We’re rolling out a new regular feature. For the moment we’re calling it Capitol Notepad. It’s intended to be the thumbnail guide to daily affairs at the Legislature, with pointers on hot issues, and links to the best recent coverage. Please let us know what would be most helpful.
New tax package: Tim Pugmire noted the various new tax proposals, in particular Sen. Ann Rest‘s (DFL-New Hope) (pictured) package introduced in the Senate, which would tax clothing, create a fourth income tax tier and phase out the corporate income tax. Rest tells Pugmire it’s intended to be more fair and revenue-neutral. Also noted is the apparent increase in tax regressiveness.
On the schedule today: House side: many regional bonding items in Rep. Tom Rukavina‘s (DFL-Virginia) Higher Education and Workforce Development Finance and Policy Division. [It’s not just for university concerns.] Rep. Paul Thissen‘s (DFL-Minneapolis) Health Care and Human Services Policy and Oversight Committee will be hearing Thissen’s bill adjusting unemployment health insurance (HF42). Also, Rep. Tina Liebling‘s (HF491) trying to ban the use of personal prescription data for pharmaceutical marketing.
Much more below the jump…
All aboard! Rep. Bernie Lieder‘s (DFL-Crookston) Transportation Finance and Policy Division is looking at a number of bonding bills for transitways and commuter rail, including Rep David Bly‘s (DFL-Northfield) (HF1380) study of Northfield-St. Paul commuter rail, Rep. Rick Hansen‘s (HF828) (DFL-South St. Paul) Robert Street transitway, and even Rep. Dean Urdahl‘s (R-Grove City) Little Crow transitway (HF1210), which would be around Highway 12 between Willmar and downtown Minneapolis. [The metro used to have nice rail; check out this 1913 map (at right).]
Senate side: Commerce and Consumer Protection, chaired by Sen. Linda Scheid (DFL-Brooklyn Park), is looking at foreclosure and lender mediation policy [Who’s going to get crammed down?] Sen. Steve Murphy‘s (DFL-Red Wing) Transportation Committee is hearing a variety of policy items, including Sen. Ron Latz‘ (DFL-St. Louis Park) proposal (SF462) extending the DWI ignition interlock program. Judiciary with Sen. Mee Moua (DFL-St. Paul) looks at body art, guardians, vulnerable adult and sex offender issues. Capital Investment with Sen. Keith Langseth (DFL-Glyndon) is looking at MnSCU bonding (SF781).
Pension time: At 7 p.m. the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement, chaired by Sen. Don Betzold (DFL-Fridley), is looking at a variety of public employee pension modifications. Wonder how those balances are doing.
Revenue revision: A big item this morning is state economist Tom Stinson revising his revenue presentation before the House Taxes Committee. Check it out over at House online video (Windows Media Player required); it will be rebroadcast at 4:15 p.m. on TPTMN, according to the schedule.
Adoptee birth certificates: On Monday, House Civil Justice heard a bill that would let adoptees get copies of their birth certificates; KSTP notes that this time around it’s supported by a professional lobbyist with the Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform. (In the House it still has to pass Civil Justice and Helath and Human Services Finance.)
Rochester health debate: Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester), vice chair of Health and Human Services Policy and Oversight, supports the Minnesota Health Plan. Former top Rochester GOP health legislator Fran Bradley counters that health care has to be directed carefully.
Early school starts shut down: Don Davis on the topic. Great concerns were floated about infringing on the State Fair. Mankato-area budget policy implications by Mark Fischenich in Mankato Free Press.
Everything EFCA: What will Minnesota’s congressional delegation do around the rollout of the Employee Free Choice Act? It’s hitting the House today, and Politico notes that the GOP is using it to call for funds.
The House press rule flap: The first three provisions have apparently been dropped, according to MnIndy. Forum Communications‘ Don Davis had trouble after photographing a House committee, and wrote a forthright account of why this is a big deal. (This nice blog is hard to find on inforum.com, though.) Senate GOP communications director Michael Brodkorb posted last night’s WCCO segment about the controversial proposed Capitol press rules on YouTube. (It’s the same kind of issue in New Mexico now.)
Tweet this: Twitter accounts are certainly going to be a prominent campaign communications channel; it helps that "followers" can get updates on their cell phones. Gary Schiff started using his for his Minneapolis City Council re-election bid. We did not realize that Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis) also has a Twitter account. He asks "Why is Minnesota overlooking thermal energy?" which goes to his gubernatorial campaign site’s renewable energy policy page. [The PIM Twitter has been doing quite well; the ‘elite‘ statistic of 1,337 followers was reached yesterday.]
What kind of daily roundup would you like to see? Let us know!