Session start and legislative meetings

housechamberTuesday, January 6th I was sworn in for my second term as your state representative. I was fortunate to have my son with me who enjoyed the ceremony and posed for a picture with me after the swearing in. He was curious about why President Lincoln’s portrait decorates the front of the House chamber. I told him he might want to research but mentioned jan09-076it might have something to do with Lincoln’s popularity and the fact that shortly after Minnesota became a state Lincoln became President.

The rest of the day and most of the week was taken up with meetings with constituents and various representatives from groups who are concerned about the outcome of our session. Friday I attended the conference organized by John Farrell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (read more below).

The goal of the conference was to promote a discussion of Renewable Energy Payments policy, sometimes called a “Feed in Tariff.” I introduced a bill to promote this policy last year and intend to introduce this session. The goals of Renewable Energy Payments (REPs) are to promote renewable energy, encourage local economic development, create jobs, and promote a clean environment.

This week I have been visiting with various groups and attending committee meetings. My visitors included Sandi Gerdes and Bob Bonner, who reminded me of the important work the Laura Baker School performs and how much cuts would hurt their ability to do their work.

I also had very interesting visit and tour of the Telamco Membrane Switch Company arranged by Enterprise Minnesota. I will write more about that later.

I introduced three bills, one to increase the reimbursement level for Three Links and the Northfield Retirement Center. A bill to allow school districts to partner in ownership of a wind turbine; and a bill that would introduce the Minnesota Health Plan. You can read about the plan in this article: Ambitious health care bill to cover all Minnesotans introduced in Legislature. (MnPost):

I even had a chance to chair the Higher Ed. Work Force Development committee as we heard testimony from former Speaker Sviggum who is now the commissioner of Labor.

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