SD37 Monthly BPOU and Executive Committee Meeting
Next Meeting: Tuesday, May 19th
Location: Key Air, 9877 Airport Rd NE, Blaine 55449 (off Radisson Road south of 105th Ave NE)
Meeting time: Social Time starts at 6:00pm, the meeting starts at 6:30pm.
Tuesday, June 16th - Club West
Tuesday, July 14th - Club West
Meetings are open to all residents and guests of SD37 who have an interest in making a difference! This is your opportunity to see what is happening at the grass roots level and have an influence on policies.
SD37 Legislative Activities
SD37 Legislative Activities - April 28th Update
SF 888. State Gov’t Finance
The bill spends nearly a billion in this budget biennium. The most controversial parts are the first payment for the senate office building, a 1.8% funding increase for government bureaucracy, and a slew of fee increases for various boards.
· An amendment to eliminate the SOB payment from the bill. (Journal page 1909)
· An amendment reassigning the SOB payment to Veterans (Journal page 1910)
· An amendment requiring 2 shifts of workers on the capitol during the interim to complete construction prior to next session and save taxpayers money. (Journal page 1911)
· Eliminate the 1.8% bureaucracy funding hike. This is not money for programs or to help people, it’s only to expand gov’t bureaucracy. (Journal 1913)
· Eliminate fee increases (Journal page 1916)
· Extend military reimbursement to private employers (Journal page 1917)
· Met council chair made part time w/ salary limits (Journal page 1918)
· Met council appointments approved by local gov’ts (Journal page 1921)
· Abolish the Met Council (Journal page 2069)
SF 5, Higher Ed finance
The higher ed finance bill spends $205 million over the next biennium. It includes a couple controversial provisions:
· A scaled down version of the governor’s free two-year college plan.
· ‘DREAM’ students – illegal immigrants – will be eligible for the free two year college
· 1.8% bureaucracy funding hike. This is not money for programs or to help people, it’s only to expand gov’t bureaucracy.
The bill passed 42-21, with some Republican votes. A sampling of amendments she voted against:
· An amendment to take the money for free two-year college and use it for a tuition freeze. (Note: this was a divided amendment; Johnson voted for the freeze but against funding it.) (Journal page 2073-2074)
· An amendment to remove several study categories (fashion management, massage therapy, playwriting, screenwriting, and wine stewardship) as areas qualifying for free two-year college tuition. (Journal page 2074)
· An amendment to eliminate the 1.8% bureaucracy funding hike. (Journal page 2075)
SF 2101, Environment, Econ Development, and Ag Finance
Spends $3.1 billion in all funds, and increases general fund spending $130 million. Questionable spending in the bill includes:
· $12 million for a bio-chemical processing facility
· $100,000 to market ag products to Cuba
· $500,000 for urban agriculture grants
· $300,000 for STEM club for Somali youth
· $500,000 for economic development for South St. Paul
· $500K for the Eastside enterprise Center
· $2 million for the Emerging Workforce Coalition
· $400K for the YWCA in St. Paul
· $150K for paid internships at Ujamma Place
· An amendment to move film and arts board funding to wastewater treatment facilities (Journal page 2151)
· An amendment to move film and arts board funding to broadband expansion (Journal page 2151)
· An amendment to ban IRRRB from giving grant money to political organizations (Journal page 2153)
· An amendment to prohibit state money from being spent to advertise in Cuba (Journal page 2154)
SD37 Legislative Activities - April 16th Update
On Thursday, April 16th, the E-12 committee heard and adopted the education finance bill. During the course of the hearing, Sen. Johnson took several bad votes:
· She voted against an amendment that would have provided a funding formula increase to schools without attaching any mandates
· She voted against an amendment that would have allowed districts to use “School Readiness” funds for other purposes. (Another mandate relief amendment.)
· The bill contained a 1.8% increase for the Dept. of Ed *bureaucracy*, which Republicans attempted to remove and reallocate to classrooms. She voted against this amendment.
Also on Thursday, the Senate took up the liquor bill on the floor with an amendment that would have legalized Sunday sales. Sen Johnson voted against this amendment.