I’d like to start right off by giving you some information that you may find interesting once session begins.
Helpful Resources to Follow the Legislative Process
As we near session, I thought I would pass along a few tools that can be used to follow the legislative process more easily.
Recently, the nonpartisan House Public Information Services put out a video, entitled "The Legislature: Its People and the Process." This six-minute clip provides some condensed information about how Minnesota's legislature operates, including how the process of committees, floor sessions, and how bills move through the legislature. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/oe_DnIRf-PI
Here are some other helpful links:
Minnesota House of Representatives
( http://www.house.mn/) -Information about the legislative process and the Minnesota House of Representatives in general.
( http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/sdaily.aspx) -A nonpartisan publication of Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services which provides news from the Capitol.
( http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/newlaws/newlawsmain.asp) -Compiled by the Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services.
( http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/htv/htv.asp) -Coverage is broadcast statewide – along with Minnesota Senate television coverage – on our local PBS station’s digital Minnesota Channel available on many cable systems and is free on over-the-air channels.
( http://www.pioneer.org/about-your-legislators.html) -Your Legislators is a live one-hour program which runs 8 p.m. Thursdays during the legislative session on public TV. The weekly panels typically include a mix of two Republicans and two Democrats joining moderator Barry Anderson. Viewers are able to submit questions during the show.
( http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/htv/schedule.asp) -Live Internet video streaming of all television productions, plus additional coverage not provided on the broadcast channel, including evening, weekend and interim coverage.
( http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/leginfo/How_a_bill.pdf) -A 16-page booklet explaining, in a simple, straightforward manner, how a bill moves from an idea to law. Capitol Steps is intended as a resource for junior high school students.
Forest Lake Area School Solar Project
On February 11th, I joined Senator Karen Housley at the Forest Lake Area Schools Solar Event. We were given an overview of the solar panel project, which will entail nearly 6,300 solar panels in total, installed on the top of 5 schools. These solar panels are projected to save the Forest Lake Area School district approximately $200,000 in 2016, with over $200,000 per year in saving for the next 19 years. In addition to being cost-effective, the solar program will also be integrated into the district’s curriculum to teach students about renewable energy. I’m excited to see how this program develops in the future.
State Government Finance Committee Tour
This month I have been traveling around Minnesota with the State Government Finance Committee to discuss the Office of the State Auditor and veterans issues. Our conversations with Veterans Service Officers from various counties have been particularly helpful in gathering input as to how to prioritize bills for the upcoming session, and how processes can be simplified in veterans services. The committee still has a couple of meetings coming up; the details can be found at this link: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/schedules/schedule.aspx?c=89021.
State Wrestling Tournament
I’ve mentioned before that the Minnesota State High School League has selected me to be a referee at the 2016 Minnesota state wrestling tournament on Feb 25th, 26th, and 27th. The team competition takes place on Feb 25th followed by the individual competition on the 26th and 27th. I'm scheduled to officiate on Friday, Feb 26th from 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m. Hope to see you there!
Forest Lake High School Class Visit
On March 18th I will be visiting Forest Lake High School’s “College in the Schools” Government class. I consistently enjoy visiting these bright young students, and always try and make class visits around the district when I have the time.
Thank you for the honor and privilege of being your state representative.