Dave Senjem update

In letter, news by Bruce Kaskubar0 Comments

April 21, 2017 Dear Friends, Legislators returned back to St. Paul after a week-long Passover/Easter break. The House and Senate have completed their omnibus or committee bills. Now conference committees begin their work. They will determine the final content of bills that ultimately will make their way to the Governor. There is a lot of work ahead as we move into the final weeks of the 2017 legislative session. This week, the Senate got right-to-work by appointing legislators to conference committees. Committee membership is determined by the committee chairs with concurrence by the Majority and Minority Leaders, and ultimately by a vote of the entire Senate.  In most cases, they are comprised of members of both the majority and minority parties. I am serving on the Senate Tax …

Carla Nelson update

In letter, news by Bruce Kaskubar0 Comments

April 21, 2017 Spring has finally sprung and the legislature is in full swing. Read on to learn about conference committees, teacher licensure and two new items in the Legacy Bill. Be sure to answer the survey question! Be sure to contact me with your thoughts on any legislative issue or if I can be of assistance on any state or agency issue. It’s a privilege to work for you! Serving you, Carla Conference committee All budget bills are off the floor and now sit in conference committees with the House budget bills. As chairwoman of the Senate E12 Finance Committee I join Rep. Loon, chairwoman of the House Education Committee, in chairing the Education Finance Conference Committee. Four additional members join us from the Senate and four …

Walz puts unions over vets

In commentary, news by Bruce Kaskubar0 Comments

About ten days ago, Tim Walz voted against H.R. 1259, the “VA Accountability First Act of 2017.” Overall, it passed. H.R. 1259’s purpose is to, “provide for the removal or demotion of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs based on performance or misconduct, and for other purposes.” This goes back to the travesties we heard about in recent years, of fake wait lists and other abuses of our veterans in the “care” of the VA. It is more difficult to rid the VA system of poorly performing staff members in part because of union rules. Apparently, as much as Walz says he holds veterans dear, he holds unions dearer. About a week ago, we asked him for an explanation of his “no” vote but have received no …

Carla Nelson update

In letter, news by Bruce Kaskubar0 Comments

March 24, 2017 In addition to the official beginning of spring, this week also ushered in significant progress on our work to prepare the state’s operating budget, with Senate budget targets released last Friday, Targets are broad spending and revenue levels set for each committee — the amount of money each committee is allowed to spend on programs and policies under its jurisdiction. They are based, in part, on forecasted state revenue and previous budgets. Following the release of the targets, committees began work on the vetting of their respective budget proposals, which includes lengthy committee hearings and much public input. I want to hear from you! As your state senator, it is my job to represent your interests, and your input will help guide budget decisions at …