Laws are like sausages: it’s better not to watch them being made. So goes a venerable quote that, like many venerable quotes, has disputed origins. The truth remains: sausage-making is a messy business, and so is legislating. As the 2017 Minnesota legislative session draws closer to its end, the sausage-making mess is on full and awful display. Continue reading
July 1 will be “a sad day for democracy, a sad day for citizen engagement, open government and environmental protection in Minnesota,” said Jim Riddle at the last meeting of the Citizens’ Board of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency today. That date marks the legislative end of the Citizens’ Board, in retaliation for the board’s 2014 decision to require an environmental impact statement from a proposed 9,000-cow mega-dairy operation in Baker Township, Stevens County near Chokio, Minnesota. Continue reading
In the Minnesota special session, the legislature will decide on school funding (including teacher lay-offs and pre-K classes), water quality (including totally deregulating mining pollution and de-funding other anti-pollution measures), and whether to allow seed companies to tell lies on labels, among other issues. Anything there that interests you? If so, read on for a quick-and-easy guide to how the special session works, with more detailed articles linked at the end. Continue reading
Republicans in the Minnesota House voted last week to kill MinnesotaCare, the subsidized health insurance program for low-income Minnesotans. That’s one part of their billion dollars in cuts to Minnesota’s health and human services budget. Apparently, under Republican logic, these cuts are necessary because of the state’s two billion dollar budget surplus.
UPDATE 5/6/2015: Senator Tony Lourey (DFL) says that MinnesotaCare is “not up for debate.” How will that affect the conference committee negotiations? We’ll have to wait and see. Continue reading