Session Weekly March 21, 2003, Volume 20, Number 11

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Session Weekly March 21, 2003, Volume 20, Number 11 Powered By Docstoc
					                                               MARCH 21, 2003
                                               VOLUME 20, NUMBER 11

               In this issue:


                    SESSION         Weekly
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    Representatives Public Information
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    175 State Office Building                                                                                             Local Government         15
                                                       Arts                      5      Game & Fish              11
    St. Paul, MN 55155-1298
                                                       Business                  5      Government               12       Metro Affairs            15
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                                                       Energy                    9      Housing                  13       Transportation           18
    Director                                           Environment              10      Law                      14       Veterans                 19
    Barry LaGrave
                                                       Ethics                   11
    Assistant Director
    LeClair G. Lambert
    Editor/Assistant Director
    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-
    Chief Photographer
                                                               lator an extension of his lifelong commitment to public service. • 22
    Tom Olmscheid
                                                               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
    Staff Assistants
    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
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    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
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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
    ★ ★ ★

                                                                                                          “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
                                                                                                       comes in.
                                                                                                          “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
March 18.
                                                                                                            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
original artwork.
                                                     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
                                                          LAG     RAISING
Gerlach said.
   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
                                                     one else.
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
                                                                                                                   Promoting abstinence
                                                      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
                                                                                                         message here.”
                                                      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
                                                      jury registry.
                                                                                                         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.
                                                                 MnSCU concerns
                                                       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
                                                                                                               Preventing homelessness
                                                    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
rial service.
                                                        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-
                                                                                                           committee action.
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.

                                                                                                                 Emergency communication
                                                                                                             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
Finance Committee.

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.
revenue elsewhere.
                                                        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-
electronic claim.
                                                        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                                 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
this process.”
   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
finance bill.
                                                        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
 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
                                                                                                         apprenticeship program.
                                                                                                            Several legislators and trade representatives
                                                                                                         questioned how creating a new fee to help the
                                                                                                         dislocated workers fund would help the state’s
                                                                                                         general fund.
                                                                                                            “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
 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-
                                                                                                                        DISTRICT 50B
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,
                                                                                                                     DISTRICT 57A
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
        ★ ★ ★
                                                                                                                                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-
Education Policy
                                                                                     provided, bonds issued, and money           forcement, and funding provisions
Student survey notice requirements
                                            HF917—Otremba (DFL)                      appropriated.                               clarified.
                                            Civil Law
                                            Marriage dissolution orientation pro-    HF929—Brod (R)                              HF938—Sykora (R)
HF907—Tingelstad (R)
                                            gram attendance required.                Local Government &                          Regulated Industries
Education Policy
                                                                                     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.
HF908—Rhodes (R)
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
HF910—Erickson (R)
                                            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)
public information.
                                            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 &
HF913—Ellison (DFL)
                                            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.
                                                                                     HF935—Urdahl (R)
                                            HF925—Hilty (DFL)                        Agriculture Policy                          HF945—Nelson, P. (R)
HF914—Hilty (DFL)
                                            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.
                                                                                 Transportation Policy
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-
                                                                                 HF969—Penas (R)
                                          clared, incentive payments for hy-                                                 phone companies provisions modified.
                                                                                 Agriculture Policy
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
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
                                                                                 HF971—Gerlach (R)
                                          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
                                                                                 transacting business.
from holding additional offices.          Health & Human Services Policy                                                     fully participate in extracurricular
                                          Human services program hearing                                                     activities of resident school districts.
                                                                                 HF972—Solberg (DFL)
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-
                                                                                 HF976—Jaros (DFL)
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)
                                                                                                                             Transportation Policy
                                                                                 HF977—Erickson (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-
                                                                                                                             trict authorized.

                                                                                                                                                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)
                                                                                                                               Transportation Policy
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
                                                                                                                Seventh 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
                                                                                                                (202) 225-2165
     Fax: (202) 224-1152                                   Fax: (202) 225-1968
                                                                                                                Fax: (202) 225-1593
     First District                                        Fifth District
                                                                                                                Eighth 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
                                                                                                                (202) 225-6211
     Fax: (202) 225-3246                                   Fax: (202) 225-4886
                                                                                                                Fax: (202) 225-0699
     Second District
     John Kline (R)
     1429 Longworth House Office Building
     Washington, D.C. 20515
     (202) 225-2271

30        March 21, 2003
                                                                                                                  MARCH 24 - 28, 2003

      ★ ★ ★

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
                   8:15 AM
                                                   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
gambling organizations.

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

                                           Constitutional Officers
     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
                175 STATE OFFICE BUILDING
            ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA 55155-1298


                                              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                                                              
     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