicant screening fee pro-
sion fund exception to restriction on Transportation Policy Commerce, Jobs & visions modified.
public fund contributions authorized. Organ donation choices provided on Economic Development Policy
driver’s license application modified. Minnesota No-Fault Automobile In- HF1029—Lindgren (R)
HF998—Kelliher (DFL) surance Act applied to horse drawn Education Policy
Transportation Policy HF1009—Rhodes (R) vehicles and insurance requirements Triploid grass carp authorized for
Community preservation route cat- Education Finance established. aquatic vegetation control.
egories established in county and Alternative facilities bonding and levy
municipal highway and street program qualifying criteria modified. HF1020—Haas (R) HF1030—Otremba (DFL)
systems. Governmental Operations & Health & Human Services Policy
HF1010—Nelson, M. (R) Veterans Affairs Policy Drug and alcohol counselor tempo-
HF999—Olsen, S. (R) Governmental Operations & Casino authorized to be operated by rary practice supervision require-
Higher Education Finance Veterans Affairs Policy the state, revenue sharing with Native ments modified.
Regent Candidate Advisory Council Iraq conflict; support for armed forces American governments provided, tax
of the University of Minnesota mem- in conflict with Iraq and military fami- imposed, revenue use specified, on- HF1031—Otremba (DFL)
bership expanded to include students. lies in the United States urged by reso- sale liquor license authorized, bonds Health & Human Services Policy
lution to the president and Congress, issued, and money appropriated. Nonpublic assistance IV-D child sup-
HF1000—Rhodes (R) and governor called on to declare a port services eligibility standard
Transportation Policy day of prayer. HF1021—Lenczewski (DFL) established.
Provisional driver’s license use re- Ways & Means
stricted, and all passengers required HF1011—Howes (R) July revenue forecast required. HF1032—Slawik (DFL)
to use seat belts in vehicle operated by Health & Human Services Policy Civil Law
provisional license holder. Occupational therapists license re- Minnesota false claims act adopted.
quirements modified when licenses
have lapsed for more than four years.
28 March 21, 2003
HF1033—Abrams (R) HF1044—Brod (R) HF1055—Westerberg (R) HF1066—Zellers (R)
Taxes Health & Human Services Policy Commerce, Jobs & Judiciary Policy & Finance
State general tax on commercial- Health care professional boards costs Economic Development Policy State hazardous materials team pro-
industry property converted to a tax and penalties relating to disciplinary Residential mortgage originator visions modified.
based on land value. proceedings clarified and civil penal- employee registration required.
ties provided. HF1067—Sykora (R)
HF1034—Dill (DFL) HF1056—Abrams (R) Health & Human Services Policy
Taxes HF1045—Eastlund (R) Transportation Finance Surgical assistant licensure provided,
Beaver Bay sales and use tax autho- Governmental Operations & Metropolitan area transit and rulemaking authorized, and civil pen-
rized and fund use specified. Veterans Affairs Policy paratransit capital expenditure fi- alties provided.
Support obligations of certain per- nancing provided and bond issuance
HF1035—Strachan (R) sons called into active military ser- authorized. HF1068—Lenczewski (DFL)
Judiciary Policy & Finance vice modified. Environment & Natural
DWI breath-testing instruments pro- HF1057—Dempsey (R) Resources Finance
visions modified. HF1046—Kielkucki (R) Taxes Bloomington; old Cedar Avenue
Education Finance Indian reservation tax revenue state bridge maintenance for hikers and
HF1036—Seifert (R) Minnesota learning resource center sharing with counties required. bikers funding provided, bonds is-
Judiciary Policy & Finance funding provided, and money sued, and money appropriated.
Inmate meal frequency provided, and appropriated. HF1058—Walz (R)
desserts to inmates prohibited. Judiciary Policy & Finance HF1069—Stang (R)
HF1047—Thao (DFL) Silencing devices for firearms autho- Taxes
HF1037—Ellison (DFL) Judiciary Policy & Finance rized for law enforcement tactical Benton and Stearns counties aggre-
Judiciary Policy & Finance Identifiable minor defined for pur- emergency response operations, and gate tax exception repealed.
Controlled substances offenses modi- poses of the law prohibiting use of obsolete prohibition on sale of
fied to include six degrees. minors in sexual performances. slungshot or sand clubs repealed. HF1070—Slawik (DFL)
HF1038—Urdahl (R) HF1048—Penas (R) HF1059—Osterman (R) Road authorities and adopt-a-
Education Finance Jobs & Economic Jobs & Economic highway volunteers cooperation
Hazardous pupil transportation levy Development Finance Development Finance encouraged.
authorized. Trade and economic development, Housing Finance Agency clarifying
Housing Finance Agency, natural re- and technical changes to programs HF1071—Seifert (R)
HF1039—Davids (R) sources, and transportation funding provided, debt ceiling increased, and Transportation Policy
Commerce, Jobs & provided, bonds issued, and money civil service pilot project extended. Paved two-lane highway speed limits
Economic Development Policy appropriated. of 65 miles per hour during daytime
Financial institution exam, applica- HF1060—Wagenius (DFL) and 55 miles per hour during night-
tions, loans, and organizational pro- HF1049—Rhodes (R) Regulated Industries time provided.
visions regulated, standard Education Policy Nuclear reactor phaseout and replace-
non-forfeiture law for individual de- Student instruction in personal fi- ment of nuclear energy with alterna- HF1072—Stang (R)
ferred annuities revised, and obsolete nancial management and investment tive sources provided, metropolitan Environment & Natural
rules repealed. provided. emissions reduction plan acceleration Resources Policy
adopted, and conservation improve- Deer tag transfer prohibition excep-
HF1040—Wilkin (R) HF1050—Zellers (R) ment funding increased. tion provided to persons age 65 or
Governmental Operations & Transportation Finance over or persons with a permanent
Veterans Affairs Policy Northwest busway appropriation us- HF1061—Wilkin (R) physical disability.
Health care nonprofessionals classi- age clarified and specified. Education Policy
fied as essential employees. Profile of Learning repealed and re- HF1073—Stang (R)
HF1051—Wagenius (DFL) placed; and legislative review of pro- Environment & Natural
HF1041—Urdahl (R) Environment & Natural posed core academic standards in Resources Finance
Governmental Operations & Resources Policy language arts, mathematics, science, Lake Koronis state trail funding pro-
Veterans Affairs Policy Cumulative environmental impact history, and geography required. vided, bonds issued, and money
Reapportionment requirements information review required. appropriated.
modified once each 20 years to pro- HF1062—Abeler (R)
vide for uninterrupted four-year Sen- HF1052—Marquart (DFL) Higher Education Finance HF1074—Kielkucki (R)
ate terms and constitutional Taxes Tuition increases for public Governmental Operations &
amendment proposed. Personal property tax payment speci- postsecondary education limited. Veterans Affairs Policy
fied before manufactured home title Casino authorized in the seven-
HF1042—Wardlow (R) transfer. HF1063—Abeler (R) county metropolitan area by consti-
Local Government & Higher Education Finance tutional amendment, tax imposed,
Metropolitan Affairs HF1053—Seifert (R) Higher education state grant calcula- and money appropriated.
Metropolitan Sports Facilities Com- Judiciary Policy & Finance tion changed.
mission name changed to Minnesota Double bunking in jails allowed and HF1075—Eken (DFL)
Sports and Entertainment Commis- sheriffs and boards of county and re- HF1064—Samuelson (R) Environment & Natural
sion, and commission membership gional jails contracts with private pris- Governmental Operations & Resources Policy
modified. ons for care, custody, and rehabilitation Veterans Affairs Policy Norman County tax-forfeited land
of jail inmates authorized. State employee technical and house- sale authorized.
HF1043—Anderson, B. (R) keeping changes provided.
Transportation Policy HF1054—McNamara (R) HF1076—Cornish (R)
Infrastructure certificate funding Environment & Natural HF1065—Holberg (R) Environment & Natural
provided. Resources Policy Governmental Operations & Resources Finance
Solid waste plan requirements Veterans Affairs Policy Wildlife management area acquisi-
modified. Legislature size specified and legisla- tion funding provided, bonds issued,
tive and congressional districts and money appropriated.
Session Weekly 29
HF1077—Hackbarth (R) HF1081—Lindgren (R) HF1086—Smith (R) HF1089—Marquart (DFL)
Environment & Natural Agriculture Policy Governmental Operations & Taxes
Resources Policy Anaplasmosis in cattle testing require- Veterans Affairs Policy Citizens’ investment and local gov-
Off-highway motorcycle registration ment repealed. Teachers Retirement Association and ernment excellence program estab-
provisions modified, state forest first class city teacher plans military lished to encourage citizen input into
adopt-a-trail program created, local HF1082—Samuelson (R) service credit purchase provisions the budget process, and aids provided
law enforcement grants provided, Governmental Operations & modified, and Internal Revenue Code to participating cities and counties.
Iron Range off-highway vehicle rec- Veterans Affairs Policy compliance provided for all retire-
reation are funding provided, and State auditor outdated language up- ment plans. HF1090—Demmer (R)
money appropriated. dated, duties modified, and accrued Agriculture Policy
liability determination clarified. HF1087—Osterman (R) Plant pest, pest control, and seed laws
HF1078—Paymar (DFL) Commerce, Jobs & recodified and clarified.
Governmental Operations & HF1083—Lanning (R) Economic Development Policy
Veterans Affairs Policy Commerce, Jobs & Wage and employment data use au- HF1091—Anderson, B. (R)
Help America Vote Act of 2002 voter Economic Development Policy thorized by agency designated as the Iraq; support for our troops in the
registration and identification re- Petroleum product specifications performance accountability and con- war against the Iraqi regime expressed
quirements implemented. updated. sumer information agency. by resolution to the president and
Congress, and the governor requested
HF1079—Lanning (R) HF1084—Borrell (R) HF1088—Eken (DFL) to call for a day of prayer for those
Jobs & Economic Civil Law Education Finance who have been called to arms.
Development Finance Federal contracts and agreements data Small school sustainability compo-
Border city enterprise zone additional classification provided. nent of general education aid cre-
allocations provided. ated, alternative facilities aid
HF1085—Juhnke (DFL) eliminated, statewide general prop-
HF1080—Brod (R) Health & Human Services Policy erty tax growth dedicated, and money
Governmental Operations & Small environmental laboratory cer- appropriated.
Veterans Affairs Policy tification requirements established.
National Guard tuition reimburse-
ment program extended.
Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation
Senator Third District Sixth District
Mark Dayton (DFL) Jim Ramstad (R) Mark Kennedy (R)
SR-346, Russell Senate Office Building 103 Cannon House Office Building 1415 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 224-3244 (202) 225-2871 (202) 225-2331
Fax: (202) 228-2186 Fax: (202) 225-6351 Fax: (202) 225-6475
Senator Fourth District
Norm Coleman (R) Betty McCollum (DFL)
Collin Peterson (DFL)
B-3 Dirksen Senate Office Building 1029 Longworth HouseOffice Building
2159 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20515
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 224-5641 (202) 225-6631
Fax: (202) 224-1152 Fax: (202) 225-1968
Fax: (202) 225-1593
First District Fifth District
Gil Gutknecht (R) Martin Olav Sabo (DFL)
James L. Oberstar (DFL)
425 Cannon House Office Building 2336 Rayburn House Office Building
2365 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-2472 (202) 225-4755
Fax: (202) 225-3246 Fax: (202) 225-4886
Fax: (202) 225-0699
John Kline (R)
1429 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
30 March 21, 2003
MARCH 24 - 28, 2003
C OMMITTEE SCHEDULE
★ ★ ★
MONDAY, March 24 requirements provided
Environment and Natural Resources HF682 (Kielkucki) School bus safety training,
12:30 PM Finance safety responsibilities, and Type III vehicle
Room: 5 State Office Building standards modified.
Health and Human Services Policy Chair: Rep. Dennis Ozment HF881 (Kielkucki) Minnesota State High School
Room: 10 State Office Building Agenda: Minnesota Department of Natural League directed to adopt a policy on corporate
Chair: Rep. Lynda Boudreau Resources budget. sponsorship; and other league budget,
Agenda: To be announced. investment and review provisions repealed.
Jobs and Economic Development Finance HF820 (Buesgens) Area learning center
Higher Education Finance Room: Basement Hearing Room assignments by school districts authorized.
Room: 300S State Office Building Chair: Rep. Bob Gunther HF822 (Buesgens) Direct judicial review of
Chair: Rep. Doug Stang Agenda: HF645 (Paulsen) Technology business district exclusion and expulsion decisions
Agenda: Academic Health Center response to licensing provisions modified to provide allowed.
governor’s FY04-05 budget. exemptions from the Minnesota Electrical Act.
Witnesses: Dr. Frank Cerra, Senior Vice Electricity Board budget discussion. 10:15 AM
President, Academic Health Center. HF58 (Severson) St. Stephen municipal water
MNLink and Minitex overviews. and wastewater systems funding provided, bonds Taxes
Witnesses: Ken Behringer, Executive Director, issued, and money appropriated. Room: 200 State Office Building
MnLink; Bill DeJohn, Director, Minitex. HF280 (Dempsey) Wabasha; National Eagle Chair: Rep. Ron Abrams
Center construction funding provided, bonds Agenda: HF3 (Magnus) [continued] Tax-free
Governmental Operations and Veterans issued, and money appropriated. property zones established, exemptions provided
Affairs Policy LEAP Program/Minneapolis Urban League. for individuals and businesses, state aid and
Room: Basement Hearing Room Tom Tiller, CEO, Polaris. repayment of tax benefits provided, and money
Chair: Rep. Jim Rhodes appropriated.
Agenda: HF 646 (Buesgens) Gaming machines Health and Human Services Finance HF507 (Hornstein) Clean-fuel vehicles
provided, and horse racing purse payments Room: 10 State Office Building exempted from the motor vehicle sales tax.
established. Chair: Rep. Fran Bradley HF704 (Brod) Motor vehicle dealers authorized
HF171 (Lenczewski) Casino; state-operated or Agenda: HF212 (Abeler) Health occupations to pay sales tax or use tax for use of a vehicle
state-licensed gambling facility prohibited in a advisory committees extended, including other than for demonstration purposes, and
city which has adopted a resolution of acupuncture, respiratory care practitioner, loaner vehicles exempted from the motor vehicle
disapproval. licensed traditional midwifery, and health sales and use tax.
professionals services program advisory HF733 (Walker) Volunteer assistance delivery
3 :00 PM committees. to low-income taxpayers facilitation grant money
HF228 (Knoblach) Nursing facilities designated appropriated.
THE HOUSE MEETS IN SESSION HF809 (Abrams) Direct mail delivery or
as metropolitan facilities for purposes of medical
assistance reimbursement. distribution sales and use tax exemption
HF595 (Abeler) Supportive housing and provided.
TUESDAY, March 25
managed care pilot project funding provided,
and money appropriated. Education Finance
HF647 (Swenson) Nicollet County nursing home Room: 10 State Office Building
Transportation Finance construction moratorium exception provided, Chair: Rep. Alice Seagren
Room: 500S State Office Building and special provisions for moratorium Agenda: To be announced.
Chair: Rep. William Kuisle exceptions modified.
Agenda: HF114 (Olsen, S.) Trunk Highway 610 HFXXXX (Bradley) Increasing an Environment and Natural Resources Policy
project completion funding provided, bonds intergovernmental transfer payment, and Room: 5 State Office Building
issued, and money appropriated. increasing the county nursing home payment Chair: Rep. Tom Hackbarth
HF848 (Lipman) Trunk Highway 5 safety adjustments. Agenda: HF 775 (Westrom) Radioactive waste
improvements funding provided, bonds issued, HF668 (Holberg) Woman’s Right to Know Act management facility definition modified, dry
and money appropriated. requiring informed consent of a female upon cask storage at Prairie Island facility authorized,
HF396 (Nelson, P.) North Branch; Trunk whom an abortion is performed, and providing and commission approval required for additional
Highway 95 bridge construction funding civil remedies. storage capacity for spent nuclear fuel.
provided, bonds issued, and money
appropriated. Education Policy Judiciary Policy and Finance
HF574 (Latz) St. Louis Park Trunk Highway 100 Room: Room 200 State Office Building Room: Basement Hearing Room
reconstruction and expansion authorized, bonds Chair: Rep. Barb Sykora Chair: Rep. Steve Smith
issued, and money appropriated. Agenda: HF391 (Olsen, S.) School districts Agenda: To be announced.
Highway Construction Industry Council needs authorized to convert, by election, from election
assessment study. by district to election at-large.
HF906 (Holberg) Student survey notice
Session Weekly 31
12:30 PM HF360 (Lenczewski) Lawful gambling Local Government and Metropolitan Affairs
expenditures authorized for utility buildings Room: 200 State Office Building
Transportation Policy used as primary headquarters for certain fraternal Chair: Rep. Jerry Dempsey
Room: 200 State Office Building organizations. Agenda: HF886 (Holberg) Metropolitan Council
Chair: Rep. Ron Erhardt HF619 (Rhodes) Sports board gambling agency long-range policy plan regional
Agenda: HF893 (Howes) Utility vehicle gross authorized. improvement cost analysis required.
weight provisions; sunset removed. HF620 (Kielkucki) Social dice game conduct HF926 (Holberg) Metropolitan Council service
HF722 (Erhardt) Weight restriction exemptions provisions clarified. improvement plan authority repealed.
provided for garbage trucks and recycling HF642 (Stang) Fantasy sports leagues authorized HF944 (Holberg) Local public notice newspaper
vehicles. at retail establishments licensed to sell alcoholic designation requirements exception provided.
HF723 (Erhardt) Seat belt law exemption beverages. HF689 (Buesgens) Metropolitan Council use of
provided for certain garbage trucks. HF734 (Kielkucki) Linked bingo gaming energy forward pricing mechanisms authorized.
HF343 (Abeler) Used vehicle dealers sales to provided. HF785 (Buesgens) Metropolitan government
other dealers allowed and vehicle donation to HF807 (Seifert) Campaign materials prohibited provisions modified relating to reporting
individuals by licensed limited used vehicle from containing distorted photographs of requirements, metropolitan parks and open
dealers sales tax exemption provided. candidates. space commission abolished, and dischargers
HF795 (Hornstein) Minneapolis to Lakeville I- HF791 (Kielkucki) Election requirements and directly assessed wastewater treatment user fees.
35W bus rapid transit study required, study procedures modified.
advisory committee created and report required. Additional bills may be added.
WEDNESDAY, March 26
Commerce, Jobs and Economic 2:30 PM
Development Policy 8:15 AM
Room: 10 State Office Building Civil Law
Chair: Rep. Greg Davids Room: 5 State Office Building Transportation Finance
Agenda: HF852 (Lipman) Motor vehicle retail Chair: Rep. Steve Smith Room: 200 State Office Building
installment sales regulated. Agenda: HF739 (Borrell) Certain University of Chair: Rep. William Kuisle
HF501 (Meslow) Travel clubs regulated. Minnesota claim data and food safety regulatory Agenda: HF213 (Blaine) Local fire departments
HF438 (Lindner) Interest rates on rental security data classified as nonpublic. reimbursed for extinguishing certain motor
deposits provided. HF700 (Eastlund) Civil action immunity vehicle fires, local authority granted to collect
HF894 (Pugh) Manufactured homes certificates provided for good faith reports to or requests for unpaid bills for certain emergency services from
of title provisions modified. assistance from law enforcement. nonresidents, and money appropriated.
HF374 (Sieben) Crib safety definitions provided, HF628 (Kohls) Emergency notification actions HF902 (DeLaForest) Native grass seeds purchase
sale and commercial use of certain cribs liability limitation provided. prohibited with dedicated highway funds.
prohibited, and penalties provided. HF707 (Thao) Hmong marriage solemnization HF199 (Anderson, I.) Koochiching County
form provided. authorized to establish a port authority, and
Agriculture Policy local government units authorized to apply for
Room: 5 State Office Building Regulated Industries foreign trade zone powers.
Chair: Rep. Howard Swenson Room: 10 State Office Building
*** Note: *** Change in Agenda Chair: Rep. Torrey Westrom Jobs and Economic Development Finance
Bill(s) Added Agenda: HF588 (Brod) Township authority Room: Basement Hearing Room
Agenda: HF414 (Cox) Soil and water granted to require natural gas utilities to obtain Chair: Rep. Bob Gunther
conservation district law updates provided. a franchise from the township. Agenda: HF748 (Gunther) Economic
HF935 (Urdahl) Food rule references clarified, HF860 (Gunther) Conservation reporting development, housing, jobs, and state
enforcement provisions clarified, and milk requirements exemption provided for municipal government finance funding provided, and
storage requirement modified. utilities. money appropriated.
HF1081 (Lindgren) Anaplasmosis in cattle HF671 (Gunther) Telephone company service Public Utilities Commission.
testing requirement repealed. promotions and packages regulated. Bureau of Mediation Serivces.
HF892 (Gunther) Independent telephone Humanities Commission.
12:30 PM companies deregulated.
HF794 (Gunther) Education telecommunications Health and Human Services Policy
Governmental Operations and Veterans fund established, support provided to kindergarten Room: 10 State Office Building
Affairs Policy through grade 12 schools and public library Chair: Rep. Lynda Boudreau
Room: Basement Hearing Room telecommunications networks, access fee imposed, Agenda: To be announced.
Chair: Rep. Jim Rhodes and money appropriated.
Agenda: HF769 (Erhardt) Public safety radio And other bills to be announced.
communications operators included in Environment and Natural Resources
definition of essential employee. State Government Finance Finance
HF674 (Latz) Local impact notes for state- Room: 500N State Office Building Room: 5 State Office Building
mandated actions provisions expanded to Chair: Rep. Bill Haas Chair: Rep. Dennis Ozment
include school districts. Agenda: Legislative Auditor’s Management Agenda: Minnesota Department of Natural
HF179 (Jaros) Lawful gambling lawful purpose Letter on the Department of Finance. Resources budget.
expenditures modified. Additional agenda items may be added.
HF183 (Kielkucki) Townships authorized to
regulate and impose investigation fees on lawful
32 March 21, 2003
10:15 AM from common interest communities. Additional bills may be added to this schedule.
Education Finance Governmental Operations and Veterans State Government Finance
Room: 10 State Office Building Affairs Policy Room: 500N State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Alice Seagren Room: Basement Hearing Room Chair: Rep. Bill Haas
Agenda: To Be Announced Chair: Rep. Jim Rhodes Agenda: Governor’s State Government Finance
*** Note: *** Change in Agenda Bill (HF749).
Judiciary Policy and Finance
Agenda: Continuation of Tues., March 25 Anyone wishing to testify on the Governor’s bill
Room: Basement Hearing Room
Chair: Rep. Steve Smith agenda. please contact Jared Jordal at 296-5318.
Agenda: To be announced. Please Note: The government operations Additional agenda items may be added.
Committee will also be meeting Wednesday and
Taxes Thursday evening. Local Government and Metropolitan Affairs
Room: 200 State Office Building Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Ron Abrams Agriculture Policy Chair: Rep. Jerry Dempsey
Agenda: To be announced Room: 5 State Office Building Agenda: HF321 (Cox) Northfield medical
Chair: Rep. Howard Swenson facilities related to the municipal hospital
Environment and Natural Resources Policy *** Note: *** Change in Agenda authorized.
Room: 5 State Office Building Bill(s) Added HF390 (Erickson) Elections conducted by mail;
Chair: Rep. Tom Hackbarth Agenda: HF1090 (Demmer) Plant pest, pest county auditor approval requirement eliminated.
Agenda: HF790 (Hoppe) Migratory game bird control, and seed laws recodified and clarified. HF923 (Westrom) Township officer conflict of
shooting hours modified. HF969 (Penas) Emergency food embargo interest law exception provided.
HF789 (Hoppe) Game and migratory waterfowl authority provided to commissioner of HF625 (Westrom) Central Lakes Region sanitary
refuge provisions modified, suspension of license agriculture in times of national security or sewer district established.
and permit privileges provided, turkey license peacetime emergency. HF561 (Gerlach) Tobacco sales to minors
provisions modified, and walleye possession size HF978 (Otremba) Country of origin labeling uniform mandatory penalties imposed,
limits provided. required of certain food products. mitigating circumstances defined, and electronic
age verification required.
12:30 PM 2:30 PM
Regulated Industries Liquor Subcommittee
Higher Education Finance Capital Investment Room: 10 State Office Building
Room: 300S State Office Building Room: Basement Hearing Room Chair: Rep. Torrey Westrom
Chair: Rep. Doug Stang Chair: Rep. Phil Krinkie Agenda: Note: Full committee will not be meeting
Agenda: HF746 (Cox) Meningococcal disease Agenda: Update on information requested from at this time. Instead, the liquor subcommittee
information reception and signature of written the Amateur Sports Commission related to will be using the room to hear local liquor bills
waiver by higher education students residing in National Youth Golf Course for marking up the omnibus local liquor bill.
on-campus housing required. Review of the Prairie Expo project and discussion The following bills will be heard:
Witnesses: Nora Stewart, Lockridge, Grindal, of the cost to the state. HF57(Borrell) St. Michael on-sale liquor licenses
Nauen; Jane Hession; Maddonna McDermott, authorized.
Health Director, University of St. Thomas. Civil Law HF269 (Klinzing) Woodbury additional on-sale
HF 833 (Hilty) Fond du Lac tribal and Room: 5 State Office Building liquor licenses authorized.
community college baccalaureate programs Chair: Rep. Mary Liz Holberg HF290 (Westerberg) Blaine additional on-sale
established in elementary education and *** Note: *** Change in Agenda liquor licenses authorized.
sustainable development. Agenda: HF564 (Borrell) Open meeting law HF310 (Kelliher) Minneapolis Historic Pantages
HF 872 (Anderson) Higher education reciprocity violations administrative remedy provided, and Theatre on-sale liquor license authorized.
agreements, state grants, fees, and Minnesota civil penalties prescribed. HF342 (Buesgens) Elko Speedway on-sale liquor
college savings plan clarifying, conforming, and HF937 (Smith) Child support enforcement data license authorized.
technical changes provided; revenue bond limit classified; and procedure, support enforcement, HF356 (Dempsey) State fair on-sale liquor
increased, and learn and earn money usage and funding provisions clarified. license authorized for sale of Minnesota-
clarified. HF806 (Kielkucki) Liability limits provided for produced wine.
HF 864 (Stang) Higher education services office nonprofits providing day training and HF613 (Kahn) Minneapolis authorized to issue
modified. habilitation services for adults and children with an on-sale wine and malt beverage license to the
mental retardation and related conditions. Southern Theatre.
Transportation Policy HF792 (Tingelstad) Gestational surrogacy HF621 (Ellison) Minneapolis authorized to issue
Room: 200 State Office Building agreements authorized relating to assisted an on-sale wine and malt liquor license to the
Chair: Rep. Ron Erhardt reproduction. Guthrie Lab.
Agenda: MNDOT Agency Bills. HF818 (Tingelstad) Artificial insemination HF705 (Severson) Sartell authorized to issue
HFXXXX (Magnus) Trunk highway turnbacks. parentage provisions modified. additional on-sale liquor licenses.
HFXXXX (Magnus) Railroad property HF768 (Anderson, J.) Military certificates of HF717 (McNamara) Hastings authorized to issue
reimbursement or replacement land. discharge classified as private data, and release additional on-sale liquor licenses.
HFXXXX (Howes) Northern zone load study procedures provided. HF719 (Beard) Brewpubs authorized to make
amendments. HF264 (Biernat) Housing violation summons retail and wholesale sales, and municipal liquor
HFXXXX (Holberg) Acquisition of right-of-way and hearing scheduling requirements modified. license limit removed.
HF842 (Zellers) Maple Grove authorized to issue
additional on-sale liquor licenses.
HF948 (Clark) Minneapolis authorized to issue
an on-sale liquor license to the American Swedish
Session Weekly 33
And other bills to be announced. Agenda: Bills to be announced. Distribution Act abolished.
5:30 PM Health and Human Services Policy 12:30 PM
Room: 10 State Office Building
Environment and Natural Resources Policy Chair: Rep. Lynda Boudreau Higher Education Finance
Land Subcommittee Agenda: To be announced. Room: 300S State Office Building
Room: 300N State Office Building Chair: Rep. Doug Stang
Chair: Rep. Tom Hackbarth 10:15 AM Agenda: HF843 (Seifert) Higher education
Agenda: Land Subcommittee agenda to be financial aid requirements modified to include a
announced. Judiciary Policy and Finance service requirement for certain stipends.
Room: Basement Hearing Room HF449 (Kuisle) Higher education grant eligibility
Chair: Rep. Steve Smith modified.
THURSDAY, March 27 Agenda: To be announced.
Commerce, Jobs and Economic
8:15 AM Environment and Natural Resources Policy Development
Room: 5 State Office Building Room: 10 State Office Building
Jobs and Economic Development Finance Chair: Rep. Tom Hackbarth Chair: Rep. Greg Davids
Room: Basement Hearing Room Agenda: HF 718 (Beard) Scott County surplus Agenda: HF800 (Hackbarth) Fireworks
Chair: Rep. Bob Gunther state land sale authorized, funds deposited in regulation provided, fees authorized, and local
Agenda: HF748 (Gunther) Economic the wildlife acquisition account, and money regulation limited.
development, housing, jobs, and state appropriated for wildlife acquisition. Other bills to be announced.
government finance funding provided, and HF823 (Cornish) Natural resources
money appropriated. commissioner’s authority modified relating to Agriculture and Rural Development
Indian Affairs Council. employees, gifts, and grants; state parks working Finance
Council on Black Minnesotans. capital fund modified; and other natural Room: 5 State Office Building
Chicano Latino Affairs Council. resources administrative provisions modified. Chair: Rep. Elaine Harder
Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans. Agenda: To be announced.
Environment and Natural Resources Room: 200 State Office Building 5:00 PM
Finance Chair: Rep. Ron Abrams
Room: 5 State Office Building Agenda: Meeting Time Note: After Session Adjourns
Chair: Rep. Dennis Ozment HF263 (Rukavina) Nursing home levy for non- Governmental Operations and Veterans
Agenda: To be announced. county-owned public nursing homes required. Affairs Policy
HF461 (Pugh) Estate tax federal exemption Room: Basement Hearing Room
Education Policy amounts adopted. Chair: Rep. Jim Rhodes
Room: Room 200 State Office Building HF495 (Johnson, J.) Metropolitan fiscal Agenda: Continuation of the Wed., March 26
Chair: Rep. Barb Sykora disparities law abolished. agenda.
HF514 (Lenczewski) Metropolitan Revenue
Governor State Auditor Secretary of State
TIM PAWLENTY (R) PATRICIA AWADA (R) MARY KIFFMEYER (R)
130 State Capitol 525 Park St. 180 State Office Building
St. Paul 55155 Suite 400 St. Paul 55155
(651) 296-3391 St. Paul 55103 (651) 296-2803
1-800-657-3717 (651) 296-2551 Election Division: (651) 215-1440
Fax: (651) 296-0674 Attorney General Open Appointments: (651) 297-5845
Lieutenant Governor MIKE HATCH (DFL) Business Information &
CAROL MOLNAU (R) 102 State Capitol Uniform Commercial Code:
130 State Capitol St. Paul 55155 (651) 296-2803
St. Paul 55155 (651) 296-6196
(651) 296-3391 Consumer Division: (651) 296-3353
34 March 21, 2003
Continued from page 20
following the committee meeting. “It’s going to
end up being a tax on apprentices.”
Also left to opinion is whether the sponsors
would pass the registration fee onto their ap-
prentices, and whether that fee would lead to Overland routes up the Mississippi River authorized by the Legislature.
a decrease in apprentices. from the Missouri and Wisconsin territo- During this period, 90 percent of the
“I’ve heard that your department … expects ries and down from Canada were Ameri- roads in the state were dirt roads, most im-
at least 1,000 or better apprentices to drop off can Indian trails that became established passable in bad weather. While campaign-
from the program because of this charge,” said modes for modern-day travel in Minnesota. ing across the state to get a “Good Roads”
Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul), who was Explorers and fur traders in search of new amendment passed, Babcock and state Sen.
an apprentice himself before becoming a jour- land and resources through the wilderness Patrick McGarry had to dig themselves out
neyman pipefitter. followed these paths that became the first of 300 mud holes. Babcock’s amendment to
Replied Schwab, “As I hear people talk about roads of the midwestern territories. fund the construction of better roads passed
the program and how it’s improved their lives Pioneers Le Sueur, Radisson, DuLuth, by an overwhelming majority.
and how important it is to them, I’m finding Faribault, Nicollet, Hennepin, Pike, and In the 1920s, Babcock successfully advo-
that harder and harder to believe this would others also followed American Indian ca- cated for the passage of a gasoline tax amend-
stop people from participating in this kind of noe routes along the ment to the
quality program.” shores of Lake Supe- constitution to build
According to Department of Labor and In- rior and the St. Croix and maintain public
dustry information, the average hourly wage River; up the Red roads. Babcock is re-
for apprentice program graduates is signifi- and Minnesota riv- sponsible for Minne-
cantly higher than for beginning apprentices. ers in the western sota building the first
Beginning and ending average hourly wage and central areas of trunk highway sys-
examples are: secretary, $14.89, $18.16; auto the state; and up the tem in the country.
mechanic, $9.70, $18.40; printer, $16.38, Mississippi River When Babcock
$27.30; and carpenter, $13.33, $25.24. from Iowa, Missouri, Even up to the middle of the last century, many became a member
roads in the United States were unpaved, mak-
and Illinois. ing them virtual quagmires after a hard rain. of the American As-
Late in the 19th sociation of State
Minnesota State Agencies century, others who helped develop a road Highway Officials, he played a key role in
(Area code 651) system were railroad barons like James J. the planning and implementation of a fed-
Administration .......................................... 296-6013 Hill, and lumber magnates who included eral highway system. Babcock became presi-
Agriculture .................................................. 297-2200 Thomas Shelvin, Henry Akeley, and dent of the organization in 1923.
Toll Free ..................................... 1-800-967-2474
Children, Families and Learning ......... 582-8200
Frederick Weyerhaeuser. Hill helped to im- He and his national colleagues advocated
Commerce .................................................. 296-4026 prove the importance of roads by often for and persuaded the federal government
Corrections ................................................. 642-0200 building train tracks along existing roads. to provide aid for building a federal public
Economic Security ................................... 296-3711 The lumbermen supplied materials for use highway system across the country, from
Toll Free .................................... 1-888-GET-JOBS
in rail cars and in private and commercial north to south and east to west.
Employee Relations ................................. 297-1184
Job Information Hotline ................... 296-2616 vehicles. Special requirements for transport- The new U.S. highway system, along with
Finance ......................................................... 296-5900 ing lumber also helped to improve routes a numbering system to replace named high-
Health ........................................................... 215-5800 for getting goods to their customers. ways, followed Babcock’s state trunk high-
Human Rights ............................................ 296-5663 Rural postal deliveries, commercial trans- way plan. One of Babcock’s trunk highways
Toll Free ..................................... 1-800-657-3704
Human Services ........................................ 297-3933 portation, and later, automobiles contrib- in the state was the old Roosevelt Highway
Labor and Industry .................................. 284-5000 uted to pressures for better roads. Many – the first to be paved in the state. It became
Toll Free ..................................... 1-800-342-5354 roads were impassable during bad weather the present day Highway 10 under the fed-
Military Affairs ............................................ 282-4662 and automobile use was very disorganized. eral highway system.
Natural Resources .................................... 296-6157
Toll Free ................................... 1-888-MINNDNR The need for a full-time highway depart- Charles M. Babcock’s strong determina-
Pollution Control Agency ...................... 296-6300 ment to address these issues was eminent. tion led him to “Get Minnesota out of the
Toll Free ..................................... 1-800-657-3864 A state highway commission was formed mud.”
Public Safety ............................................... 282-6565 in 1905. One of its appointed members was — LECLAIR GRIER LAMBERT
Driver and Vehicle Services ............. 296-6911
Fire Marshal ........................................... 215-0500 Charles M. Babcock, a strong supporter of
Alcohol and Gambling the “Good Roads Movement” that began
Enforcement Division ........................ 296-6979 around the end of the 1800s. Babcock be- Photo courtesy of the Federal Highway
State Patrol ............................................ 282-6871 Administration Web site.
came the first highway commissioner in
Taxpayer Assistance ........................... 296-3781
1917 when a state highway department was
Trade and Economic Development .. 297-1291
Toll Free ..................................... 1-800-657-3858
Office of Tourism ................................. 296-5029
Toll Free ..................................... 1-800-657-3700
Transportation ........................................... 296-3000
Toll Free ..................................... 1-800-657-3774
Veterans Affairs ......................................... 296-2562
Session Weekly 35
MINNESOTA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
175 STATE OFFICE BUILDING
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA 55155-1298
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: STEVE SVIGGUM
MAJORITY LEADER: ERIK PAULSEN
MINORITY LEADER: MATT ENTENZA
MINNESOTA I N D E X FOR MORE INFORMATION
Tax time For general information, call:
House Information Office
Millions of tax returns processed by the state Department of Revenue in 2002 ....... 2.4 (651) 296-2146 or
Millions projected this year ......................................................................................................... 2.5 1-800-657-3550
Percentage of electronic filers in 2002 that received their state refund
within five days ................................................................................................................................. 85 To obtain a copy of a bill, call:
Taxes paid by Minnesotans per capita in 2001 ................................................................ $2,722 Chief Clerk’s Office
National rank ........................................................................................................................................ 4 (651) 296-2314
U.S. average, per capita ................................................................................................... $1,969.44
To find out about bill introductions or
Minnesota collections in state and local taxes in 2000, in billions .............................. $17.6 the status of a specific bill, call:
As percentage of total income ............................................................................................... 11.2 House Index Office
Projected 2005 state and local tax collection, in billons .................................................. $20.6 (651) 296-6646
Projected percentage of income ............................................................................................... 11
Approximate percentage of 2000 total collected at state level ..................................... 71.9 For an up-to-date recorded message
Anticipated percentage in 2005 ................................................................................................ 73 giving committee meeting times and
Income taxes collected as percent of total tax collections in 2000 ............................... 37.3 agendas, call:
Projected in 2005 ............................................................................................................................. 36 Committee Hotline
Property taxes as percent of 2000 total tax collections ..................................................... 30.3 (651) 296-9283
In 2005, projected ........................................................................................................................ 31.4
Year 2000 income tax collection, as a percent, borne by Minnesotan residents ......... 96
The House of Representatives can be
Percentage of general sales tax paid by Minnesota residents ....................................... 83 reached on the World Wide Web at:
Percentage of property taxes on industrial property paid by Minnesotans ........ 11.7 http://www.house.mn
Approximate number of Wisconsin residents working in Minnesota or
vice versa .................................................................................................................................... 75,000
Wisconsin’s last approximate income tax reciprocity payment to Minnesota Teletypewriter for the hearing
(December 2001), in millions .................................................................................................... $48 impaired.
State corporate income tax rate for tax year 2003 ................................................................. 9.8 To ask questions or leave messages,
States with higher maximum rates .............................................................................................. 3 call:
State sales tax rate, as percent ........................................................................................................ 6.5 TTY Line (651) 296-9896 or
States that have higher rate, as of January 2003 .................................................................... 3
States with same rate ........................................................................................................................ 2
Check your local listings to watch
Excise tax per pack of cigarettes, as of January, in cents ....................................................... 48 House committee and floor sessions
State rank ............................................................................................................................................ 26 on TV.
Tax in highest state (Massachusetts) .................................................................................. $1.51
State motor fuel excise tax rate per gallon of gas as of Jan. 1, in cents ........................... 20
States with higher rate ................................................................................................................... 23 This document can be made available in alternative
formats to individuals with disabilities by calling
Sources: 2003 Minnesota Tax Incidence Study, March 2003, Department of Revenue, other de- (651) 296-2146 voice, (651) 296-9896 TTY, or
partment publications, Federation of Tax Administrators, U.S. Census Bureau (800) 657-3550 toll free voice and TTY.
36 March 21, 2003