Fraying nerves, flaring tempers – Update for March 23

/ 23 March 2012 / jennifer

Monday morning, April 16, 2012
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At the Capitol – Update for March 19-13

Want a feel for the tenor here at the Capitol? Reps. Garofalo and Rukavina “got into it” over taxes and now it’s on YouTube. Take a look! Rumor has it that the session could end as soon as the first week of April. That would make for a whirlwind of activity over the next two weeks – hang on!

Another Education Omnibus bill?

Over the last weeks Chairs Olson and Erickson said they would not be developing education omnibus bills and adjourned their committees. Chair Garofalo provided HF2083, which contains finance and policy provisions that were sent to the Senate, but in committee on Thursday he mentioned another multi-provision bill would be coming forward in time for members to review over the weekend. I’m not sure what this all means.

Bills to watch

Since you can’t tell the players without a playbook (or in this case, the bills without a “bill book”), I have pieced together bills that are still “moving through the process” as well as “Bills to Watch” to provide a sense of what’s out there. I do not have a crystal ball and this is not an exhaustive list but you may see these bills again soon.

Huge disclaimer: these bills are processing quickly and their status can change in the next hour.
With that in mind, it’s anyone’s guess what will be left standing at the end.
(Civics 101: Bills need to be read three times in Chamber to pass off the floor.)

  • HF2083/SF2492 House Education Finance Omnibus Bill** Passed off the House floor and Senate Education offered and passed a Delete-Everything amendment. 3/22/12 status: These bills are significantly different; assume they will need to go through the conference committee process.

  • HF2127/SF1528 Online learning parameters modified, graduation requirements modified, and digital learning provided. 3/22/12 status: Passed off the Senate floor; now in House Ways and Means.

  • HF2244/SF1889 Permanent School Fund Advisory Committee changed into a legislative commission, and commission authority granted to employ a director to oversee, manage, and administer school trust lands. 3/22/12 status: Passed off the House floor; now in Senate Finance.

  • SF1917/HF2293 School district prone restraint usage extension and data collection and reporting requirements. 3/22/12 status: Passed off the Senate floor; second reading in the House.

Policy Bills

  • HF1870/SF1690 School districts allowed to base unrequested leave of absence and discharge and demotion decisions on teacher evaluation outcomes. 3/22/12 status: Currently in conference committee.

  • HF2621/SF2306 Special or independent school districts made subject to mayoral control. 3/22/12 status: Second reading on the floor of the House; laid on the table in Senate Education

  • SF1656/HF1847 High school academic standards and graduation requirements cyclical revision legislative authorization requirement. 3/22/12 status: Passed the Senate; second reading in House.

  • HF2329/SF1908 CPR training and instruction requirements clarified. 3/22/12 status: Second reading in the House and Senate.

  • HF2840 (Mariani-DFL-St. Paul) A bill for an act relating to education; implementing integration revenue replacement advisory task force recommendations; repurposing integration revenue by establishing the “Achievement and Integration for Minnesota” program to increase student performance and equitable educational opportunities and prepare all students to be effective citizens. 3/22/12 status: Has yet to be brought forward for a hearing. No Senate companion.

A Look Ahead

  • The next conference committee hearing for HF1870 (LIFO) is Friday, March 23, at 3:30 pm in Capitol 112.

  • Expect another bill from Chair Garofalo before the weekend. House Education Finance will be holding hearings next week at a different time: 10:30 am, Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • Senate Education and House Education Reform have adjourned. No further meetings are scheduled at this time but can happen at the call of the Chair.

  • We will be watching for conference committee hearings and will be at the House Education Finance meetings next week.

Ask Your Legislators! Question/Comment of the Week

Do you have any idea when the session will be over?

Constitutional Amendments

The bill calling for a constitutional amendment requiring Voter ID has passed off the House floor and has had its second reading in the Senate. Remember, the call for a constitutional amendment requires no action from a governor, so if this passes the Senate it will be on the November ballot.

Former Governor Pawlenty’s Commissioner of Management & Budget, Tom Hanson, wrote an op-ed a supermajority amendment.

Forward this on to encourage others to Learn • Network • Act!


It is always good to check At the Capitol often to see what’s on the agenda and check to make sure the meeting is still scheduled.

If you are interested in attending a committee meeting and would like to meet with me at the same time, just email me at to arrange it.


New @ the Website

  • Bills At the Capitol – A complete list of education bills heard so far this session.

  • Education bills: Crunch time at the Capitol – Both chambers have passed versions of a bill that would base teacher layoffs on licensure, performance data and seniority, in that order. It’s referred to as LIFO, the acronym for last in, first out, ostensibly the system it replaces. Curiously, on Monday the conference committee reconciling the two versions heard from a national expert on protecting top-quality teachers from layoff. Two more hearings are supposedly in the works, one at which teachers will be heard and another for parents. Why hold more hearings on bills that have already passed when there are heaps that have yet to be heard at all?, MinnPost, March 21, 2012.

  • State must replenish reserves – As much as it would be nice to pay back the schools immediately, the first priority is making sure the state can weather the next rainy day. Or month, St. Cloud Times Editorial, March 22, 2012.

  • Minnesota: Lobbyists spend $59 million to influence state – Businesses, unions and trade groups spent more than $59 million to influence the Minnesota Legislature and state regulatory bodies last year, according to a report released Monday, March 19 and updating Tuesday. The pro-business Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and Minnesota Business Partnership came in second and third, spending $2.06 million and $980,000, respectively. …Education groups continued to be a lobbying force, spending nearly $1.8 million. The biggest spenders were the Minnesota School Boards Association at $600,000, the statewide teachers union Education Minnesota at $500,000 and the Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now (MinnCan) at $260,000, Pioneer Press, March 20, 2012.

Mary Cecconi, Executive Director
Parents United for Public Schools
1667 Snelling Avenue N., St. Paul, MN 55108
Email Mary at</p>

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