I find it refreshing to be back at school with students after a long campaign season. But with the results of the election, my mind is often on other things too.
Last Thursday I attended the DFL caucus meeting to elect Margaret Anderson Keliher the new Speaker and Tony Sertich the new Majority Leader. A big freshman class boosts the DFL majority to 85 members. It was interesting and encouraging to hear the plans for a new direction and agenda for Minnesota. The ‘Back to Basics’ agenda that Margaret introduced last summer will be a top priority when we start up in January. That agenda included the following items:
**Working for affordable health care coverage for all Minnesotans, including children and seniors.
** Excellent Educational Opportunities for every child. **Cut Minnesota property taxes.
**Reduce the tuition increase of the past four years and tackle student debt. **Dedicate funding for outdoor habitats, wetlands and waters.
**Pass a Renewable Energy Standard & Reduce Fuel Costs.
**Government Reform and Accountability.
Also on my mind is the pending recount in my race. There are three other DFL candidates facing recounts, and until yesterday I had heard nothing about them. Four years ago I faced a recount, and the recount was conducted in the county office building of the counties involved. I trekked over to the Scott County Government Center to observe the count, and a few days later watched the recount in the Rice County meeting room in Faribault. This year the Secretary of State has decided to impose a change, and has asked that all the ballots in the three races that involve more than one county be brought to her offices where the recounts will be conducted. Right now all the ballots are under lock and key in the County Auditor’s office. My sense is that moving them around will only create greater skepticism about the outcome. I don’t understand the reason for the change in procedure, and I believe the DFL is asking that the previous procedure be observed. We are also asking that the count be started next Tuesday as there is no reason to delay.
I will keep you informed about what I hear about the process as it moves forward.
Thanks again to all of you who voted for me, and to those who worked on my campaign. I am looking forward to serving you as State Representative, should the outcome be upheld in the recount.